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Kate Winslet Can Hold Her Breath for 7 and a Half Minutes, Says James Cameron

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Somewhere, Leonardo DiCaprio may be feeling slightly vindicated.

Two decades after his Titanic co-star Kate Winslet allowed his character to sink to a watery grave, the actress recently endured a series of lung-challenging dunkings herself, at the hands of their former director James Cameron, while filming two forthcoming sequels to Cameron’s other box-office-record-shattering film, Avatar.

At the premiere of Alita: Battle Angel, the manga-inspired sci-fi opus (which Cameron executive produced and co-wrote the screenplay for), the filmmaker noted that Winslet proved to be a real trooper in the scenes in which her character, a free-diving member of the Pandoran race, spends considerable time submerged. But her character, Ronal, has a bit more facility for holding her breath than Leo’s poor, doomed Jack Dawson.

“Kate was a phenomenal collaborator and just so gung-ho,” enthused Cameron, an accomplished underwater explorer himself. “She was really excited about doing the water work and at her peak, I think she held her breath for seven and a half minutes — not during a scene but just during the training … but she was regularly doing two- or three-minutes scenes, underwater acting and swimming … She truly embraced the physicality of the character.”

“She was a dream to work with — not the pain-in-the-ass diva that she was the first time,” he laughed. “No, she was a dream on Titanic as well.”

After such a fruitful cinematic reunion with Winslet, Cameron said he’s still hoping for another round with DiCaprio, whom he sees regularly due to their shared philanthropic efforts, as well.

“Leo and I collide mostly in the environmental circles, because he’s doing a lot of good work around climate change and the environment and sustainability,” Cameron revealed. “And I like to think I’m doing my part in that, although we’re not collaborating.” He’s “absolutely” down for a future project. “It’s a no-brainer for me. I just haven’t gone as far as to write a character for him specifically.”

Report: Kate Winslet Can Hold Her Breath for Over 7 Minutes