“He has a temper you wouldn’t believe,” Kate Winslet once said Titanic director James Cameron, adding in that same interview that he would only work with the famous director “for a lot of money”.
The two reunited, however, for this week’s highly anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Winslet, co-star of Cameron’s hit 1997 romantic blockbuster, has joined the cast of sequel to Cameron’s hit 2009 sci-fi blockbuster Avatars as oceanic Na’vi warrior Ronal.
“I think we’re just older, wiser, different people,” Winslet told Yahoo UK in a new interview (see above). “Creatively, hopefully, I went away and learned a lot and he’s definitely evolved tremendously as a filmmaker and as a person.”
Read more: Kate Winslet appears Avatars 2 underwater photos
She added, “He’s as driven and determined as he’s always been but, my god, he’s just such a genius. Watching him at work and seeing the details that go into it, he’s really running the show. He’s the only one who ultimately knows what needs to happen to achieve his vision and he is always right.
“The nice thing is, when he’s not right, he’s now going to say, ‘Yeah, that was kind of a mistake. It was never really going to work, but I just wanted to try it to see and yeah, I was wrong. ‘ So it’s really reassuring to know that he’s able to say, ‘I could have had a better idea for that thing.’ We’re all like that, so I really appreciated that about Jim. He was amazing.”
Read more: James Cameron explains the importance of 3D in Avatars 2
In the film, Winslet’s Ronal and her husband Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), leader of the green-colored Na’vi seafaring clan called the Metkayina, welcome Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their family as refugees.
Ronal is waiting throughout the film, which Winslet describes as an extremely important aspect of the character.
“Pregnant women are capable of a lot. People don’t always necessarily think that. Jim knows what women are capable of and is totally in awe of it. I love that he included it in his film because he clearly has so much admiration for the physical prowess of pregnant women. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of,” she said.
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Since Winslet’s previous work for Cameron was also water-based, her role in Avatars the sequel raises the specter of a certain 1997 ocean scene and infamous door piece.
“It’s funny, the door seems to have had a resurgence in the last few years. I don’t know why,” Winslet said, she says of the scene’s famous ending where Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) sacrifices himself so Rose can survive floating alone on a door moved. Fans have long debated whether either could have pulled it off.
Read more: James Cameron says Jack was meant to die in Titanic
“It seems like people are doing all kinds of experiments to figure out if they could really fit the door,” says Winslet. “It’s funny. It’s one of those unanswered questions. We’ll just have to go back there again and see if in the end we both actually get on that door.”
Working on it Street of the Water, Winslet’s underwater survival skills became legendary. During one sequence, he held his breath underwater for seven minutes and 14 seconds, breaking a record set by Tom Cruise.
Winslet explained that she was “surprised at how well I could actually do it,” but always thought it was a skill she could learn given the chance.
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“I knew it was something I would be really comfortable with, and I knew there was the potential that I could get pretty good just because I was never scared,” she says. “I was able to relax enough to be able to hold my breath for quite long periods of time right from the start. But when I held my breath, I couldn’t believe it. I was very proud of myself and was amazed that I done”.
Avatar: The Way of Water opens on Friday.
Watch the trailer: