Kate Winslet says kissing Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t ‘all it’s cracked up to be’

Kate Winslet says kissing Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t ‘all it’s cracked up to be’

Kate Winslet said kissing Nineties heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron’s Titanic was “a mess.”

The Oscar-winning actor recently sat down with Vanity Fair for a video interview where she was shown scenes from several of her classic works, including Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Holiday.

Beginning with her most famous role in Cameron’s 1997 epic, Winslet rewatched the moment in which her character Rose meets her star-crossed lover Jack (DiCaprio) at the front of the ship and they stand arms spread, overlooking the water.

“See, I look at that, and I just see how much I couldn’t breathe in that bloody corset,” Winslet admitted. “Oh, this was a nightmare, shooting this, because Leo couldn’t stop laughing and we had to re-shoot this about four times because Jim wanted a very specific light for this, obviously, and the sunsets kept changing where we were.

“This was a section of the ship. It wasn’t part of the actual whole ship set we had. It was a little sort of sorn off bit,” she explained. “We had to climb up a ladder to get to it, I remember.”

Recalling that hair and makeup “couldn’t reach us,” she revealed: “Now, what you wouldn’t know, because Leo looks completely natural, but he had to lay on sun beds [and] there’s a lot of fake tan makeup going on.

“So what I’ve got hidden in here and here,” she continued, gesturing to the top inside of her blazer, “I’ve got his makeup and brushes and sponge and my makeup and brushes and sponge in the other side. And between takes, I was basically redoing our makeup.”

‘This was a nightmare to shoot,’ Kate Winslet said of the famed scene (Paramount Pictures)
‘This was a nightmare to shoot,’ Kate Winslet said of the famed scene (Paramount Pictures)

When it came to the part when Jack guides Rose to stand on the ship’s railing and stretch out her arms, Winslet joked: “Get on with it, do the kissing part. It’s quite funny, giggling, covered in each other’s makeup.

“Yep, see, can’t breathe, my boobs are practically up to my chin,” she shared. “My God, he’s quite the romancer, isn’t he? No wonder every young girl in the world wanted to be kissed by Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Looking directly into the camera, Winslet said: “It was not all it’s cracked up to be.

“So we kept doing this kiss, and I have a lot of pale makeup on and I would have to like do our makeup checks – me – on both of us, between takes. And I would end up looking as though I had been sucking a caramel chocolate bar after each take because his makeup would come off on me. And he just looked like there was a bit missing from his face because there was this big pale bit from all my makeup getting onto him. Oh God, it was such a mess.”

She added: “I do feel very proud of it because I feel that it is that film that just keeps giving. Whole generations of people are discovering the film or seeing it for the first time and there’s something extraordinary about that.

“Doesn’t mean that people don’t get me to try and reenact this every time I’m on a flipping boat, which does my head in,” she joked.

In a separate interview with Variety earlier this week, Cameron admitted that he was initially hesitant about casting Winslet in the lead role because up until that point she had mostly featured in period dramas, including Sense and Sensibility (1995), Jude (1996) and Hamlet (1996).

Noting that she had been nicknamed “Corset Kate,” the director said that at the time, “it seemed like lazy casting.”

“But then wiser heads prevailed,” Cameron said, “and I could see what everybody was talking about. She’s very alive. She comes into a room with a great deal of confidence, and she’s got that spark of life.”