Kate Winslet Dethroned Tom Cruise

By Mark McKee | Published

kate winslet

James Cameron is known for being a pretty intense director with wild ideas and pushing his actors, especially when it comes to shooting scenes underwater. The stories of his underwater intensity and pushing boundaries go all the way back to his work in The Abyss and Titanic, but his newest film, Avatar: The Way of Water, pushes all of the boundaries even further. One boundary was pushed by Kate Winslet, who broke an impressive record once held by Tom Cruise, according to Slash Film

According to the report, the Academy Award-winning actress found herself doing a scene in a forty-foot tank where she was underwater and holding her breath for over seven minutes, breaking the old record. Kate Winslet ended up beating Tom Cruise’s old record by nearly half a minute, the record he set while filming the underwater scene in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the fourth film in the franchise. Winslet told Slash Film that when she came out of the water, the first thing she wanted to do was to call James Cameron and tell him what she had just done. 

If you are a fan of Kate Winslet, the fact that she signed up for another James Cameron film that takes place in water may be a little surprising since she has a complicated history. The story goes that the actor almost drowned while filming a scene in Titanic, and not only did she almost lose her life, but she also vowed never to do another film with Cameron. The fact that they made up some time along the way led Kate Winslet to upstage the one and only Tom Cruise. 

Avatar: The Way of Water.

Tom Cruise has become somewhat of a maverick (if you excuse the pun) in the later years of his career when it comes to performing stunts. While most big names avoid putting themselves in harm’s way in an effort to keep themselves from getting hurt and delaying a production, Cruise seems to have it in his contract to jump off of buildings, hang outside of planes, and submerge himself for longer than a Queen song. The latter of which Kate Winslet seemed to have taken inspiration from Tom Cruise in her latest film, as she found away to hold her breath for longer than a trip through a fast food drive-thru. 

Winslet’s feat seems a perfect fit for a James Cameron movie, who also looks to continuously push the envelope when he makes a movie, like in the case of Avatar: The Way of Water, where he developed his own state-of-the-art technology to accomplish his 3D underwater filming. Putting Kate Winslet underwater for over seven minutes is par for the course for a Cameron production, and there is no surprise that she stepped up to the challenge. 

Why is it important that Kate Winslet dethroned one of the most extreme stunt performers in the history of the industry in Tom Cruise? For starters, it shows that while Tom Cruise is an impressive performer, he isn’t the only one willing to devote himself to total production, mind and body; second, it signals a change in Hollywood. Stars are no longer protected from stunts, and this trend could have disastrous implications for them and their stunt performers.