The sequel to Avatar, The Way of Water is set to come out, and if you couldn’t tell by the title it involves a lot of water.
Director, James Cameron, was particularly eager to get those underwater scenes as realistic as possible.
As part of the process, the actors had to undergo rigorous training in order to act whilst being submerged in 30 feet water tanks – and this included learning to extend the amount of time they could hold their breath.
Winslet – who portrays Ronal, the female leader of the oceanic community – took to this training incredibly well, so much so that she managed to hold her breath for a whopping seven minutes and 14 seconds.
— HollywoodNewsIN (@HollywoodNewsIN) May 13, 2020
By doing so, she broke the on-set record, toppling Tom Cruise’s six minutes, which he achieved while filming Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Speaking to Total Film ahead of Avatar: The Way of Water’s release, the 47-year-old star said the record-breaking act didn’t come without its consequences.
“I have the video of me surfacing saying, ‘Am I dead, have I died?’ And then going, ‘What was [my time]?'” she told the outlet.
“Straight away I wanted to know my time. And I couldn’t believe it… The next thing I say is, ‘We need to radio set.’ I wanted Jim to know right away.”
Winslet also brushed off rumours that she was made to put herself through such a physical challenge, adding: “Well, I didn’t have to hold my breath for over seven minutes. It’s just that the opportunity to set a record presented itself.
“I wanted to break my own record, which was already six minutes and 14 seconds. And I was like, ‘Come on!’ So I smashed my own record by a minute.”
From Kate Winslet’s recent interview in @THR: “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff.” pic.twitter.com/ZYAmZdNgHS
— Avatar (@officialavatar) October 26, 2020