HER most famous sex scene involved steaming up a vintage car window with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Fast forward twenty-odd years and Kate Winslet again found herself involved in a raunchy moment in a vehicle.Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic - their characters have sex in the back of this vintage car on the shipCredit: Kobal Collection - Rex Features Kate now says she wishes she'd had an intimacy coach for some of the sex scenes she shot earlier in her careerCredit: Alamy
Only this time, the Oscar winner was watching two actresses getting it on while hiding in the boot...
The British beauty was filming the HBO series, Mare of Easttown, and offered to act as a chaperone in a racy scene between her onscreen daughter, played by Angourie Rice and another female actress.
She said: “There were no clothes coming off so no one thought to bring in an intimacy coordinator. I got the sense Angourie was nervous so I said I’m not going to leave the set.
“I ended up being in the boot of the car. There were two young actresses in the front seats and two absolute gentlemen, but two male camera operators in the car with them.
“It made them feel better to have that person to say, ‘Actually we’re going to cut now, is everyone feeling okay?’”
Awkward questions needed asking
Kate, 45, has had her fair share of erotic scenes, and she believes working with an intimacy coordinator – a person on set who choreographs and sets boundaries between actors in a sex scene – would have benefitted her.Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor in Bridgerton - intimacy coordinators worked on the show's sex scenes
She said: “In the past, I could have absolutely done with that friend really. Sometimes you need someone to say, ‘Can you ask him not to put his hand there?’ so it’s not you saying it, which can be pretty awkward.
“It might have made a difference to me over the years. Sometimes directors don’t feel comfortable communicating with actors about intimate scenes, even kissing.”
Her next big movie is Ammonite, due for release in April, in which Kate plays fossil hunter Mary Anning.
It has already caused controversy for inventing a lesbian storyline between Mary and her friend, Charlotte Muchison, a younger, married woman, played by Saoirse Ronan.Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet kiss in a scene from Ammonite, due out in AprilCredit: Alamy
Kate told journalist Samira Ahmed on the How I Found My Voice podcast that the pair had no need – or budget – for a go-between on set when they filmed two years ago.
She said: “We didn’t have an intimacy coordinator on Ammonite. At the beginning of 2019, they were only just becoming a thing.
“Ammonite was a low budget film, we didn’t have stunt doubles, we barely had a packed lunch.
"But Saoirse and I felt quite confident in what we wanted to do with the characters in terms of their emotional journey.
“We felt good about what we’d planned.”
Funniest moment of Kate's career
On the podcast, the Berkshire-born star also described for the first time the funniest moment in her career, and it involved her Titanic co-star and great friend, Leonardo DiCaprio.
It happened while the pair were filming a breakfast scene in the 2008 romance, Revolutionary Road, directed by her then-husband, Sam Mendes.Kate and Leo crossed paths again when they both starred in Revolutionary Road (2008)Credit: Handout
Leo, 46, fancied some chocolate so a member of the crew brought a bowl of mixed flavours but she compared what happened to Little Britain’s vomiting woman, played by David Walliams.
The mum-of-three said: “Leo suddenly puts this piece of chocolate in his mouth, spits it out, like in Little Britain when the vomit comes out, it was almost like that. He sprays chocolate all over the table, the floor.
“I’m cracking up laughing. It’s dribbling down his face, and he said, ‘That was horrific cherry!’
“It’s not that funny but we were in absolute hysterics, cracking up to the point we could no longer look each other in the eye.Kate says the funniest moment of her career came during the shootCredit: Handout
"Leo had to sit eight inches to the right so I could stare at a piece of tape below the camera and he stared at my earlobe.
“It was the funniest moment of my career, I don’t know if that makes me really sad or really amused by Leonardo DiCaprio eating chocolate.”
'There was room on that raft'
Kate, who started acting in a Sugar Puffs advert when she was 12, said the pair had a similarly good time together while filming Titanic.
Particularly when they were stuck in harnesses at the top of the sinking ship set when the mechanism to bring them down regularly failed.Kate and Leo's characters end up clinging to a raft in icy waters at the end of Titanic (1997)Credit: Kobal Collection - Shutterstock
She said: “No one could get to us for hours. We would make up songs, we would chat, we would unplug our radio mikes and have such a great time.
“It was at night, under the stars, just chatting away. If we hadn’t had that, we would have found the whole experience a lot harder. It was a very tough shoot, the hours were long.
“I’m deeply grateful for that camaraderie, it is quite unique and I got Leonardo DiCaprio to myself for seven-and-a-half months, it was fantastic.”
Kate jokes with Titanic’s director, James Cameron, about the one question everyone wants to ask about the movie: Why didn’t Jack get on the raft with Rose?
When podcast host Samira suggests there was plenty of room, Kate answered: “100 per cent, there was room on that raft. I don’t know what happened with that.James Cameron directing Kate and Leo - Kate says there was room on the raft for Jack to have survivedCredit: Alamy
“They must have done tests, that bit of wood, it just looked too big!”
When the film shot her to megastardom, Kate admits the overwhelming attention was unnerving.
She said: “I wasn’t ready to be famous, it didn’t fit.”
But coming from a family of struggling actors, the “last thing” she would do was complain.
She added: “It’s very hard to explain why you’re not liking it without sounding ungrateful.”
Cruel weight jibes
The parts came flooding in, which, while amazing, also caused her to strangely miss the audition process.
That part of the job is something she is now drilling into her 20-year-old actress daughter, Mia Threapleton.
She said: “I went from auditioning for parts to no longer having to audition ever again, straight offers at the age of 21, which is kind of crazy.Kate Winslet with Guy Pearce in Mare of Easttown, set for release on HBO in AprilCredit: AP:Associated Press
Kate said: “Auditions are where you learn a huge amount I say to my daughter, ‘Get in the room, keep going, auditions, auditions, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get the job, just get used to that feeling of walking in the door, get used to that feeling of being vulnerable and how to connect.”
Her high profile also brought a lot of unwanted scrutiny of her looks, particularly her figure, which she describes as damaging.
I do think we comment much more on what actresses look like than actors
Talking of a time when she was dubbed “weighty Katie,” she said: “It’s completely diabolical, disgraceful and harmful, and messed with my head, made me feel deeply insecure, paranoid, just really awful.
“I’ve only ever been a normal shape, it’s just that I wasn’t skinny and those were the days of skinny young waifish things. Because I wasn’t that, I was labelled as ‘curvy’ or ‘busty.’
“I don’t think we draw as much attention to leading actresses’ body shapes now, but I do think we comment much more on what actresses look like than actors.”
Pandemic premonition picture
When Covid-19 hit, Kate was one step ahead of the rest of us, thanks to her starring in the disaster film, Contagion.
The 2011 movie about a global pandemic was even mentioned by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said it had influenced his vaccine policy.Kate played an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in Contagion (2011), an eerily prescient film about a pandemicCredit: �Warner Bros / Supplied by LMK
While the rest of us only cottoned on to wearing face masks last summer, Kate’s research on the film led her to start wearing them a year ago.
She said: “When I was preparing for Contagion, I worked with epidemiologists and experts who were already knocking elbows.
“I’d go to shake their hand and they would not touch your hand.
“It did prepare me really well. I knew what a KN95 mask was long before the next person.
“I was wearing masks from February and walking down the streets in Philadelphia where I was working wearing a mask. People would stare at me like I was crazy.”
It doesn’t sound so crazy now.
Matt Hancock's love of Matt Damon film Contagion inspired Britain's covid vaccine rollout