Kate Winslet Says She Has Video of Her 7-Minute Breath Hold for 'Avatar' : 'Have I Died?'

Kate Winslet says she "smashed my own record by a minute" when she dove underwater for seven minutes and 15 seconds

Kate Winslet attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty

Kate Winslet captured the moment she emerged from her seven-plus minutes-long breath hold for Avatar: The Way of Water on camera.

"I have the video of me surfacing saying, 'Am I dead, have I died?' And then going, 'What was [my time]?'" she told Total Film in a new interview published Tuesday.

"Straight away I wanted to know my time. And I couldn't believe it," Winslet, 47, added. "The next thing I say is, 'We need to radio set.' I wanted [director James Cameron] to know right away."

Winslet, who plays the Na'vi character Ronal in the long-awaited Avatar sequel, told the outlet that she only wound up attempting the seven-minute, 15-seconds long breath hold to break a record for the longest amount of time a person has held their breath for a movie that was previously held by Tom Cruise.

"Well, I didn't have to hold my breath for over seven minutes," Winslet explained. "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," she told the outlet. "And I was like, 'Come on!' So I smashed my own record by a minute."

(L-R): Ronal, Tonowari, and the Metkayina clan in 20th Century Studios' AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER.
20th Century Studios.

In October, Cameron, 68, called Winslet "a demon for prep" during an interview with The New York Times when he and The Way of Water's cast first revealed which actor from the ensemble could hold their breath underwater the longest.

"She latched onto the free diving as something that she could build her character around," the director said of Winslet.

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"Kate's character is someone who grew up underwater as an ocean-adapted Na'vi — they're so physically different from the forest Na'vi, that we'd almost classify them as a subspecies," Cameron added. "So she had to be utterly calm underwater, and it turned out that she was a natural."

Kate Winslet and James Cameron 'Avatar: The Way of Water' film photocall
James Veysey/Shutterstock

Speaking to Total Film on Tuesday, Winslet noted that "over half my lifetime" has passed since she and Cameron first worked together on 1997's Titanic and their reunion for The Way of Water.

"He's just a really different person. Hopefully, we both are," Winslet said when asked about the biggest difference in working with Cameron this time around. "A huge chunk of time has gone by – over half my lifetime. You know, people say it was 25 years since Titanic. It's not! It's 27 years for us, you know, I turned 21 on that film, I'm 47."

"I think we were both able to bring different creative things into this experience," Winslet added to the outlet. "And it was really lovely working with him again."

Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters Dec. 16.

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