One of the classic scenes in James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic has led to decades of debate.
Ahead of the film’s 25th anniversary, Kate Winslet recently reflected on the moment where her character, Rose DeWitt Bukater, is afloat on a door as Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, sinks to his death, and also addressed the response she got from viewers regarding the memorable scene.
In Friday’s episode of the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, the Avatar: The Way of Water actress told Josh Horowitz that “Apparently I was too fat,” in reference to people commenting at the time that her character’s weight was the reason DiCaprio couldn’t get on the door.
“They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat,” she said. “If I could turn back the clock, I would have used my voice in a completely different way. … I would have said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, ‘Don’t you dare treat me like this. I’m a young woman, my body is changing, I’m figuring it out, I’m deeply insecure, I’m terrified, don’t make this any harder than it already is.’ That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say.”
Winslet has been public about being fat-shamed and bullied when she was growing up. In 2017, during a motivational speech to children in London, she said, “They called me Blubber.” She added that the scrutiny continued when she decided to pursue acting and that casting agents would tell her she wasn’t what they were looking for: “I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts.”
The actress, who won an Oscar for The Reader, told Josh Horowitz that she believes comments on bodies and how women look are “getting better,” but that “we’ve still got such a ways to go.”
“It’s such an irresponsible thing to do and it feeds directly into young women aspiring to ideas of perfection that don’t exist,” Winslet continued. “I just wish there weren’t quite so many comments on the physical form of actresses. … You know, bodies are bodies. Everyone’s beautiful however they are and whatever they came with, you know. It still drives me kind of crazy. I definitely think we can do better with that stuff.”
And in response to the frequently asked question regarding whether Jack could have squeezed onto the door in Titanic, the actress said, “Once and for all, he could have fit on that door but it would not have stayed afloat,” and that it was not a “sustainable idea.”
The film, which earned 11 Oscars and became the highest-grossing movie of all time to that point, hit theaters Dec. 19, 1997.