Titanic duo DiCaprio and Winslet sail again
LOS ANGELES - THAT pesky iceberg kept Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from growing into an old married couple in Titanic.
They finally get to test-drive a long-term relationship in Revolutionary Road, and the two close friends really nail the whole love-and-marriage thing.
Lies. Distrust. Infidelity. Titanic shouting matches to rival George and Martha's in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? After playing new lovers in a doomed romance aboard Titanic, DiCaprio and Winslet had a great time tearing into each other as spouses in a sinking relationship in Revolutionary Road.
'We very much took advantage of our friendship and our relationship for this film,' DiCaprio said in an interview alongside Winslet. 'When I read the script, I thought, look at these scenes, and I'm imagining Kate doing it with me and being able to push each other as much as we possibly could.
'That gave me immediately a desire to say, 'OK, I can't wait for these sequences to start. I'm really going to give it to her, she's really going to give it to me.' And I know the fact that she's such a good friend of mine, we know each other so well, we know that we could push those boundaries, because we intrinsically know we have the best intentions for each other. So there's no weird, hidden ego.
'There's no hidden anything. It's two people just trying to do their best and just pushing each other.'
Revolutionary Road casts DiCaprio, 34, and Winslet, 33, as Frank and April Wheeler, a couple suffocating amid the blandness of 1950s American suburbia who hope to resurrect their crumbling marriage by moving to Paris with their children.
Directed by Winslet's husband, Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road calls on the actors to quarrel savagely right from the film's opening moments.
It was an interesting challenge for Winslet and DiCaprio, who became close chums on the arduous Titanic shoot and cannot recall ever raising their voices to each other.
'People would say, 'Oh my gosh, you guys are such good friends. Did you ever, like, fight?' And we really would have to stop and think about it and realise that we hadn't,' Winslet said.
After 1997's Titanic, the biggest modern blockbuster with US$1.8 billion (S$2.6 billion) at the box office worldwide, Winslet and DiCaprio knew they had to choose carefully if they were going to pair off again on-screen.
'We couldn't not realise that the elephant in the room was that we had done this film Titanic, which happened to be the most successful movie of all time,' DiCaprio said. 'To try to recreate anything close to that would be a mistake. It's important for me and for both of us to not make it look like we want to become sort of a couple that revisits things.'
In a haughty British accent, he jokingly added: 'Well, they enjoyed that first performance, let's give it to them one more time, darling. Just like the old days.'
Although both felt it was just a matter of time before they teamed up again, it took 11 years before they were back on-set together.
'As the years were going by, the idea of working together again, I was craving it more and more,' Winslet said. 'Very selfishly, I felt it has to be the right thing, because I want to be on the set with him every day. I want to spend as much time with him as possible. It wasn't about equal roles, even. It was, I want to bleed that experience dry. I really do, because I know what's there to be had, and anything less than that wouldn't have seemed as special.'
For all the rewards Titanic brought, Winslet got an Oscar nomination, DiCaprio didn't. They hope Revolutionary Road might change that.
DiCaprio said he liked the idea of both scoring Oscar nominations this time because 'I'd just like to hang out with her.'
'I feel the same way,' Winslet said. 'I feel I couldn't have played April without Leo. I absolutely couldn't have done it. So it would feel extremely strange if I was there without him. It just wouldn't make sense somehow.'
Winslet has five past Oscar nominations; DiCaprio has been nominated three times.
With an acclaimed performance in the Holocaust-themed drama The Reader, Winslet also has a shot at a supporting-actress nomination this season.
If she got two nominations and lost both, Winslet would become the Oscar record-holder among actresses for most nominations without a win. Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter now have the record with six nominations each and no wins.
Among actors, Peter O'Toole has had eight nominations without winning, while Richard Burton had seven without a win.
Winslet bluntly acknowledges that she wants an Oscar.
'I can't deny it would mean a huge deal. Whether that's going to happen ever in my life, of course, remains to be seen,' said Winslet, who also shrugs off the prospect of becoming the all-time also-ran among actresses at the Oscars.
'I'm a very good loser. I've actually got it down, I think. I have a formula I could sell,' Winslet said. 'I'm 33 years old, for God's sake. I've been there five times before. It's been incredible every single time, and I'm nothing other than just genuinely amazed and truly, truly grateful to have had those moments in my life.'
DiCaprio wants more for his co-star, though, answering candidly about whether Winslet should take home an Oscar.
'Absolutely,' DiCaprio said. 'Long overdue.'
'Ditto,' Winslet said of DiCaprio. 'Dit-to.' -- AP
[I'm not a fan of Leonardo. I didn't watch Titanic. And I really don't care much about either person. But I do like to read about nice things. And this is a nice story to come out of Hollywood. People who respect and love each other. This is a good story. ]