Kate Winslet Broke Tom Cruise’s Underwater Record With Avatar Stunt

The queens are coming for Tom Cruise’s crown as the ultimate action movie star. At least, as far as underwater stunts go.
Kate Winslet shoots scene for Avatar, was reportedly able to hold her breath for 7 minutes and 14 seconds 4 photos
Sigourney Weaver does her own stunts for the four upcoming Avatar sequelsSigourney Weaver does her own stunts for the four upcoming Avatar sequelsSigourney Weaver does her own stunts for the four upcoming Avatar sequels
Tom Cruise is the go-to guy in Hollywood when you’re looking for a megastar who can both carry a multi-million action movie, and deliver a big chunk of the stunts himself. In fact, in recent years, he’s been able to promote all his movies solely based on his ability to do a variety of stunts, from driving all sorts of cars to riding motorcycles, climbing buildings, doing HALO jumps and leaping from building to building and, most recently, BASE jumping off a mountain cliff while riding a bike.

Until just recently, Cruise also held the record for longest time to hold his breath for an underwater scene: six minutes in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. That record now belongs to Kate Winslet (unofficially so), thanks to her work on the upcoming two Avatar sequels, under the helm of James Cameron: seven minutes and 14 seconds.

ET Online got a hold of Kate while she’s out promoting another movie and she feigned surprise that people knew of her feat, even though she was the one to tell them about it in a previous interview. That said, she accepted the praise with humility, saying, “It was brilliant and I was very proud of myself and I'll probably never be able to do it again. That came at the end of four weeks’ worth of quite intense training and it was in the dive tank, it was in the training tank. But I loved it.”

Sigourney Weaver, another female actor on the Avatar cast, also talked about the intense training she underwent in order to be able to shoot Pandora underwater scenes. Presumably, Winslet’s training was similar, with elite military divers.

As Winslet notes, shooting took place in a tank, with the actors wearing weights around their waist, in order to get to the bottom quicker. They would then shoot as much of a scene as they could (the longer they could hold their breath, the better in terms of getting more of the scene done), and would be rushed to the surface by divers for air, before submerging again.

As for how Tom Cruise must be feeling to have this record taken from him, he’s out there training to shoot a movie in space and become the first actor to ever do so. It’s probably nothing to him.

Editor's note: Pictured in the gallery, Sigourney Weaver doing a similar underwater stunt for the Avatar sequels.


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