On the surface, there are not many comparisons to be made between Kate Winslet and Tom Cruise. The former is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation that’s won an Academy Award and scooped a further six nominations between 1996 and 2016, while her trophy cabinet also contains three BAFTAs, a Primetime Emmy, four Golden Globes, a Grammy and many more.
Cruise, meanwhile, has reigned as one of the world’s biggest movie stars for almost 35 years since Top Gun first rocketed him to the very top of the Hollywood A-list, and he’s maintained that position by starring in a series of box office blockbusters that have seen him indulge in an increasingly dangerous array of stunts that include scaling the world’s tallest building, clinging on to the side of a moving plane and most recently, driving a motorcycle off the side of a cliff and parachuting down to safety.
Winslet is hardly what you’d call an action hero, but the Titanic star did manage to snatch a record away from Cruise when she held her breath underwater for seven minutes while filming James Cameron’s Avatar 2. That marks the longest an actor has ever held their breath for a movie scene, handily eclipsing the six minutes that Cruise racked up on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
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In a recent interview, the 45 year-old unsurprisingly admitted that there were plenty of nerves to overcome when it came to heading down to the bottom of Avatar 2‘s massive underwater tank to shoot the scene in question, explaining:
“I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar. I was walking on the bottom of the tank. That’s a big ceremonial sequence with those huge heavy wings. That was quite scary. The thing is, when you can hold your breath for seven minutes, you become unafraid. Actually, strangely, I was able to rely on my own ability to hold my breath for that long. Somehow I was not afraid, at all.”
Kate Winslet may have stolen Tom Cruise’s record for holding her breath underwater, but the legendary action star is soon going to go one better than Cameron’s Avatar 2 and actually head into outer space to shoot a sci-fi movie of his own.