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Kate Winslet's Titanic Kiss With Leonardo DiCaprio Was An Absolute Mess

>Decades after its relase, James Cameron's historical epic "Titanic" is still one of the moved beloved blockbusters of all time — particularly thanks to its ability to combine enormous action setpieces with a heartfelt, swoony love story. According to Kate Winslet, not every part of the on-screen romance was particularly romantic on set ... especially the kiss her character Rose shares with Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack while they're gazing at the Atlantic Ocean from the bow of the massive, doomed ship.

During a career retrospective video with Vanity Fair where Winslet rewatched pivotal scenes from some of her biggest projects, Winslet watched the scene and question and joked, "My God, he's quite the romancer, isn't he? No wonder every young girl in the world wanted to be kissed by Leonardo DiCaprio." Then, she revealed something unexpected: "It was not all it's cracked up to be."

Why? It was partly due to their makeup, which was apparently in totally different shades and kept transferring between the two. "We kept doing this kiss, and I've got a lot of pale makeup on and I would have to do our makeup checks — on both of us, between takes — and I would end up looking as though I'd been sucking a caramel chocolate bar after each take because his makeup would come off on me," Winslet said, laughing. Making matters worse, DiCaprio would end up with some of Winslet's extremely light makeup on his face, which make it look like "there was a bit missing from his face," in Winslet's words. "Oh God, it was such a mess," the Oscar and Emmy-winning actress said.

Between the lighting and the makeup, Kate Winslet says filming her kiss with Leonardo DiCaprio was disastrous

Apparently, the makeup wasn't the only issue during the big kiss scene between Jack and Rose on "Titanic;" Kate Winslet says there were other ridiculous factors at play. "Leo couldn't stop laughing, and we had to reshoot this about four times because [director James Cameron] wanted a very specific light for this, obviously, and the sunsets kept changing where we were," she said, laughing about how difficult it was to create one of the movie's most recognizable and iconic scenes.

Adding to that, the "bow" where the scene takes place was, as Winslet explained, separate from larger parts of the set, so even getting there was a problem: "This was a section of the ship, it wasn't part of the actual whole ship set that we had. We had to climb up a ladder to get to it. Hair and makeup couldn't reach us. Now, what you wouldn't know because Leo looks completely natural but he had to lie on sunbeds and there's a lot of fake tan makeup going on."

Presumably trying to be helpful during an extraordinarily difficult shoot, Winslet said that she kept supplies hidden throughout her dress, including "[DiCaprio's] makeup and brushes and sponge and my makeup and brushes and sponge." The actress recalled that "between takes, I was basically redoing our makeup," which she called "quite funny."

Kate Winslet is proud that Titanic has stood the test of time

Despite the absolutely wild difficulties Kate Winslet experienced filming just the first kiss with Jack and Rose — to say nothing of the other bizarre things that happened on the set of "Titanic," like the PCP-spiked clam chowder that took everybody out of commission for a minute — Winslet is extraordinarily proud of the film, which cemented her lifelong friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio and made her a star. "I do feel very proud of it, because I feel that it is that film that just keeps giving," Winslet said in the video. "Whole other generations of people are discovering the film or seeing it for the first time, and there's something extraordinary about that."

Whether you're a "Titanic" skeptic or it's one of your favorite movies, it's an undeniable fact that the film is a pop culture mainstay — as of this writing, its 11 Oscar wins are only tied by "Ben Hur" and "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King." The movie won best picture at the 1998 ceremony and also scored a trophy for director James Cameron (who infamously accepted his award by brandishing his Oscar and quoting the film, yelling, "I'm king of the world!"), and it clearly stands the test of time. Speaking of that lifelong friendship, though, it's a heartwarming legacy that, after starring in "Titanic," Winslet and DiCaprio have remained close friends ... which they still are to this day.

Years after making Titanic, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are still close friends

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have — quite publicly, to be frank — remained close friends since they worked on "Titanic" together, and even reunited in 2008 to play another doomed couple in "Revolutionary Road" (which won Winslet one of her many Golden Globes for her performance as a disenchanted suburban housewife). During DiCaprio's awards season circuit that led to his long-overdue Oscar win in 2016 for "The Revenant," Winslet was frequently on hand to accompany him to various awards shows, and whether or not she was even his date, she was always loudly cheering for him from the audience (and was visibly near tears during his Oscars acceptance speech). 

Winslet and DiCaprio have both spoken about their friendship many times over the years, and Winslet opened up about their relationship most recently with Entertainment Tonight for the film's 25th anniversary in 2023. "We connected on so many levels," Winslet said in an exclusive interview. "That sense of focus on the craft and still really caring deeply about that to this day." Beyond that, Winslet told the outlet that the two are extremely good at keeping in touch despite busy shooting schedules in that when they realize they should reconnect, it happens immediately: "And we'll always just make that call right away. There's no like, 'Hang on, I'll call you tomorrow.' It's instant. And that's actually really something."

"You know, if you think about it, in the world that we live in now, to have friendships that bind you, and that shared history, it's really something," Winslet said of the pair. Clearly, filming that ridiculous kiss scene bonded them for life.

"Titanic" is available to stream on Paramount+.