write the story without looking at the reason for it.’ he says. ‘We could send our remote vehicle inside to explore the interiors that have not been seen since the ship went down in l()l2. The film footage we have seen before has always been on the outside of the ship. It was not until I was on the third or fourth dive of twelve — each one took sixteen hours, there and back — that it hit me emotionally.‘
Cameron has always been known as a forceful personality on his film sets. but during the making of Titanic. he seems to have surpassed himself. Kate Winslet in particular has been openly critical of his methods. and Cameron himself — with hindsight — recognises his own shortcomings.
‘l try and set
a pace, to get the crew to jog with me rather than walk. It
is hard to keep that up and people get tired and tempers become frayed.’
‘I try and set a pace. to get the crew to jog with me rather than walk.‘ he says by way of apology. ‘I think when you lose energy, the whole set loses energy. The shoot was long. Arduous. It is hard to keep that tip and people get tired and tempers become frayed. I felt things were moving very slowly at times. and I do make tremendous demands on people. I became obsessed.‘
The cost of his obsessions hasn‘t only been on his professional standing with actors. Cameron admits his private life suffered too. ‘lt was the toughest of my films. and l have had to think hard about my life since. It has dominated around 95% of my waking time during the last three years. I have a five-year- old daughter. Josephine. who I have missed growing tip. I had a wonderful relationship with the actress Linda Hamilton. which has suffered considerably. We finally married three months ago and I am getting used to being around the house again with Josephine. So perhaps I can save myself in the next few months.‘
Despite what he says. Cameron still hasn't quite shaken the Titanic phenomenon. His quest to convince himself that his fictional recreation of events is true to life has left him with one all-consuming wish.
‘There is certainly something that happens to you when going to the ship.’ he says. his mind obviously several miles away at the bottom of the deep blue sea. ‘There is something traumatic. There are times when I watch the film when l shed tears over the knowledge of how frightening and powerful it was to be on board. In truth. ifl could go back in time. I am sick enough to want to go to the ship and see if we got it right.‘
General release from Fri 23 Jan.
Date of birth: 5 October 1975.
Screen debut: Frolicking With the Honey Monster in a Suga Puffs commercial, aged eleven.
Previous movies: Heaven/y Creatures, Sense And Sensibility, Jude, Hamlet.
0n Titanic: As the priViIedged Rose, who dumps her rich and overbearing fiance mid-voyage in favour of poor but talented artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), Winslet brings a feisty spirit of independence to the role of a period drama beauty.
Not everything went smoothly, however, and her criticisms of director James Cameron's working methods were Wider reported in America before the film's opening. Winslet’s list of complaints included a chipped elbow bone, severely bruised arms, a gash on her knee from slipping on deck, flu and hypothermia from being immersed in freezing water.
'I looked like a battered wde,’ she said. 'Nothing ever felt safe on the set. The water was so cold it made my heart flutter. You'd have to pay me a lot of money to work with James again. There were times when I was genumely frightened of him!
Winslet is now trying to break free from her period drama image, working With Scottish director Gillies Mackirinon in Morocco on an adaptation of Esther Freud’s novel Hideous Kinky. Her on-set jinx hasn’t been cured, however ~ she spent several days in hospital after falling prey to a tropical bug.
L J 23 Jan—S Feb 1998 THE usr 25