'Avatar 2': Kate Winslet has smashed Tom Cruise's underwater filming record

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·3-min read
Kate Winslet on the set of Avatar 2 (Credit: Jon Landau/Instagram)
Kate Winslet on the set of Avatar 2 (Credit: Jon Landau/Instagram)

Back in 2011, Tom Cruise did a pretty decent job of holding his breath for underwater scenes in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Cruise, who apparently likes to do his own stunts - who knew? - plunges into a whirlpool, before staying submerged for a perfectly respectable six minutes.

He was trained by a military free-diving expert on the set of the movie, and performed the underwater rescue scene with aplomb.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Credit: Paramount)
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Credit: Paramount)

But coming after him is Kate Winslet, who has smashed his record on the set of Avatar 2.

Winslet managed a staggering seven minutes and 14 seconds underwater during her scenes for James Cameron's anticipated sequel.

Read more: James Cameron confirms end of Avatar 2 shoot

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, she said: “It's so funny because I don't really read reviews or media things. I'm not on Instagram, like I'm just completely disconnected from that part of my life.

Watch: Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in the Ammonite trailer

“So all of this week and the week before, I've had people coming up to me at work saying, 'Oh my God, like seven minutes and 14 seconds? Like, what?!' And I'm going, 'What? Hang on, wait a minute. How do you know that?'

“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.

Read more: Weaver joins Justin Long on set of Avatar sequels

“We're very, very lucky as actors that often we have to learn a whole new skill.”

It’s a pretty seriously impressive feat from both Winslet and Cruise.

For some context, the current breath-holding record is held by Croatian diver Budimir Šobat, who held his breath underwater for 24 minutes, 11 seconds in 2018, though this was achieved with the use of pure oxygen being breathed for 30 minutes before the attempt.

Serbian diver Branko Petrović holds the non-oxygen assisted record, set at 11 minutes, 54 seconds, rather nearer both Winslet and Cruise’s efforts.

Producer Jon Landau revealed some on-set shots of Winslet doing her underwater filming just a few weeks back.

Though she's clearly not revealing too much about what and who her character is, we do have some limited information.

She plays Ronal in the movie, a free diver of the Metkayina tribe, a clan of 'reef people', allied to the Na'vi, the tribe of Zoe Saldana's character Neytiri.

Sigourney Weaver is also taking to the depths for the movie, reprising her role as Dr. Grace Augustine, who sides with the Na’vi in the first movie, but dies.

How she’s being brought back has not been revealed, but like Winslet, the Aliens actress also performed her own underwater stunts.

After countless previous delays, filming of the movie was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, though it recommenced in June, with Cameron and Landau arriving back in Wellington, New Zealand.

Live-action filming wrapped in September, with Avatar 2 finished plus 95% of Avatar 3 too.

With post-production work now on-going, the movie will land on 16 December, 2022.

Watch: Sigourney Weaver refused a diving double on Avatar 2