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‘Avatar’ sequel star Kate Winslet on beating Tom Cruise’s record by holding her breath for more than 7 minutes

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20th Century Studios

When Tom Cruise set a personal record for holding his breath underwater for six minutes while filming Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, most thought besting that feat would an impossible mission of its own. 

Enter Kate Winslet. The multiple Oscar winner not only beat Cruise, but bested her own record while filming Avatar: The Way of Water, for which she held her breath for a dizzying 7 minutes, 15 seconds.

The cast had to undergo specialized training to film underwater for the movie, which opens Friday — and the Titanic star knocked it out of the pool.

At a recent press event, Winslet and company had a laugh about the notion that none of the cast thought the breath-holding was a competition, because of course they did. 

“When I surfaced — I actually have a video of when I surface from that breath hold. And the only reason I have it is because my husband snuck in,” she said of Edward “Ned” Smith.

“And I knew that day that [the trainer] Kirk had said to me, ‘We’re going to go for another one today, Kate.’ And I said to Ned, ‘No, look, please don’t come because I just don’t want you, like, videoing, and I’ll just feel pressure. Just please don’t be there.’ He snuck in, and I have the video of me surfacing saying, ‘Am I dead? Am I dead? Have I died?’ And then going, ‘What was it?’ Straight away, I wanted to know my time.”

“I couldn’t believe it was 7:15,” Winslet continues, as the cast and director James Cameron cheered. “But having been told … do you know the first thing I say is? ‘We need to radio set.’ I wanted Jim to know,” to which Cameron laughed, “Not competitive at all!”

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