Fall Movie Preview, Action Stars

Kate Winslet is no stranger to a hostile filming environment. This is the woman whose most famous movie required her to lay on a wet, frozen door in the middle of a giant water tank for hours. Who had to swim more than any person should ever have to swim. Yet on October 6 we'll see her in her most physical (and physically demanding) role yet.

The Mountain Between Us is basically Hatchet meets The Grey meets The Revenant (minus that bear carcass, thankfully). It's the harrowing story of two complete strangers who survive a plane crash in rural Alaska and are forced to endure all the terrifying scenarios that come with trying to survive in a frozen wilderness in which no one knows you are even there. Winslet and costar Idris Elba are the only two people seen onscreen for the bulk of the film, save for the occasional uninvited wildlife.

And while this movie easily could have been made in front of a green screen, requiring little more of its actors than the occasional pretend shiver, the conditions that you see in the flick are all real. As Winslet told E! News at this year's Toronto International Film Fest, that prevented a myriad of struggles. There was, of course, the meticulous preparation, which included more layers than a person could fathomably conjure, as well as heat packs everywhere (even around one's kidneys). "You would have to get very good at layering," she joked.

Then there the altitude, which the actress admits she wasn't really prepared for.

"Moving at that speed, at altitude, through thick snow, burns your chest," she rehashed. "You have to use so much more energy and so much more breath because the air is so much thinner."

Then, finally, there was the cold. The constant unrelenting cold. The kind of cold that Titanic-era Kate Winslet probably never could have imagined. The elements even became so extreme that they had to halt filming because of a very painful toe-related emergency.

"There was one day when my heat pack wasn't working in my boots," Winslet explained. "So I got up there [to the mountain] and my toe just went completely numb. If you lose circulation in your fingers or toes, how the heck do you get the heat back when it's minus 30 degrees? Anyone who's lost circulation will know how it feels and it's horrific."

Even the moments of the movie that didn't require any strenuous exercise proved harrowing. Mountain begins with the aforementioned plane crash, which was another scene that played out in real time instead of with the luxury of CGI. Winslet pointed out that it was the only moment of the film that they truly rehearsed, but once she and Elba were in the plane the fear felt overwhelming.

"I was worried I was going to get injured," she said. "I thought, I'm going to throw my back out or hurt my neck. But actually we came out of it fairly unscathed."

All that action aside, there was one shooting experience that came easily to Kate: The, ahem, love scenes. Everyone knows that Kate Winslet is no stranger to an onscreen romance, so when the time came to film a steamy session--with a director who had never helmed a love scene and a costar who was far less experienced in that arena--she decided to take charge.

"Finally I was like, okay everyone, this is how it's gonna be!" she joked. "We're gonna shoot this first, you're gonna get that nice shot that shows the goods. We're gonna do it like this."

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