Kate Winslet takes hard work to new heights in The Mountain Between Us
No special treatment for actors when shooting The Mountain Between Us in freezing temperatures
British actress Kate Winslet said her life changed course when she met her third husband, Ned Rocknroll.
"When I met Ned, I remember thinking, 'Okay, this is it. I have to go with you now.'I knew that my life had changed."
She made the same connection with her new movie, The Mountain Between Us, which opens here tomorrow.
Said the 42-year-old: "I know it is perfectly possible to experience something in your life and never be able to go back to the way your life was. I was captivated by the experiences these two characters share."
Winslet plays a photojournalist, Alex, who is stuck in Idaho on the eve of her wedding as her flight to New York is cancelled because of bad weather.
She charters a plane to Denver to catch a connection home from there and is joined by English actor Idris Elba's character, a neurosurgeon called Ben.
He has a critical operation to perform in New York.
En route to Denver, their pilot suffers a stroke and crashes the two-seater plane in the Uinta Mountains.
With no rescue in sight, the duo have to suffer terrifying hazards over unforgiving terrain, fighting the elements, wild life and time as they try to make their way back to civilisation.
In the process, they create a powerful connection that reshapes the course of their lives.
Said Winslet at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto: "When I first read the script, I loved the idea that these two characters would sustain an entire film from start to finish.
"I had never read a script like that before."
The film was shot on location in British Columbia, Canada, with only the crash scene shot in a studio set, so the process was hard on the actors.
"There were no hidden glamour warming tents for the actors. There was no special food up there for the actors," said Winslet.
"It was a committed workforce of people who had to get the job done and had to make sure we were safe. We became good at reading the other person's temperament because it was a hard job of endurance.
"There were some days when we would have given anything not to have stepped out of the car into minus 38 deg C at 5am. But you know what? Everyone else was doing it, and so you just get on with it."
She and Elba had to rely on each other.
"Idris and I, we discussed fully every scene. We work in fairly different ways. He is improvisational. He is not a big fan of rehearsing. My way is to prepare and make sure that we have the dialogue nailed down, but we just simply could not do that on this.
"We would find ourselves literally making it up as we went along. That meant the freezing cold was really freezing cold, and the reactions we had to a new situation were absolutely first-hand.
"It was different every day and, we had to be ready to roll with it. Some days were so cold that they did only one take of a scene and moved on."
Mr Rocknroll, 39, who is business magnate Richard Branson's nephew, was on the set to take care of her.
"Ned is Mr Safety. He is Mr Prepared. Underneath those gloves, I had battery-powered heated gloves, and underneath that scarf, I had a battery-powered heat scarf, all of which were given to me by Ned."
Said the Oscar winner: "Every night I would go home, he would unload my bag, he would plug in all my devices, charge up the batteries, recharge me.
"He would help pack my rucksack for the day... he would do the soup, he would do the Band-Aids, the battery packs, the warm packs, spare torch, and a spare battery for my phone, even though the phone didn't work up there."
It was the experience of a lifetime for Winslet.
"I loved being up there with the snow and cold, it was exhilarating. Scary as it was, it was extraordinarily beautiful.
"Every day I would think to myself, I want to share this with everyone I love because there is only a small number of the population of the world who ever gets to go up that high, and it was really special."
She became a big fan of director Hany Abu-Assad.
Said Winslet: "His capacity to be able to think about every department, think about every single person, take care of the actors, take care of his assistant directors, look out for the camera crew, know everybody by their first name, please, thank you, warmth, generosity.
"Hany was absolutely extraordinary, and the kindness, I cannot even begin to describe."
We had to talk about her good friend Leonardo DiCaprio from Titanic. Is there anything about him that we don't know?
"There are loads of things, but I am not going to tell you," Winslet said, laughing.
"But I will tell you one thing most people probably don't know. He is one of the most loyal people I have ever met. His morals and his loyalty are absolutely golden. They are just golden.
"A proper friend."