Kate Winslet would like to use the occasion of Titanic's re-release Wednesday — an event she welcomes even though she says it's "profoundly weird" — to clarify some of the lore about the 1997 blockbuster that has trailed her like a wayward dinghy.
Articles that appeared when the epic romance originally opened described the British actress as having waged an aggressive campaign, flooding the filmmaker with phone calls and letters until he relented.
INTERACTIVE: Four actors return to 'Titanic'
Not so, she says from London, where the 3-D version had its premiere last week.
"I wouldn't do that," Winslet, 36, insists. "It's not my style."
She does, however, own up to sending Cameron a bouquet of roses with a note signed "From Your Rose" three days after her audition in Los Angeles. "Jim took a risk in casting me," she says. "A lot of my contemporaries —Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow,Winona Ryder— were much more likely candidates. I got lucky."
Meanwhile, Cameron feels he was the lucky one to have found the perfect Rose.
"Kate had a powerful intelligence and strength of personality," he says. "And a vulnerability. People have a glossy memory about the film, but her character is at the brink of suicide at one point. I knew whoever I cast would have to carry the movie on her shoulders, although Kate did feel a bit lost and overwhelmed by the magnitude."
Winslet also brushes aside any disparaging remarks she made about Cameron's temperament during the grueling shoot.
"A lot of it was blown out of proportion," she says. "Jim Cameron is a feisty man and a perfectionist but also absolutely brilliant. I'm not going to pretend it was easy for any of us. The reality is, nothing has been harder since then. It was an extreme version of moviemaking."
Still, she is delighted to relive the experience again on the big screen, seeing it for only the third time: "I saw it twice 15 years ago. I don't own copies of my own movies." Fans will be glad to hear that she and DiCaprio, 37, have stayed close, even though his work on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained kept him from joining her in London.
"That is the only reason for him not being here — and not being here for me," Winslet says. "We really do talk a lot on the phone about life, love and work. I can't imagine not having that."