Over the last 25 years, Titanic is still one of the most discussed movies. Whether it's about Leo and Kate's iconic chemistry, the sheer scope of the film, or the infamous door debate.
Of course, the door debate refers to the very end of the film, when Rose and Jack (DiCaprio) manage to make it off the sinking ship together by jumping into the freezing water. With Rose lying on a wooden door, Jack ultimately dies of hypothermia in the water.
It's a plot point that has caused so much debate among fans about whether or not Jack could've fit on the wooden door and survived alongside Rose. In fact, it's such a conversation that James Cameron just revealed he commissioned a scientific study to settle the long-running argument.
"We took two stunt people who were the same body mass of Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived through a variety of methods and the answer was, there was no way they both could have survived," James said. "Only one could survive."
While the Titanic door conversation has remained a fun topic for film fans to debate over the years, Kate revealed that people were pretty mean to her about it following the movie's release in 1997.
In an interview on the Happy Sad Confusedpodcast with Josh Horowitz, Kate discussed the famous door scene, what it was like right after Titanic's release, and how she was suddenly one of the most recognizable actors.
"I actually don't believe we would've survived if we had both gotten on that door," Kate said. "I think that he could've fit, but it would have tipped. It would not have been a sustainable idea."
Kate explained that, at the time, there were several toxic fans and even journalists who commented on her weight being the reason Jack ends up dying and not getting on the door, which is absolutely awful.
"Apparently, I was too fat," she said. "Why were they so mean to me? They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat. If I could turn back the clock, I would've used my voice in a completely different way."
She continued, saying, "I would have absolutely said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, 'Don’t you dare treat me like this. I'm a young woman, my body is changing, I'm figuring it out, I'm deeply insecure, I'm terrified, don't make this any harder than it already is.' That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say."
In fact, just this year, Kate told the Sunday Times that she was told to settle for "fat girl" parts when she was in acting school, and her agent was even asked, "How's her weight?"
At the time of the release of Titanic, Kate was the subject of intense scrutiny as she became one of the biggest actors in the world practically overnight. What made the criticism even worse is that Leo wasn't subject to nearly as much of the same horrible treatment, thus calling out the double standards between men and women in the press.
"It was very scary to become that famous that quickly all of a sudden," Kate recalled on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "Truly, my life went from being able to just roam around, makeup free, go and buy a pint of milk and the newspaper and a loaf of bread from across the road, to suddenly that was an abnormal activity because I was literally surrounded by press just walking across the street. And I was so young."
Thinking about what it means to be a young actor today, Kate said that she "absolutely couldn't imagine it" given the presence of social media and how people's criticisms are even more front and center because of it.
Since the press storm surrounding Titanic, Kate has become an advocate for talking about women's bodies and shutting down body-shamers during her career. On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Kate also took the time to express her frustration with how women's bodies are still critiqued.
"This nonsense of commenting on bodies and how women look, it's getting better, but we still have such a ways to go," she said.
She mentioned how she hates when photos of women on the red carpet are described using terms like "cuts a fine figure" or "svelte." Kate continued, saying, "Don't even say it. We don't say that about the men."
"It's such an irresponsible thing to do and it feeds directly into young women aspiring to ideas of perfection that don't exist. Aspiring to have bodies that the press are saying that we have. It's for one night and one night only that we're in that damn dress."
Kate ended her conversation by saying, "Bodies are bodies. Everyone's beautiful. However they are and whatever they came with." ❤️
You can listen to Kate's full chat on the Happy Sad Confused podcast here.