Actress says Winslet called her about joining the lesbian romance shortly after she filmed a scene on ice with Timothée Chalamet.

By Joey Nolfi
September 13, 2020 at 02:47 PM EDT
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Saoirse Ronan will never let go of the moment Titanic, Timothée Chalamet, and Kate Winslet collided on the set of Greta Gerwig's Little Women.

During a virtual presentation Sunday afternoon at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, the 26-year-old actress revealed Winslet — her costar in Francis Lee's moving lesbian romance Ammonite — phoned her about working on the project shortly after she and Chalamet finished shooting an icy Little Women scene atop a frozen pond, which reminded her of Winslet's cold-weather romance with Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster.

"She was a real supporter of me doing it, so she was behind me from the get-go, which was brilliant. We talked a couple of times on the phone, because I was doing Little Women around the time I was talking to Francis about the film," Ronan recalled. "Actually I had just done a scene with Timothée on the ice, swinging each other around. I was like, 'This is our Titanic moment!' and then Kate called. It's Rose!"

Ronan says she and Winslet "got on straight away" after having previously gotten to know each other doing promotion for respective projects on various awards trails over the years, but that their bond was cemented over a shared respect and passion for the delicate 1840s period piece about two women — Winslet's Mary Anning, a reclusive paleontologist, and Ronan's Charlotte Murchison, a grieving mother whose husband leaves her in Anning's care — who fall in love on the shores of Southern England.

"I think a big part of that is because she's very personable, friendly, and open," Ronan explained. "We were really lucky. Two women getting to come together, especially in the intimate scenes, being able to choreography that ourselves was a new experience for me. It was great to be able to do that with Kate."

She also speculated that the fossils used in the film, particularly the titular relic, encapsulates the characters' fiery courtship because "it takes so much time, care, and patience to find the beauty and strength of something, and that's what these women do for one another."

Ammonite, which debuted Friday to positive reviews out of TIFF, is slated for theatrical release on Nov. 13 via NEON.

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