Leo and Kate: A Heart-warming Tale of True Hollywood Devotion

Social media melted with nostalgic pride at clips of Kate Winslet, DiCaprio\'s original maritime fling, watching her old friend sate his two-decade hunger for an Academy Award.

Published: 01st March 2016 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2016 01:14 PM   |  A+A-

Leonardo Di Caprio_Kate Winslet_AP

Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Kate Winslet arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. |AP

Leonardo DiCaprio enjoys meeting beautiful women on boats - anyone who has ever seen paparazzi photographs of the 41year-old in his spare time could tell you that. But despite the endless run of supermodels, actresses and socialites who have latched on to his arm on various vessels, only one (his mother aside) seems to have stayed the course. And she just happens to have been the first, too.

Yesterday, as Sunday night's action from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood was digested, social media melted with nostalgic pride at clips of Kate Winslet, DiCaprio's original maritime fling, watching her old friend sate his two-decade hunger for an Academy Award, with his performance as a post-watershed Ray Mears in the 19th-century survival epic The Revenant.

There was Leo, trussed up in a dinner jacket and reciting his speech with all the calm and poise of a man who has had half a lifetime to practise, when the camera deliberately cut to a tearful Kate (herself a nominee, losing to Alicia Vikander in the best supporting actress category).

Eyes fixed on stage, hands clasped in prayer, rocking back and forth: in another context, Winslet might have looked more like a deranged racehorse owner - but this was the Oscars, so any melodrama is forgiven.

As the footage circulated online, the internet ooh-ed and aah-ed with glee.

"LEO AND KATE ARE SO CUTE," one person calmly Tweeted. "They are the pinnacle of friendship goals," opined another. Thousands of similar messages followed. Forget the prizes, controversies, dresses and jokes the night threw up, for many viewers the highlight of the 88th Academy Awards was the enduring tale of a platonic friendship forged 19 years ago on the Titanic.

Both actors' careers could easily have sunk with James Cameron's epic story of that ill-fated cruise liner. Neither DiCaprio nor Winslet was an established lead when they were cast as Jack and Rose, so when Cameron's film ran well over budget and far beyond schedule, that lack of star power was one reason industry critics doubted its chances of success. More fool them: Titanic became the first movie to gross more than a billion dollars, and made the pair (then only 21 and 22 respectively) two of the most bankable actors in the world.

Looking at images of them together on the red carpet at the 1998 Oscars, they could scarcely seem further from the slick, seasoned professionals of 2016. DiCaprio has the air of a 12-year-old wearing his father's spare suit to a school ball; Winslet, in dark lipstick and black lace, looks more "tormented adolescent going through a Goth phase" than Hollywood star.

Still, that early success set them on course for impressive careers: both became critically acclaimed as well as box-office stars, and for a long time both were united in an inability to claim the biggest prize of all, despite regular awards nominations (including Golden Globe nods for Revolutionary Road in 2008, the first on-screen reunion since the mid-Atlantic).

Things didn't stay quite so steady in their personal lives - while Winslet married for the third time in 2012 (guess who walked her down the aisle?), DiCaprio continues his diligent quest to date every model on earth for at least an evening.

When Winslet eventually got her Oscar for The Reader in 2008, at her sixth time of trying, DiCaprio was there at the front, cheering loudly. On Sunday night, as he achieved his own dream, also sixth-time lucky, she did the same. Little wonder the world should feel warmed.

Floating selfishly on that Titanic door (which Jack could easily have squeezed onto), all those years ago, Rose might have reneged on her promise to not let go, but in real life, the pair never drifted apart. And now they've both finally made it to the Oscars hall of fame.


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