Kate Winslet: Choreographing ‘Ammonite’ Love Scenes with Saoirse Ronan Was a Career High

"I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on 'Ammonite,'" the Oscar winner says about her new film.
Kate Winslet in "Ammonite"
Kate Winslet in "Ammonite"

On the heels of yesterday’s trailer debut for Francis Lee’s “Ammonite” comes a THR cover story for the romance drama’s leading actress, Kate Winslet. The Oscar winner stars in “Ammonite” as real-life fossil hunter Marry Anning. Set in the 1840s, the movie follows Anning as she’s hired by a geologist to care for his grieving young wife (Saoirse Ronan). The friendship between the two women grows into romance. Winslet says the sex scenes in “Ammonite” are the ones she’s most proud of from her career because Lee entrusted her and co-star Ronan to choreograph the intimate moments themselves.

“Saoirse and I choreographed the scene ourselves,” Winslet told THR about one of the film’s explicit sex scenes. “It’s definitely not like eating a sandwich. I just think Saoirse and I, we just felt really safe. Francis was naturally very nervous. And I just said to him, ‘Listen, let us work it out.’ And we did. ‘We’ll start here. We’ll do this with the kissing, boobs, you go down there, then you do this, then you climb up here.’ I mean, we marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative. I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on ‘Ammonite.’ And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”

“Ammonite” is being released by Neon, the indie distributor that is coming off a historic run with Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite.” Neon dominated the Oscars in February with “Parasite” wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. Neon CEO Tom Quinn confirms to THR that the studio is positioning as its “Parasite”-level Oscar contender for the 2020-21 awards season.

“It’s clearly the film for us this fall and is something we’ve always planned on being an awards contender across multiple categories,” says Quinn said. “I think Kate is discovering new levels of what she can do as an actress with this role in a way that took our breath away.”

“Ammonite” is set to world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month and has already been named an official selection of the canceled Cannes and Telluride festivals. Neon is opening “Ammonite” in theaters November 13.

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