Skip to main content

Actors Kate Winslet and Idris Elba collaborated for the first time for the 2017 feature Mountain Between Us. But while working together, Winslet and Elba found themselves communicating with each other the way a real couple would.

Idris Elba shared what it was like working with Kate Winslet in ‘The Mountain Between Us’

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba pose in the winners room at the EE British Academy Film Awards.
Idris Elba and Kate Winslet | Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Mountain Between Us was a 2017 romance film starring both Elba and Winslet as a stranded couple trying to survive cold climates. Although the film was fictional, the environmental conditions were very real according to Elba.

“I won’t say it was tough,” Elba once told The Sydney Morning Herald. “But it was hard work. It was very cold and very taxing on your body.”

Elba would also be working with Winslet for the first time. Her experience with romance films would help The Wire alum adjust to a genre he wasn’t as accustomed to being in.

“Kate has done romantic films before – and her approach was really interesting,” he said. “Because I said: ‘Listen, I really want to get into this and I hope you don’t mind if we spend a lot of time together.’ And she said: ‘Yes! That’s the way to do it, otherwise it just came across fake!'” 

This was enlightening for Elba, as Winslet’s approach had them both simulating an actual relationship.

“And that was a good process. We had a relationship – I don’t mean in the sense that we had a real relationship, but we went through the beats of a relationship. We had to share decisions about scenes in a way that a couple would make a decision about how to buy a sofa for the flat,” he said. “Her and I have real memories of being really freezing in eight feet of snow and going ‘f*** me, we’ve got to do another take.’ It’s a very real experience.”

Kate Winslet joked that Idris Elba probably got sick of her after seeing her so much

Winslet found shooting Mountain Between Us just as challenging as Elba did. But the difficulty that came with filming didn’t take away from the fun she had doing the movie. Especially when she got to enjoy the scenery the film was shot in.

“As hard as it was, as scary as it was, I really did love it,” she said in a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “It was quite frightening, but amazing at the same time because of how spectacularly beautiful it was.”

As far as working with Elba, Winslet asserted that she and the Beast star had very different approaches to acting.

 “We do work in quite different ways, Idris and I,” she said. “Idris likes to keep everything extremely loose and do quite a bit of improvising, which I’m all in favor of as well, but I had just come off Wonder Wheel so I had been learning reams and reams of dialogue. It’s quite good for me to experience absorbing a different process.” 

Although Winslet seemed to enjoy working with Elba, she wondered if the feeling was mutual.

 “I mean, I’m sure he was sick of the sight of me at the end of the shoot,” she said.

Kate Winslet wondered if fans would compare ‘Mountain Between Us’ to ‘Titanic’


Michael K. Williams Used to Make Idris Elba Nervous on ‘The Wire’

Winslet wasn’t a stranger to starring in romance films that ended in disaster. Her career breakthrough, Titanic, was the biggest romantic disaster of all time based on box-office recordsMountain Between Us had a similar theme to it, but she asserted that the two films couldn’t be any more different. Ironically, Mountain Between Us debuted on the 20th anniversary of Titanic. And Winslet wondered if others might see a link between the two that wasn’t there.

“I’m realizing now, as I’m talking about this film, people are going to want to compare it to Titanic. Actually, they are so wildly different,” she said.