Titanic star Frances Fisher reveals painful film’s tight corsets took on actors’ bodies

Titanic star Frances Fisher has revealed that the film’s intricate corsets were so tight that the actors couldn’t “breathe properly or lean back”.

The 70-year-old actress, who played Ruth Dewitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet’s character Rose, said the corsets in the film, which is set in 1912, meant filming became a struggle after long stretches, when of a frank conversation with Vulture.

She said: “Having the corset completely changes your breathing style and your posture.

Iconic: Titanic star Frances Fisher revealed the film's intricate corsets were so tight the actors couldn't

Iconic: Titanic star Frances Fisher has revealed the film’s intricate corsets were so tight that actors couldn’t ‘breathe properly or lean back’ (pictured with Kate Winslet in the 1997 film)

“No one could breathe properly. There weren’t many places where you could rest. Sitting down was difficult. It would sink into your body and you couldn’t lean back.

“The proportions were incorrect. So we waited a lot. Women would only experience a break between takes. Kathy [Bates]Kate and I would be like, “Okay, are you ready to go back to the locker room and relieve ourselves? @

She added that the actors were provided with “resting boards”, but due to their hats and hairstyles, they could not use them.

Frances said that due to the size of the dresses, the actresses could not fit in the portable potties on set, so they had to be taken back to their dressing rooms in a flatbed truck.

Suffering for their artistry: The 70-year-old actress, who played Ruth Dewitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet's character Rose, said the corsets in the film, which is set in 1912, meant filming became a struggle after long periods.

Suffering for their artistry: The 70-year-old actress, who played Ruth Dewitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet’s character Rose, said the corsets in the film, which is set in 1912, meant filming became a struggle after long periods.

She said: 'No one could breathe properly.  There weren't many places where you could rest.  Sitting down was difficult.  It would sink into your body and you couldn't lean back'

She said: ‘No one could breathe properly. There weren’t many places where you could rest. Sitting down was difficult. It would dig into your body and you couldn’t lean back ‘

The interview comes after Titanic director James Cameron revealed he conducted a scientific study to finally end the debate over whether Leonardo DiCaprio’s character could have made it out alive – with the process documented in a television special.

The iconic dramatic scene sees Jack and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) struggling in the freezing waters after the ship sinks. They attempt to climb over a piece of debris in the freezing cold of the North Atlantic.

It seems there’s only room for one on the door, so Jack Dawson sacrifices his place for Rose. He ends up freezing to death in the water, while Rose survives, has a family, and lives to be an old woman, as Jack wanted.

Titanic debate: This comes after director James Cameron once again weighed in on the debate over the film's gate and said Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio)

Titanic debate: This comes after director James Cameron once again weighed in on the debate over the film’s gate and said Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) ‘had to die’

Cameron, 68, who has frequently denied claims that Jack may have survived, told the Toronto Sun he conducted the ‘forensic study’ in the hope that he ‘won’t have to do any more in the face of speculation after 25 years”.

He said: “We conducted a scientific study to put all of this to rest and drive a stake through his heart once and for all. We’ve since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who replicated the raft from the movie and we’ll be doing a little special on it which will be released in February.

“We took two stunt men who had the same body mass as Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see if they could have survived through a variety of methods and the answer was that there was no way they both survived. Only one could survive

‘[Jack] needed to die. It’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s a film about love, sacrifice and mortality. Love is measured by sacrifice… Maybe after 25 years, I won’t have to deal with that anymore.

Sorted: Cameron has revealed he conducted a scientific study to finally end the debate over whether Leonardo DiCaprio's character could have made it out alive - with the process documented in a TV special

Sorted: Cameron has revealed he conducted a scientific study to finally end the debate over whether Leonardo DiCaprio’s character could have made it out alive – with the process documented in a TV special

The ending of Titanic has caused a storm of protest among viewers since its release, with many fans trying to disprove that only Rose could have survived – insisting there was plenty of room at the door for Jack.

In 2017, in an interview with The Daily Beast, the Oscar-winning filmmaker explained how Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack, had to die in the end and how no episode of Mythbusters can convince him otherwise.

The Canadian director seemed puzzled that so many people had spent time trying to demystify the tragic end of Titanic.

“Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack leaves the board and gives her his place so she can survive.’ It’s so simple. You can do all the post-analysis you want.

The director knows best: Cameron, 68, who has often denied claims that Jack could have survived, told the Toronto Sun he led

The director knows best: Cameron, 68, who has often denied claims that Jack might have survived, told the Toronto Sun he conducted the ‘forensic study’ in the hope that he ‘n ‘will no longer have to deal with speculation after 25 years’ (photo 1997(

There was even an episode of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters that described various ways Jack could have been saved. Cameron actually joined the team of scientists to test their theories, but the director just wasn’t buying it.

He broke down the facts in a very scientific way, explaining:

‘OK, so let’s really play this: you’re Jack, you’re in 28 degree water, your brain is starting to suffer from hypothermia, Mythbusters is now asking you to take off your life jacket, take off his, swim underneath this thing, tie it up so it won’t wash off just two minutes later’

James continued: ‘[That] means you’re underwater tying this thing up in 28 degree water, and it’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up, you’re already dead.

Only one: Cameron said: We took two stunt men who had the same body mass as Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over and inside of them and we put them in freezing water. Only one was able to survive)

Only one: Cameron said: We took two stunt men who had the same body mass as Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over and inside of them and we put them in freezing water. Only one could survive)

‘Then it wouldn’t work. His best bet was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get shot by a boat or something before he died.

The Avatar director, however, has no bitter feelings for the myth-busting scientists, saying, “They’re fun guys and I loved doing this show with them, but [with this] they are full of shit.’

In 2019, the director weighed in again while speaking to BBC Radio 1 film critic Ari Plumb,

James disagreed with the assessment, saying “that’s just stupid” and called it a “dumba**” argument.

In a previous interview with Vanity Fair, the director explained that Jack would have died in the film even if he had climbed on the door.

He said: “I think it’s kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later, but it shows that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to audiences that it hurts them to see him die.

James Cameron (left) and Kate Winslet (right) both say they think it would have been scientifically impossible for Jack to open the door with Rose

Reunited: The Oscar-winning actor reunited with Titanic star Kate Winslet last week

“If he had lived, the end of the film would have made no sense… the film is about death and separation; he had to die.

“So whether it was that or a chimney fell on him, he was going down.” It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physical reasons.

One person who thinks otherwise is the film’s leading lady, Kate.

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host jokingly brought up the famous scene with the actress, leading them to reenact it.

The Oscar-winning actor joked, “I put my hand up, let him go,” but insisted, “He should have tried harder to walk through that door.”

Titanic grossed over $2 billion worldwide when it was released. The February special will coincide with the release of a 4K restoration of Titanic which is set to open in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend 2023.

The 1997 film became one of the biggest box office hits of all time

Iconic: Titanic grossed over $2 billion worldwide when it was released. The February special will coincide with the release of a 4K restoration of Titanic which is set to open in theaters Valentine’s Day weekend 2023

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *