As far as entertainment’s gargantuan publicity machine is concerned, “Revolutionary Road” will be all about Leonardo DiCaprio’s onscreen reunion with “Titanic” co-star Kate Winslet.
And though he won’t swoon at the sight of their faces on the bigscreen like so many love-struck fans, DiCaprio was no less energized about working again with Winslet in the grounded terrain of “Road.”
“It’s set in the 1950s, when America was just starting to develop morally into what it would become, and here are two people dealing with their own identity, trying not to be cliches,” DiCaprio told the Times of London. “I knew that Kate and I could really get stuff out of each other, performancewise — that we could push each other’s buttons. It was exciting.”
Though it has been 11 years since DiCaprio and Winslet performed onscreen together, to hear Winslet tell it, the recoupling in “Road” (directed by Winslet’s real-life husband, Sam Mendes) practically happened overnight.
“I mentioned the script to Leo because we’d always have conversations about interesting things that either one of us has read, and we’ve just consistently done that over the years,” Winslet said in her recent interview with Vanity Fair. “When it became much more concrete with Sam’s involvement, the conversations really started, and then it all happened very quickly: He read it, loved it, and said, ‘Yes.’ And, I’m not kidding you, within three months we were on set and doing it.”
DiCaprio, a three-time Oscar nominee (most recently for 2006’s “Blood Diamond”), plays 1960s workforce soldier Frank Wheeler, the kind of guy who might aspire to something as off-the-wall as, say, a spot on the biggest boat ever to take the seas. Frank thinks big but is caught in the trap of living too small for his tastes.
Winslet’s April Wheeler becomes similarly discontented as Frank’s wife, and the onscreen combination benefits from the actors’ history together and ongoing friendship.
“We could see ourselves playing that married couple,” Winslet said. “The friendship that we have was something we would be able to use. There’s an emotional shorthand that Leo and I have because we’ve known each other so long.”
“Leo and I were always aware that if we were going to do something together again that there would be a sense of expectation. It was going to have to be the right thing.”
DiCaprio, for his part, isn’t the least bit concerned about “Road” having anywhere near the box office appeal that “Titanic” had.
“I’ll never reach that state of popularity again,” DiCaprio said, “and I’m not going to try.”
Coming attractions DiCaprio will reteam with director Martin Scorsese in “Shutter Island,” based on the Dennis Lehane novel. The film, which co-stars Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo, is set for release in October.