Why Kate Winslet Made Sure Saoirse Ronan Shot Their Ammonite Sex Scene on Her Birthday

Once you reach a certain level of wealth as an actor, it can be hard to think of gifts to buy for your equally-wealthy friends. On the occasion of Saoirse Ronan’s birthday, she was gifted with a lovemaking scene with Kate Winslet in their upcoming movie Ammonite. Winslet revealed the reason behind her making sure the scene was scheduled on Ronan’s birthday.

“I just wanted [Saoirse] to have, frankly, a great memory in her film life, regardless of how the scene played out or the movie turned out. I knew that it would be [great] just because of the experience that we would share together. I knew that it would be very equal.”

Of course, birthday or not, filming a sex scene is usually quite an arduous task for actors, what with trying to get in the right mood while pretending not to notice the army of crewmembers standing a few feet away watching your every move. For their scene in Ammonite, Kate Winslet made sure the conditions surrounding her scene with Ronan were conducive to maximum comfort, by making sure the entire crew for the scene was female.

“We had a female boom operator who was actually six months pregnant. So, we were all quite focused on making sure that she had enough space because the room was quite small. I just could feel that Saoirse and I had the same ideas in terms of what we wanted to express in the scene. The emotional underpinning of the scene, the connection between these two women – which is, of course, more important than anything in any love scene. We were on the same page in terms of that.”

Ammonite is set in the 1840s, where self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning, played by Winslet, finds herself working in isolation along the Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. Once a famed discoverer, Anning is now destitute and forced to hunt for common fossils to sell to gullible tourists in order to support her ailing mother.

Enter a young tourist Roderick Murchison, played by James McArdle, along with his wife Charlotte, played by Saoirse Ronan. The latter is struggling with a personal tragedy. Anning is hired to keep Charlotte company, and while trying to keep her proud nature in check in a subservient position, Winslet’s character soon finds herself drawn to Charlotte, beginning a forbidden romance that threatens to tear their lives apart.

Early reviews for Ammonite have been quite positive after the film was screened at international film festivals. Predictably, the performances by Winslet and Ronan have been particularly praised, and many critics are already referring to Ronan as the next Kate Winslet.

Written and directed by Francis Lee, Ammonite features a lead cast consisting of Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones, James McArdle, Alec Sec&ăreanu, and Fiona Shaw. The movie is currently scheduled for release on November 13 in select theaters. It remains to be seen whether the film will be able to stick to that release date in the face of massive uncertainty with regards to the opening of cinema halls. This news was first reported at Entertainment Weekly.

Neeraj Chand

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