Near, far, wherever you are, you've probably heard that 1997's Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as new lovers on the doomed vessel is returning to theaters this weekend in 3-D. James Cameron's epic romantic disaster film became the highest-grossing movie of all time (until the director's own Avatar) and made huge stars out of its two young leads. Fifteen years after Titanic last sailed on-screen, the careers of both DiCaprio and Winslet are still very much afloat.
DiCaprio—who became a reluctant teen heartthrob because of Titanic—had a tougher time shaking the legions of screaming girls and being taken seriously as an actor (see The Beach, for which earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor). In Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio earned accolades for his performance as notorious con artist Frank Abagnale Jr.
The same year, in 2002, DiCaprio paired up with Martin Scorsese in The Gangs of New York and began a long cinematic relationship that has been mutually beneficial to both of them. DiCaprio shined for Scorsese in diverse roles such as Howard Hughes in The Aviator, an undercover cop in The Departed, and as the man at the center of the twisty psychological thriller Shutter Island.
Outside of his work with Scorsese, DiCaprio earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond and other acting-award nominations for his role as the titular FBI honcho in J. Edgar. In between those two movies, he reunited on-screen with his Titanic co-star in the depressing drama Revolutionary Road.
Winslet—already a golden lady with critics before Titanic for roles in Heavenly Creatures, Hamlet and Sense and Sensibility—found even more praise after kicking around in a few indies like Hideous Kinky and Holy Smoke! The high priestess of period dramas dominated the genre with roles in Quills, Enigma, Iris, Finding Neverland, The Reader and TV's Mildred Pierce—none of which she played a character of the present day.
While there is no question that Winslet knows her way around a corset, the British actress who won an Oscar for The Reader has turned in few performances as a modern-day woman, which hopefully will change. In 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Winslet and Jim Carrey play an estranged couple who have their memories of each other erased in the romantic sci-fi feature that was a real departure from Winslet's usual period fare. She also played a doctor at the center of a modern global pandemic in Contagion who fights to save as many patients as she can even as she succumbs to the deadly virus. Winslet also shines as the frazzled mother of a bully who has a sit down with the bullied boy's parents in Roman Polanski's Carnage, a choice ensemble effort starring Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Walz that is set in present-day Manhattan.