Kate Winslet and Idris Elba play two plane crash survivors in “The Mountain Between Us”, directed by Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now”, “Omar”). While overcoming cold, famine, and figuring out how to build a fire, the pair spark a romance that adds some warmth to the otherwise frigid terrain.
“We really were freezing cold and we really were surviving up there, and it was really very, very difficult,” says Kate.
Even after filming in what’s known as the High Uintas Wilderness in northern Utah, Idris admits his survival skills are still sub-par compared to his co-star.
“I already know how to [build a fire], he is rubbish,” jokes Kate.
“I’m complete rubbish. The truth is that now after making this movie and working with Kate more than anything else, I’m brushing up my survival skills,” says Idris. “Honestly, if I could choose anyone to go down in a plane, it would be Kate.”
A majority of the film follows their characters (and a dog) as they bicker and bond over how to stay alive after their plane goes down. The pair say, with so much time together on-set, they often knew when it was necessary to give the other space between scenes.
“It’s like a relationship,” says Kate.
Still, they wouldn’t have traded the real-life experience of filming such intimate and lengthy scenes together in exchange for CGI.
“At the end of the day, you can tell when something’s on green screen,” says Kate. “And also, it would have had such an impact on the characters and the truth of the story.”