Black Panther 2’s Namora Almost Beat Kate Winslet’s Underwater Record

Mabel Cadena reveals she nearly broke Kate Winslet’s record while training for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever underwater scenes. Both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water introduced water-based societies and featured numerous underwater scenes. To prepare the actors for these scenes, the filmmakers had them train with professionals to hold their breath for long stretches of time while filming.

During an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Cadena discussed her underwater immersion training for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She shared how quickly she was able to pick it up. Cadena also explained that her competitive nature came out, which motivated her to aim for Winslet’s record.

Mabel Cadena: My first immersion was around 30 seconds, and the same day I [was able to do] six minutes and thirty-five seconds. The training was amazing, because in the same day I can have a big difference [from] my first immersion to my second immersion. I’m very competitive, so Chris, my coach, told me, « Kate Winslet has the record, so if you want to be the winner, you need to learn a lot of things. » I really was over Kate Winslet [at one point], but now I don’t have time for a better record.

Black Panther & Avatar Sequels Required Intense Training From Their Stars

The worlds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pandora are vastly different, but this year both explored water-based civilizations with Marvel’s Talokan and the Metkayina people. While the filmmaking processes are different, it makes sense that both James Cameron and Ryan Coogler would want their actors to train for underwater stunts. The civilizations themselves are vastly different, with Talokan being much more insular, but the underwater scene, especially fighting, makes the training integral to the process.

Winslet famously broke Tom Cruise’s record by holding her breath for 7 minutes and 14 seconds. And while Cadena doesn’t have an exact number, it is an impressive feat to come so close to the new record so soon after it was set. Camreon’s underwater production was more similar to his motion capture style because of the immense CGI that is required to bring the Na’vi and Pandora to life. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also features extensive visual effects, but the Talokani look essentially human while underwater.

The immersive worlds created by these filmmakers and the work put in by the actors to be able to bring the characters and world to life are impressive. Training to hold one’s breath underwater for extended periods of time while swimming or fighting in order to capture the shot without being obscured by bubbles is impressive. Although Avatar: The Way of Water is famous for its underwater training, it seems Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is just as impressive, not only with its training but also with the actors who learned this incredibly difficult skill, like Cadena.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now available on Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD.