• Winslet and Ronan play lovers in “Ammonite,” a movie about real-life paleontologist Mary Anning
  • Ronan and Winslet choreographed the love scene in the movie
  • The film has courted controversy for its portrayal of Anning's relationship with Charlotte Murchison

Kate Winslet has opened up about her intimate scene with “Ammonite” co-star Saoirse Ronan in the romantic drama movie, revealing that they felt “really safe” during filming.

Winslet told The Hollywood Reporter that it was her and her co-star, rather than director Francis Lee, who choreographed their love scene.

“It’s definitely not like eating a sandwich,” the actress said. “I just think Saoirse and I, we just felt really safe. Francis was naturally very nervous. And I just said to him, ‘Listen, let us work it out.’ And we did.”

“I mean, we marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative,” she continued. “I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on ‘Ammonite.’ And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”

Winslet and Ronan play lovers in the movie, with the “Titanic” actress taking on the role of real-life paleontologist Mary Anning. Ronan plays her married geologist lover, Charlotte Murchison.

“Ammonite” is set in the 1840s and explores how two women from different social spheres and with opposing personalities come together to alter the course of both their lives.

“Ammonite” has already sparked controversies for its depiction of Anning as a lesbian, with some of her relatives saying her sexuality was not confirmed.

“I do not believe there is any evidence to back up portraying her as a gay woman,” Barbara Anning told The Telegraph last year. “Do the film-makers have to resort to using unconfirmed aspects to somebody’s sexuality to make an already remarkable story sensational?”

Another relative said the decision to introduce a gay relationship may have been taken to make the film more appealing to audiences.

Lee addressed the accusation with a lengthy Twitter post, writing: “After seeing queer history be routinely ‘straightened’ throughout culture, and given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another context...?”

“Ammonite” will make its world premiere on Sept. 11 at the Toronto Film Festival.

Kate Winslet
British actress Kate Winslet poses for photographers at the 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards in London, Britain, Jan. 17, 2016. Reuters/Neil Hall