It’s not uncommon for actors who play lovers onscreen to gush about the intense connection they developed off-screen as well. Often, it’s just words or promotional hype — but in the case of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, it’s the honest truth.Since starring as star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose in 1997’s super blockbuster Titanic, Leo and Kate have never been shy about the great affection they still have for each other after all these years. Those warm feelings are abundantly clear in a stunning new set of photos exclusively obtained by Star — and the couple’s closeness may even raise some eyebrows.
On July 26, Leo and Kate had an intimate rendezvous at his luxury villa in St-Tropez, France, where she was attending his annual, celebrity-studded Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation charity gala. But their private meet-up wasn’t a part of those festivities. With Kate, 41, wearing a sexy orange bikini that showed off her curves under a sheer white shirt, and Leo, 42, rocking a pair of low-rider swim trunks, the duo talked intently on a veranda before making their way down to the swimming pool. At one point, the pair lovingly wrapped their arms around each other, Leo holding her shoulder, and Kate hanging onto his waist, before they retired to a lounge area by the pool house. Long History
If there were any questions about just how close Leo and Kate really are, these new photos should provide an easy answer. They do, however, raise another question — about the state of Kate’s five-year marriage to businessman Ned Rocknroll, a union that’s been rumored to be on shaky ground. “Leo has had strong feelings for Kate since the day he met her,” an insider dishes. “He thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and still does. Over the years, he moved on and dated model after model, but he never connected with them on an intellectual level like he did with Kate. But the dynamic between them seems to have changed in recent months. There have been whispers of friction between Kate and Ned. And now you have Leo and Kate looking flirty in St-Tropez. People are sure to be reading between the lines.”
In fact, the duo haven’t held back from telling the world how their youthful affection has grown into something more.
Kate, in fact, has gushed nonstop about their special magic. “I’ve loved you for 13 years,” she told Leo from the stage, while accepting her Golden Globe best actress award for 2008’s Revolutionary Road, in which they costarred. “I love you with all my heart, I really do.” Last year, Kate put on a huge display of PDA with Leo at both the SAG awards and at the Oscars, and confessed that she found him “more handsome than ever.”
Leo has confirmed, “Our chemistry naturally happened. We’re a little older, a little bit wiser, but ultimately the same people as we were when we were 21. We laugh at the same things. [Kate] never lets me take myself seriously, even if I wanted to.”
tYING THE KNOT (OR NOT)
While Leo has never wed — though he’s famous for his model love life, having dated Gisele Bündchen, BarRefaeli and NinaAgdal, with whom he recently broke up after a year together — Kate’s marriage to Ned is her third (she has a daughter, Mia, 13, with her first hubby, director Jim Threapleton, and a son, Joe, 13, from her marriage to director Sam Mendes). Last fall, reports surfaced that Kate and Ned, 39, the nephew of billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, were having difficulties, despite having gone to couples therapy for years. “Ned can act like a kid sometimes — and compounding the problem is that he can’t stand Leo,” the insider claims. “And the fact that Kate can’t seem to let go of him is driving a wedge between her and Ned.”
As to what the future holds, the insider says, “No one wants to see Kate’s marriage disintegrate; they want her to be happy. But to be honest, millions of fans know that if she and Leo ever actually did become a couple, it would be the real-life romance the world has been waiting for for 20 years!”