Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes: What Went Wrong?

03/16/2010 at 01:35 PM EDT

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes: What Went Wrong?
Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet
Dave Allocca/Startraks
As news broke of Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes's amicable split Monday, the couple was thousands of miles apart.

The distance underscored what the pair said Monday through their lawyers – "that they separated earlier this year." The Oscar-winning actress was with friends and her children in Mexico (where the U.K newspaper The Sun pictured her recreating the arms-out Titanic pose on an inflatable dinghy). Mendes, 44, was reportedly with friends in New England.

They were seen in public together at the Wimbledon tennis tournament in the summer of 2009. Then last week, he was back in England visiting the National Theatre where he was in the audience of London Assurance, a source confirms.

Winslet was noticeably solo at this year's series of award ceremonies, including the BAFTAs in London and the Oscars in L.A. Her red carpet appearances were in stark contrast to the previous award season when the couple was ubiquitous on the red carpets and, she, on the winners' podiums.



In fact, during her 2009 Golden Globe victory best actress for her role in Mendes's Revolutionary Road, Winslet called him "babe," and enthusiastically thanked him. She said at the time, "[I] loved every second of working with you and it's made me love you more."


Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes: What Went Wrong?| Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes

Kate Winslet in Mexico

Clasos / Splash News Online

Now the British papers are abuzz that it was during the filming of Revolutionary Road that strains in their marriage began. The film happens to be about a couple in a disintegrating marriage.

Perhaps Mendes unwittingly gave a clue to the downside of living and working together when that same January, he told The Daily Telegraph it was "exhilarating" working with his wife, but, "I tend to cut off at the end of the day and watch a baseball game or something. I don't like to bring work home.

"Kate is the opposite," he added. "So I just had to change my ways because it's what she needed and my goal was to get the best performance I possibly could out of her and if she needed to talk about it, then that was my job, too."

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