Visionary filmmaker James Cameron revealed surprising details about the making of the blockbuster film ‘Titanic’ in a recent video interview. The movie that will be released next month marks 25 years, said he almost didn’t cast Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater.
The filmmaker revealed in the interview with GQ that he initially thought of someone like Gwyneth Paltrow for Rose. He said that when Kate was suggested as an option, he feared she was too typecast. And if he chooses Kate for the part, it might seem like the “laziest casting in the world.”
“I actually didn’t see Kate at first,” he said in the interview. “She’d done a few other period dramas as well, and she got a reputation as ‘Corset Kate’ doing period stuff.”
But shortly after meeting Kate, he thought she was “fantastic,” and the rest is history, of course.
Meanwhile, there were initially many hiccups with Leonardo DiCaprio. “There was a meeting with Leo and then there was a screen test with Leo,” Cameron said. “The meeting was funny because I’m sitting in my conference room waiting to meet an actor. And I look around and all the women in the whole office are in the meeting. They all wanted to meet Leo. It was hysterical.”
He said the meeting went well and the actor charmed everyone. DiCaprio was asked back for a reading with Winslet. But it didn’t go that smoothly.
The filmmaker said the actor showed up at the audition with a diva-like attitude.
“So Leo came in – of course he put a spell on everyone, including myself,” Cameron explained. “And I said, ‘Okay, let’s see how your chemistry is with Kate.'”
The actor thought that meant meeting Kate again. But the filmmaker had called him to read lines together.
“And he said, ‘You mean I’m reading?’ And I said, “Yes.” He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read.'” The filmmaker then claimed to have reached out to the star and told him, “Well, thanks for stopping by.”
“He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. You mean if I don’t read I don’t get the part? Just like that?'” the director continued.
“And I said, ‘Oh, yeah. Come on. This is like a giant movie that’s going to take two years off my life…so I’m not going to make it up by making the wrong casting decision. So you’re going to read, or you won’t get the part.”
The actor gave his name and the filmmaker recalled how the actor “lighted up” and “became Jack.”
Titanic was released in 1997 and won 11 Academy Awards.
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