James Cameron Almost Didn’t Cast Leo DiCaprio In ‘Titanic’November 23, 2022
Nearly 30 years after the release of James Cameron‘s epic disaster movie Titanic, Cameron still loves to bring it up in order to talk about how much money it made and also to justify taking over a decade to put out Avatar 2: The Way Of The Water. You can’t be mad once you remember that this man created one of the most iconic movies of all time, right? Well, you could. But still, he is going to remind you of it all the time.
In a recent interview with GQ, Cameron detailed the casting process for Titanic, which resulted in him actively disliking Leonardo Dicaprio, and almost casting Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose.
“I didn’t see Kate [Winslet] at first [as Rose],” Cameron confirmed. “But I was thinking maybe Gwyneth Paltrow.” Paltrow has addressed the rumor that she had turned down the role in the past. “I know that the story is that I turned it down. I think I was really in contention for it — I was one of the last two,” the Goop founder told Howard Stern in 2015 that Winslet beat her out for the role.
After asking DiCaprio to come in for a screen test with Winslet, he was surprised to learn that the young actor hadn’t even read the script. Cameron was not pleased.
[DiCaprio] said, ‘You mean, I’m reading?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read.’ I shook his hand and said, ‘Thanks for coming by.’ And he said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. If I don’t read, I don’t get the part? Just like that?’ And I said, ‘Oh, yeah. Come on. This is a giant movie that is going to take two years of my life, and you’ll be gone doing five other things while I’m doing post-production. So, I’m not going to f*** it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So, you’re going to read, or you’re not going to get the part.’”
DiCaprio decided to take his chances and audition alongside Winslet, who was already cast. The director continued, “So he comes in, and he’s like every ounce of his entire being is just so negative — right up until I said, ‘Action.’” That’s when DiCaprio and his ’90s heartthrob hair stole the screen and America’s hearts. Sometimes being negative works! He added, “Kate just lit up, and they played the scene. Dark clouds had opened up, and a ray of sun came down and lit up Jack. I’m like, ‘All right. He’s the guy.’”
Eventually, DiCaprio became one of the world’s most iconic actors, Winslet was nominated for an Academy Award for her role, and Paltrow began a vagina candle empire. That’s all one could ever hope for.