Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet almost didn't star in 'Titanic'

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet almost didn’t star in ‘Titanic’


James Cameron shares surprising details about the making of his smash hit ‘Titanic’, which celebrates 25 years of release next month.

In a new video interview with GQ, the iconic director revealed he almost didn’t cast Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet – his two romantic leads whose careers as major Hollywood movie stars were cemented by the film. Oscar-winning history.

While considering actors to play the roles of his star-crossed lovers on the doomed liner, Cameron explained that he was initially thinking of someone like Gwyneth Paltrow for Rose, and that if Winslet had been offered as an option, he was afraid that she is too typed.

“I actually didn’t see Kate at first,” he said in the video. “She’d done a few other historical dramas as well, and she was starting to get a reputation as a ‘Corset Kate’ doing historical stuff.” (It’s true that all three of “The Reader’s” actress credits before “Titanic” were also period costume dramas – “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995, followed by “Jude” and “Hamlet” a year later. late.)

Cameron went on to say that he was afraid casting Winslet in the role would “sound like the laziest casting in the world,” but agreed to meet her anyway in the end. Of course, he thought she was “fantastic,” and the rest is history.

With DiCaprio, meanwhile, there were some initial hiccups.

After a “hysterical” first meeting with the idol actor, during which all the women in the production office somehow ended up in the conference room alongside Cameron, DiCaprio was invited to return for a screen test with Winslet, who had already been cast by then. .

But when the ‘Romeo + Juliet’ star arrived, he was surprised to learn he would have to read lines and be filmed alongside Winslet to gauge their on-camera chemistry.

“He walked in, he thought it was another meeting to meet Kate,” Cameron described.

He recalled telling the pair, “We’ll just stream a few lines and I’ll film it.”

But then DiCaprio – who had directed several films by then and earned an Oscar nomination for 1993’s ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ – informed Cameron, “You mean I read?…I don’t read,” meaning that he no longer submitted about having to audition for film roles.

Without wasting a moment, Cameron reached out to the star and said, “Well, thanks for coming.”

The director then explained to DiCaprio the enormity of the project ahead of them, how the movie was going to take two years off its life, and how he was “not going to screw it all up by making the wrong casting decision.” ”

“So you go read or you don’t get the part,” Cameron told the young actor.

DiCaprio reluctantly submitted, to his credit.

Cameron recalled how the actor “lit up” and “became Jack”, creating electric chemistry with Winslet, later seen clearly in the film itself.

“Titanic” hit theaters on December 19, 1997, and eventually won 11 Oscars, including Best Director for Cameron.

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