When Titanic is mentioned somewhere in a conversation, Leonardo DiCaprio’s name has to come in next. The two almost have an unbreakable bond that cinephiles too cherish to this day. One of the highest-grossing movies ever made in the history of the cinema would have gone down a different path if Leonardo DiCaprio refused his part. Turns out, it was a close call. James Cameron the creator of the film was the only person who made it right.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a man who needs no introduction. With some of the most commendable works in the industry, the actor has successfully made a name for himself. For over three decades his movies have provided entertainment for audiences across the globe. All thanks to that one film that launched him into his stardom, Titanic.
Leonardo DiCaprio did not like his role in Titanic
James Cameron was a Canadian filmmaker who is also hailed as an innovative filmmaker. With films like Avatar, Titanic, and most recently Avatar: The Way of Water he has proved time and again that he is the ruler of the box office worldwide. The only director to have three films gross over $1.5 billion worldwide.
However, in a recent interview with PEOPLE at the Golden Globes, he revealed that initially, his career might have taken a dark path if Leonardo DiCaprio did not change his mind.
“He didn’t want to do a leading man,—I had to really twist his arm to be in the movie. He didn’t want to do it. He thought it was boring.” said Cameron disheartently.
But the director did not want to mess it up. After all, it was his brainchild, all the hard work and research would have been ill-fated as the ship and Jack if he failed to convince Leonardo DiCaprio. Lo and behold the actor agreed.
“It didn’t surprise me, first of all, that he’s made a lot of authentic choices going forward,—And secondly, I never doubted his talent.” stated James Cameron.
It was James Cameron’s intuition that gave us the gift, we love and treasure today.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack in Titanic
Jack is a character that people have grown to love over the years and they cannot help but sob whenever the heartwrenching scene is on the screen. Leonardo DiCaprio almost did not get the role from the get-go due to his poor attitude in the auditions. In a video career retrospective for GQ, James Cameron revealed some incidents involving Leonardo DiCaprio.
“There was a meeting with Leo and then there was a screen test with Leo,—The meeting was funny because I am sitting in my conference room, waiting to meet an actor. And I look around, and all the women in the entire office are in the meeting. They all wanted to meet Leo. It was hysterical.” stated the director in whim of nostalgia.
He also shared their second meeting, where the actor was unaware of the rules and process of testing for a character. This almost put him at a disadvantage.
“So he came back a couple of days later, and I had the camera set up to record the video,–He didn’t know he was going to test. He thought it was another meeting to meet Kate. So I said, ‘Okay, we’ll just go in the next room, and we’ll run some lines and I’ll video it.’ And he 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.'”
But this Leonardo DiCaprio we are talking about, he fit the role like a glove. James Cameron never for a second doubted his capabilities.
“I think about that casting Leonardo and Kate in Titanic. Leo, the studio didn’t want him; I had to fight for him,” said Cameron.
James Cameron is glad Leonardo DiCaprio could prove him right and so are the lovers of the movie. His charm elevated the movie to a whole new level. So much so, that there is still an ongoing debate on whether the door could save Jack Dawson from drowning or not but Leonardo DiCaprio most definitely did. He immortalized Jack in the audiences’ hearts forever.