Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet almost didn’t star in ‘Titanic’
James Cameron is sharing some surprising details about the making of his blockbuster hit “Titanic,” which celebrates 25 years since its release next month.
In a new video interview with GQThe iconic director revealed that he almost didn’t cast Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet – two of his romantic leads whose careers as Hollywood movie stars were cemented by the landmark Oscar-winning film.
When considering actors to play his star-crossed lovers on the doomed ocean liner, Cameron explained that he first thought of someone like Gwyneth Paltrow for Rose, and when Winslet was suggested as an option, he feared that she was too More of a typecast.
“I didn’t actually see Kate at first,” he says in the video. “She also did a few other historical dramas and became known as ‘Corset Kate’ by doing historical things.” (It’s true that “The Reader” actress had three credits in period costume dramas before “Titanic” — “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995, followed by “Jude” and “Hamlet” a year later.)
Cameron said she was afraid Winslet would “look like the laziest casting in the world” but she eventually agreed to meet with her. Of course, he thought she was “awesome” and the rest is history.
With DiCaprio, meanwhile, there were some initial hiccups.
After an initial “hysterical” meeting with the heartthrob actor, in which all the women in the production office somehow ended up in the conference room with Cameron, DiCaprio was invited back for a screen test with Winslet, who had already been cast at the time. .
But when the “Romeo + Juliet” star arrived, she was surprised that she had to read lines and film with Winslet to gauge their chemistry on camera.
“He came in, he thought it was another meeting to meet Kate,” Cameron recounted.
He remembers telling the pair, “We’ll just run some lines, and I’ll video it.”
But then DiCaprio — who by then had directed several movies and received an Oscar nomination for 1993’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” — told Cameron, “You mean I’m reading?…I’m not reading,” meaning he no longer submitted. did not give Have to audition for film roles.
Without missing a beat, Cameron reached out to the wire and told him, “Well, thanks for coming.”
The director then explained to DiCaprio the enormity of the project before them, how the film was going to take two years out of his life, and how he was “not going to screw it up with a bad casting decision”. ”
“So you’re going to read or you’re not going to get the part,” Cameron said he told the young actor.
DiCaprio reluctantly submitted, to his credit.
Cameron remembered how the actor “lighted up” and “became Jack,” creating an electric chemistry with Winslet that would later be seen in the film itself.
“Titanic” hit theaters on December 19, 1997 and eventually won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Director for Cameron.
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