James Cameron Says Leonardo Dicaprio Nearly Lost Titanic Role, facts are facts. In the words of Céline Dion, “that’s the way it is,” thus, Leonardo DiCaprio is Jack Dawson, and Jack Dawson is Leonardo DiCaprio. But James Cameron recently disclosed that Leonardo DiCaprio almost lost the role that launched him to fame due to his sexy, up-and-coming actor persona.
(Have you heard of it?) was a significant risk in 1995 when Cameron was casting his tragic lovers. Before meeting Kate Winslet, who was “wonderful,” he had considered Gwyneth Paltrow for Rose DeWitt Bukater. DiCaprio was at the top of the list or very close to it for Jack. Cameron recently disclosed to GQ that “there was a meeting with Leo, and then there was a screen test with Leo.”
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“Because I’m waiting to meet an actor in my conference room, the meeting was amusing. I turn to look, and for some reason, every woman in the workplace is at the meeting. Okay, alright, there’s a female executive producer, but our accountant? Everyone was eager to see Leo. It was hilarious. I thought I knew the answer to the question here as I glanced around.”
Even though DiCaprio charmed everyone (including the accountant), Cameron wanted to ensure that he and Winslet would have the chemistry that would help sell nude figure drawings. The Oscar-nominated star of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, who had just set youthful hearts aflutter as Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, returned assuming he was only going to meet his potential leading lady, only to discover that Cameron intended him to read for the job.
Oh, I don’t read, DiCaprio reportedly told Cameron. At that point, Cameron extended a handshake and remarked, “Well, thanks for coming by.” to the burgeoning heartthrob. The filmmaker claims that a stunned DiCaprio retorted, “Hold on, hold on, if I don’t read, I won’t understand the part. Like that?
“Cameron claims he told DiCaprio that Titanic was “a huge 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,'” according to his account. I promise I won’t screw it up by choosing the wrong cast. Therefore, you must read to get cast in the role.”
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Cameron claims that DiCaprio endured the discomfort and brought his bangs to the screen test where “His entire being was entirely negative until I yelled, “Action,” at which point he changed into Jack. He portrayed the scene, Kate immediately lighted up, and they got into the whole thing. An opening in the clouds allowed a sunbeam to enter, illuminating Jack. I think, “Okay, he’s the one.”
The rest, in the words of Céline Dion, “will go on and on and ooooooooooonnnn,” is history.