The TITANIC Lead Role: Leonardo DiCaprio nearly loses it, according to James Cameron

The TITANIC Lead Role: Leonardo DiCaprio nearly loses it, according to James Cameron

Updated on November 28, 2022 19:11 PM by Laura Mendes

Leonardo DiCaprio refused to read with Kate Winslet

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Cameron won Best Director and Best Picture awards, plus 13 other Academy Awards for the film, including Best Director. In its lifetime, Titanic has made an unheard-of $600 million domestically and $1.8 million worldwide.

Because of "Titanic," DiCaprio became a cinematic superstar, and his career rocketed into the stratosphere. After that, Cameron could write his checks and make whatever he wanted. Yet, DiCaprio refused to read for the role of Jack, so it was close to not happening at all.

Expectations towards the star

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According to Cameron, when DiCaprio first arrived at the office, everyone was so excited to meet the budding star that all the women rushed into the conference room to meet him. When Cameron saw the right actor for the role, he knew he had a superstar in his hands.

It was Cameron's idea to have DiCaprio read some lines to Winslet for him to record so that he could make a video of them. Cameron had already met with Winslet and decided to cast her as Rose.

Despite being obstinate about not reading, DiCaprio insisted he was not an actor. It was not until DiCaprio realized the opportunity was lost if he did not read on video that Cameron decided to send him on his way.

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The experience to be shared

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Cameron explained to DiCaprio during the meeting, "This is going to take me two years to complete, and you'll be doing five other things while I'm doing post-production." The reason why he said that was simple. Accordingly, Cameron said bluntly, "So, you're going to read or you're not going to get the job." So, I was not going to screw it up by making the wrong casting decision.

When DiCaprio finally agreed to read, it looked like he would get the part the experience would be negative. Cameron's comments have been enough for DiCaprio to enter the room with Winslet to run some lines on camera.

However, as soon as DiCaprio said "action," he transformed into a character. As a result of the screentest, Cameron was certain he had the right actor. By the end of the process, Cameron announced, "All right, here's the one."

Questions and answers in the interview

Additionally, Cameron shared anecdotes from when DiCaprio came to him to discuss some issues with the script. During the interview, Cameron discussed how DiCaprio wanted the character of Jack to have some trauma or affliction.

As he handled DiCaprio again bluntly, he told him he was not quite prepared to handle this role. DiCaprio seems to have made the link between DiCaprio and Cameron in that conversation. Cameron understood that DiCaprio is willing to take on challenging roles, which is what he strives to do in his acting career.

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