In an interview with GQ printed Tuesday, the legendary filmmaker revealed that DiCaprio almost misplaced his function in 1997’s “Titanic” as a result of the not-yet-megastar initially refused to learn for the half.
“So, Leo got here in in fact, charmed everyone, myself included,” Cameron instructed the journal in regards to the casting session. “I stated, ‘All proper, let’s see what your chemistry’s like with Kate [Winslet].’ So he is available in a pair days later and I’ve received the digicam set as much as document the video.”
After years as a baby and teenage star, DiCaprio had curated a powerful résumé at that time, having starred in main movies reverse Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro, however he had but to steer a $200-million blockbuster like “Titanic.” Winslet had already been solid within the movie.
“He got here in, he thought it was one other assembly to fulfill Kate,” Cameron instructed GQ. “And I stated, ‘OK, so we’ll simply go within the subsequent room and we’ll simply, we’ll run some traces and I’ll video it.’ And he stated, ‘You imply I’m studying?’ And I stated, ‘Yeah.’ He stated, ‘Oh, I don’t learn.’”
Cameron recalled shaking his hand and thanking him “for coming by.” DiCaprio, who was in his early 20s, was so shocked by the quite innocuous request that he requested: “Wait, wait, wait, you imply if I don’t learn I don’t get the half? Identical to that?”
The “Terminator” director was adamant.
“Oh, yeah,” Cameron stated he instructed DiCaprio. “Come on. This is sort of a big film that’s gonna take two years of my life and also you’ll be gone doing 5 different issues whereas I’m doing post-production and all of the mannequin work. … I’m not gonna fuck it up by making the mistaken resolution in casting.”
DiCaprio in the end acquiesced and delivered an audition for the character of Jack Dawson with “each ounce of his whole being.” Cameron stated “darkish clouds had opened up and a ray of solar got here down and lit up Jack.”
“Titanic” grossed greater than $600 million throughout its home run, generated one other $59 million from later rereleases, and has grossed $2.2 billion worldwide so far, according to Variety.
Cameron’s movie earned 11 Academy Awards, together with Finest Image and Finest Director. Whereas DiCaprio didn’t win one for “Titanic,” his resolution to audition for Cameron helped launch him into some of the profitable careers in Hollywood — and finally an Oscar for Best Actor in 2016.