James Cameron Says Leonardo DiCaprio Almost Lost His Role in Titanic
It was a dealbreaker for Cameron, who said he shook DiCaprio’s hand and thanked him “for coming.”
“And [DiCaprio] said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. You mean, if I don’t read, I don’t get the part, just like that? “” Cameron continued. “And I said, ‘Oh yeah, come on. It’s like a giant movie.'”
As Cameron puts it, the movie was going to take “two years of my life” and he didn’t want to make “the wrong casting decision.” Then he gave DiCaprio a choice: “You’re going to read or you don’t get the part.”
DiCaprio agreed, though Cameron noted the future Oscar winner reluctantly did so.
“So he walks in, and every ounce of his whole being is so negative until I said ‘Action’ and then he turned into Jack. And Kate just turned on and they went into all this and he played the scene,” Cameron said. “Dark clouds parted and a ray of sunlight descended and illuminated Jack. I was like, “Okay, that’s him. “”