''You’re going to read, or you’re not going to get the part'': James Cameron reveals Leonardo DiCaprio nearly lost out on Titanic role

James Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio (Cameron
James Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio (Cameron's photo by Kevin Winter via Getty Images/DiCaprio's photo by Paramount Pictures/via IMDb)

Avatar director James Cameron recently disclosed during an interview with GQ that actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jack Dawson in the iconic disaster-romantic drama film Titanic, almost didn't get the part after he initially refused to read the script for the hit film. Cameron said that he told DiCaprio:

''This is like a giant 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. So I’m not going to f*** it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So you’re going to read, or you’re not going to get the part.''

He further spoke at length about how he decided to finalize DiCaprio as the lead actor for the film. During the interview, Cameron also spoke about many of his other films, including The Terminator films, Avatar, and Aliens.

James Cameron opens up on casting Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role in Titanic


James Cameron mentioned in the interview that when he initially approached DiCaprio for the lead role, the actor refused to read his part, following which Cameron said, ''Well, thanks for coming by.''

He revealed that he later managed to convince DiCaprio about reading the script to be cast in the film. After Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to read it, Cameron said that the moment he yelled ''action,'' the actor ''turned into Jack.''

The director mentioned:

''He played the scene. Dark clouds had opened up and a ray of sun came down and lit up Jack. I'm like, 'Alright, he's the guy!'''

James Cameron further stated that it's ''very hard'' to imagine Titanic without Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, praising their onscreen chemistry and acting prowess.

Titanic was released in 1997 to highly positive reviews from viewers and critics, who praised the film's emotional tone, stunning visuals, ambition, and performances by the cast. It was a massive commercial success and is widely regarded as one of the greatest romantic films of all time.

More details about James Cameron's works


One of the most widely anticipated releases of the year, James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water, has already dropped two thrilling trailers that offer a glimpse of the film's stunning world replete with several fascinating characters.

A sequel to the iconic fantasy flick, Avatar, the film is set more than 10 years after the events that unfolded in the original 2009 flick. Here's the official synopsis of the movie, as per Avatar's YouTube channel:

''Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.''

Three more sequels to the movie are already lined up for releases in 2024, 2026, and 2028. Apart from the Avatar franchise, James Cameron has directed a number of iconic films over the years like The Terminator movies, Titanic, Aliens, True Lies, and many more.

Cameron's films are noted for their stunning visual aesthetics and complex storylines. He is considered to be among the biggest filmmakers in Hollywood.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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