James Cameron almost didn’t cast Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jack Dawson in “Titanic,” claiming the actor showed up to the audition with a diva-like attitude.
The movie’s director recalled meeting with DiCaprio ahead of the record-breaking 1997 flick in an interview with GQ published Tuesday, noting that Kate Winslet had already been cast to star as Rose DeWitt Bukater.
“So Leo came in — of course, charmed everybody, myself included,” Cameron, 68, explained. “And I said, ‘Alright, let’s see what your chemistry’s like with Kate.’”
According to the filmmaker, DiCaprio — who was 22 when the movie hit theaters — thought that meant “another meeting to meet Kate.” But in fact, Cameron had called him in to record the two reading lines together.
“And he said, ‘You mean I’m reading?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read,’” Cameron claimed, adding that his response was to shake the now-41-year-old actor’s hand and thank him “for coming by.”
“You’re gonna read, or you’re not gonna get the part,” the filmmaker recalled telling DiCaprio. So he read and immediately “turned into Jack.”
“He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. You mean if I don’t read, I don’t get the part? Just like that?’” the director went on.
“And I said, ‘Oh, yeah. Come on. This is, like, a giant movie that’s gonna take two years of my life … so I’m not gonna f–k it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So you’re gonna read, or you’re not gonna get the part.’”
“Every ounce of his entire being [was] just so negative,” Cameron recalled, “right up until I said, ‘Action!'”
According to Cameron, DiCaprio huffed and puffed but agreed to read with Winslet — begrudgingly.
“Every ounce of his entire being [was] just so negative,” the filmmaker recalled, “right up until I said, ‘Action!’”
Cameron said DiCaprio immediately “turned into Jack.”ORDER A COPY OF ROB’S NEW BEST SELLING BOOK! Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!