“If you refuse to read, you won’t get the part.”
The cast of titanicso cult, almost fell into the water before even leaving the port! james cameron reveals today, in an interview with GQ, to have been forced to get angry with Leonardo DiCaprioto whom he had just offered the role of Jack opposite Rose and Kate Winslet.
Any young movie star, revealed by Gilbert Grape, Basketball Diaries and became a teen idol with Romeo + JulietLeo was in his twenties when he joined the production of titanic.
“There was a first meeting with Leo, then there was a screen test with Leo” recount james cameron. “It was funny. I was sitting in the conference room, waiting to meet this young actor. And I look around, and all the women in the office were there, at this meeting. They all wanted to meet Leo. C was hysterical.”
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The director recalls DiCaprio having “charmed everyone” during this meeting. But when james cameron asked him to go for a filmed audition, to check his chemistry with Kate Winslet (already cast), he refused: “He came back a few days later and I had the camera set up to record the video. He didn’t know he was going to be tested. He thought it was another meeting to meet Kate. But I told him : ‘We’re going to go to the next room, and we’re going to read a few lines and I’m going to film.’ He said, ‘Do you want me to audition?’ I said yes and he said, ‘Oh no! I’m not going to audition. So I shook his hand and said, ‘Thanks for coming by!’
james cameron was ready to kick Leo out. So the actor changed his mind: “Wait, wait, wait. If I don’t read, I don’t have the part? Just like that ?” Cameron then remembers having explained to him: “Come on, it’s a giant film that’s going to take two years of my life. You will be away doing lots of other things while I’m still doing post-production. So, I’m not going to ruin everything by making the wrong casting decision. So if you refuse to read, you won’t get the part.”
The filmmaker then says that Leonardo DiCaprio reluctantly complied with the director’s request. “He walked into the room backwards. His whole being showed his displeasure…until I said, ‘Action’. Suddenly he transformed into Jack. Kate suddenly brightened up and they played the scene. Dark clouds had just disappeared to make way for a ray of sunshine which illuminated Jack. And then I said Ok. Alright. You are our guy.”