James Cameron says Leonardo DiCaprio almost didn’t get a ‘Titanic’ role because he didn’t want to audition – Deadline

James Cameron reveals Leonardo DiCaprio almost didn’t become Jack Dawson in 1997 Titanic because he didn’t want to read for the part.

“I remember there was a meeting with Leo. And then there was a screen test Leo,” Cameron recalled during an interview with GQ. “So the meeting was funny because I’m sitting in my conference room waiting to meet an actor, right? And I look around and all the women in the whole office are in the meeting for some reason. For example, there’s a female executive producer, okay, fine. But our accountant? Why was she in the meeting? They all wanted to meet Leo. It was hysterical. I looked around and said, ‘I think I already know the answer to the question here.’”

Cameron said DiCaprio charmed everyone at the meeting, including himself. However, the director still wanted to see what his chemistry with Kate Winslet would be like. Days later, DiCaprio showed up again, unaware that Cameron was going to test him.

The Titanic director said DiCaprio told him, “Oh, I don’t read.” Cameron then says he shook hands with the actor and thanked him for coming. When DiCaprio saw the opportunity slip away, Cameron said the Romeo + Juliet star said, “Wait, wait, wait. You mean, if I don’t read, I just don’t get the part.”

Cameron then explained to DiCaprio that the movie was “like a giant movie that’s going to take two years off my life and you’re going to be doing five other things while I’m doing the post production and all the modeling and stuff. So I’m not going to I’m making the wrong decision in casting, so you either read or you don’t get the part.

DiCaprio had no choice but to read to Cameron and as the director continued to observe the actor he could tell that “every ounce of his whole being was so negative”. However, when the director said action, Cameron said DiCaprio “turned into Jack and Kate just lit up and they went into this whole thing and he played the scene.” Dark clouds had broken open, a ray of sunshine came down and illuminated Jack. I’m like, ‘Okay, he’s the man.’”

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