Leonardo DiCaprio rose to the ranks of superstars after his role in James Cameron’s Titanic. But according to the director, the actor almost lost his role because he didn’t want to audition for it.
In a recent interview with Weekly entertainmentCameron spoke about the legendary 1995 film. According to him, DiCaprio was always at the top of his list to play Jack, but the role almost went to someone else after DiCaprio refused to read for the role.
“‘Oh, I don’t read,'” Cameron said, DiCaprio told him, before the director shook his hand and said, “Well, thanks for stopping by.” It was then, Cameron said, that DiCaprio replied, “Wait, wait, wait, if I don’t read, I don’t get the part. Just like that?'”
Cameron went on to say that he told DiCaprio Titanic was “a huge movie that’s going to take two years of my life, and you’re going to be off doing five other things while I’m doing post-production. So I’m not going to do that by making the wrong decision in the casting. So you’re going to read or you won’t get the part.”
The director went on to say that DiCaprio ended up reading for the role, though he joked that “every ounce of his whole being is completely negative right up until I said ‘Action,’ and then he became Jack. And Kate lit up just up and they went into it all and he played the scene. Dark clouds had opened, a ray of sunshine came down and lit up Jack. I say, ‘Okay, he’s the guy.’
Of course, DiCaprio’s turn as Jack was what turned him from an already famous heartthrob into a superstar and would lead to countless roles for him in the future. As for Cameron, his next film, Avatar: The Way of Waterwill premiere in theaters on December 16, 2022.