James Cameron reveals Leonardo DiCaprio nearly lost 'Titanic' role due to his diva attitude

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By VT

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There's no denying Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood today. Over the last few decades, the 48-year-old actor has portrayed countless iconic characters.

One of his most beloved characters is (and perhaps always will be) Jack Dawson - a poor artist who meets and falls in love with the wealthy Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet) aboard the Titanic.

Their fine acting in the 1997 blockbuster catapulted the pair to stardom and their respective careers have only flourished since then.

Earlier this week, the director of the hit film, James Cameron, broke down his most iconic movies in a video for GQ. The video also saw the 68-year-old filmmaker share some gossip about the A-lister, who went on to star in other huge movies such as Catch Me If You Can and Django Unchained.

While the director initially considered Gwyneth Paltrow as the actress for Rose, Winslet gave a "fantastic" audition and the part was instantly hers.

DiCaprio, however, didn't impress Cameron with his supposed bad attitude during the audition process.

"There was a meeting with Leo and then there was a screen test with Leo," Cameron said. "The meeting was funny because I am sitting in my conference room, waiting to meet an actor. And I look around, and all the women in the entire office are in the meeting. They all wanted to meet Leo. It was hysterical."

He said the initial meeting went well and DiCaprio "charmed everybody" and he was asked back so that he could do a read with Winslet. But the budding star wasn't pleased that he was expected to read lines with the lead actress ahead of being cast.

"So he came back a couple of days later, and I had the camera set up to record the video," Cameron recalled. "He didn't know he was going to test. He thought it was another meeting to meet Kate. So I said, 'Okay, we'll just go in the next room, and we'll run some lines and I'll video it.'

size-full wp-image-1263180315
Credit: Cinematic Collection / Alamy

"And he said, 'You mean, I'm reading?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Oh, I don't read.' I shook his hand and said, 'Thanks for coming by.' And he said, 'Wait, wait, wait. If I don't read, I don't get the part? Just like that?'

"And I said, 'Oh, yeah. Come on. This is 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.'"

DiCaprio eventually agreed to read - albeit reluctantly.

"So he comes in, and he's like every ounce of his entire being is just so negative — right up until I said, 'Action.' Then he turned into Jack," the director explained. "Kate just lit up, and they played the scene. Dark clouds had opened up, and a ray of sun came down and lit up Jack. I'm like, 'All right. He's the guy.'"

Featured image credit: Erik Pendzich / Alamy

James Cameron reveals Leonardo DiCaprio nearly lost 'Titanic' role due to his diva attitude

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

There's no denying Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood today. Over the last few decades, the 48-year-old actor has portrayed countless iconic characters.

One of his most beloved characters is (and perhaps always will be) Jack Dawson - a poor artist who meets and falls in love with the wealthy Rose DeWitt Bukater (played by Kate Winslet) aboard the Titanic.

Their fine acting in the 1997 blockbuster catapulted the pair to stardom and their respective careers have only flourished since then.

Earlier this week, the director of the hit film, James Cameron, broke down his most iconic movies in a video for GQ. The video also saw the 68-year-old filmmaker share some gossip about the A-lister, who went on to star in other huge movies such as Catch Me If You Can and Django Unchained.

While the director initially considered Gwyneth Paltrow as the actress for Rose, Winslet gave a "fantastic" audition and the part was instantly hers.

DiCaprio, however, didn't impress Cameron with his supposed bad attitude during the audition process.

"There was a meeting with Leo and then there was a screen test with Leo," Cameron said. "The meeting was funny because I am sitting in my conference room, waiting to meet an actor. And I look around, and all the women in the entire office are in the meeting. They all wanted to meet Leo. It was hysterical."

He said the initial meeting went well and DiCaprio "charmed everybody" and he was asked back so that he could do a read with Winslet. But the budding star wasn't pleased that he was expected to read lines with the lead actress ahead of being cast.

"So he came back a couple of days later, and I had the camera set up to record the video," Cameron recalled. "He didn't know he was going to test. He thought it was another meeting to meet Kate. So I said, 'Okay, we'll just go in the next room, and we'll run some lines and I'll video it.'

size-full wp-image-1263180315
Credit: Cinematic Collection / Alamy

"And he said, 'You mean, I'm reading?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Oh, I don't read.' I shook his hand and said, 'Thanks for coming by.' And he said, 'Wait, wait, wait. If I don't read, I don't get the part? Just like that?'

"And I said, 'Oh, yeah. Come on. This is 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.'"

DiCaprio eventually agreed to read - albeit reluctantly.

"So he comes in, and he's like every ounce of his entire being is just so negative — right up until I said, 'Action.' Then he turned into Jack," the director explained. "Kate just lit up, and they played the scene. Dark clouds had opened up, and a ray of sun came down and lit up Jack. I'm like, 'All right. He's the guy.'"

Featured image credit: Erik Pendzich / Alamy