Leonardo DiCaprio almost missed out on playing Jack Dawson in “Titanic.”
Director James Cameron said the star was “very negative” during her second audition.
Cameron said the Academy Award-winning actor initially refused to read lines with Kate Winslet.
But the movie almost looked completely different, because the lead Leonardo DiCaprio was nearly not cast due to his attitude during the audition process, according to Cameron.
The director of “Terminator” and “Aliens” recently spoke to GQ about his impressive career leading up to “Avatar: The Way of Water” and said DiCaprio was initially quite charming during the audition process, but things changed.
He explained, “So Leo came in, of course, he wowed everyone, including myself. And I said, ‘Okay, let’s see what your chemistry with Kate is like.
It was then that DiCaprio began to reject Cameron, as he refused to read his lines for a recorded audition.
The director recalled: “And he said, ‘You mean I’m reading?’ And I said, ‘Yes’. He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read.’
Cameron said his only response was to shake the young actor’s hand, saying “Well, thanks for coming,” noting that that’s when DiCaprio realized his mistake.
“He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. You mean if I don’t read, I don’t get the part? So?'”
The director noted that because “Titanic” was such a big project, he needed to be absolutely sure who he would cast.
Cameron recalled telling DiCaprio: “’Oh, yeah. Let’s go. This is like one giant movie that’s going to take two years of my life… so I’m not going to ruin it by making a wrong casting decision. So you’ll read, or you won’t get the part.’”
The director, now 68, recalled that DiCaprio’s attitude was not very good, saying: “Every ounce of his entire being [was] so negative, until I said, ‘Action!’ and then he became Jack.”
Thankfully, the actor’s performance meshed perfectly with Winslet’s, who “lighted up” in front of DiCaprio, instantly convincing Cameron that “he’s the guy.”
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