James Cameron: ‘Avatar’ director recalls awkward encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio that nearly left him cast in Titanic
James Cameron has recalled an awkward encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio where he almost lost his titanic Role.
The director promoting a new sequel Avatar: The Way of Waterthought about the casting process of titanicwhich starred DiCaprio alongside Kate Winslet.
Cameron said he first sat down with DiCaprio to talk about the role, after which “there was a screen test” to make sure he had the chemistry with Winslet, who signed on to play the lead character Rose.
He recalled DiCaprio “charming everyone” in the room, but said the actor told him “I don’t read” when he realized Cameron would require him to audition for the role.
“A few days later he came back and I had the camera set up to take the video,” Cameron said GQ in a retrospective video interview about his career.
“He didn’t know he was going to test; he thought it was another get-together to meet Kate,” the filmmaker continued, adding, “So I said, ‘Okay, we’ll just go into the next room and we’ll do a few lines and I’ll video it record, tape.’
DiCaprio was confused when Cameron recalled him replying, “You mean I read? Oh, I don’t read.”
However, Cameron was willing to let DiCaprio go immediately if he wasn’t ready.
“I shook his hand and said, ‘Thanks for stopping by,'” the director explained.
However, his rule worked on DiCaprio, who apparently said, “Wait, wait, wait. If I don’t read, will I not get the role? Just as?”
Cameron said he told the actor, “Oh yeah. Come on. This is a gigantic film that will take two years of my life and you will do five other things while I do post production. So I’m not going to mess it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So, you’re going to read or you’re not going to get the part.’”
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He continued, “So he comes in, and he’s like every ounce of his entire being is so negative — until I said, ‘Action.’ Then he turned into Jack. Kate just lit up and they acted out the scene. Dark clouds had opened up and a ray of sunshine came down and illuminated Jack. I say, ‘Okay. He’s the guy.’”
The film became one of the greatest films of all time and has only been surpassed in the last 25 years Avengers: Endgame and Cameron’s own avatar.
At the time, DiCaprio’s credits were included What does Gilbert Grape eat?, The fast and the deadand Baz Luhrmanns Romeo + Juliet.
Winslet decided to work with Cameron one more time The way of the waterwhich comes out December 16, though she once hinted she wouldn’t because she found him “scary” on set titanic.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/leonardo-dicaprio-titanic-james-cameron-b2231259.html James Cameron: ‘Avatar’ director recalls awkward encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio that nearly left him cast in Titanic