In many ways, the feature is from 1997 Titanic was the last old-school Hollywood blockbuster, relying on star power and dramatic storytelling to convince audiences rather than CGI or brand recognition. Rumors about the making of the film have since reached epic proportions. An old legend was that Matthew McConaughey would play the lead role of Jack Dawson until Leonardo DiCaprio came into the picture. In an interview with Rob Lowe, McConaughey admitted that his audition went so well that he was certain he’d got the part.
“So I went to read with Kate Winslet and it wasn’t one of the auditions – they filmed it so it looked like we had a screen test. And when we came out they said, ‘That went great.’ I mean, kind of hugs. I really thought it was going to happen. It didn’t. “
At the time Titanic was made, director James Cameron was looking for a charismatic edge to take on the role of Jack. Matthew McConaughey was already an established movie star at the time. But Cameron eventually decided that the role of Jack needed someone younger. That was when a young actor named Leonardo DiCaprio came to his attention.
Unfortunately, DiCaprio wasn’t interested in making a big-budget romance. Despite starting out in sitcoms, the young actor had already made a name for himself on the indie circuit with acclaimed performances in Basketball Diaries and What does Gilbert Grape eatDiCaprio had little interest in being part of the blockbuster Hollywood, but his audition scene won Cameron despite the actor’s little effort himself.
[DiCaprio] I read it once, then started acting crazy, and I could never get him to concentrate on it again. But for a fraction of a second a beam of light came down from the sky and lit up the forest. “
It’s strange to consider that McConaughey went all in during his audition, was already an established big movie star and really wanted to play Jack, but Cameron chose to go with DiCaprio instead, who had little experience making movies. with a big budget, and even less interest in becoming a star.
Still, Cameron’s instinct cannot be faulted as the film went on to become one of the greatest successes of all time. DiCaprio’s performance proved so overwhelming that “Leomania” became a legitimate pop culture phenomenon, and his role as Jack Dawson became the most popular character in DiCaprio’s career.
As for McConaughey, he was able to recover from his failure Titanic audition and go on to make a series of critically and commercially successful films. McConaughey and DiCaprio would later meet on-screen for a short scene in The Wolf of Wall Street, where McConaughey’s character acted as a mentor to DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort. Maybe to make up for the time DiCaprio McConaughey learned landing one Titanic audition.