Earlier this year, James Cameron revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio almost lost out on his role in 1998’s Titanic.
Inspired by the real-life wreckage of the British RMS Titanic in 1912, DiCaprio, 48, starred as Jack Dawson in the epic romance movie. He played alongside Kate Winslet, 47, who portrayed his love interest, Rose DeWitt Bukater.
However, in an interview with GQ, Cameron, 68, revealed that the actor almost missed out on the part due to an early refusal to read with Winslet.
Reminiscing on the moment, the Canadian filmmaker said: “He didn’t know he was going to test. He came in, he thought it was another meeting to meet Kate.
“And I said, 'Okay, so we’ll just go in the next room and we’ll just, we’ll run some lines and I’ll video it.”
Cameron then said that DiCaprio, then aged 23, said: “You mean I’m reading?” to which the filmmaker said, “Yeah”.
“And he said, 'Oh, I don’t read.' “And I said, 'Well', and I shook his hand. I said, 'Well, thanks for coming by.'
The brutal dismissal seemed to wake an arrogant DiCaprio up, as he apparently said: “Wait, wait, wait; you mean if I don’t read, I don’t get the part, just like that?”
Cameron replied: “And I said, 'Oh yeah, come on.' This is like a giant movie, it’s gonna take two years of my life and you’ll be gone doing five other things while I’m doing post-production and all the model work and everything.”
“So I’m not gonna’ f*** it up by making the wrong decision is casting. So you’re gonna read or you’re not gonna get the part.”
The 68-year-old continued to say that the actor agreed to read, but came into the room with 'every ounce of his entire being' radiating negativity.
“Right up until I said, 'Action,' and then he turned into Jack,” he revealed.
“And Kate just lit up and they went into this whole thing and he 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.'"
Despite being prepared to let Leo go there and then, Cameron later admitted that it is 'hard' to imagine anybody else starring in the romance movie.
“You try to imagine that movie without Leo or Kate,” he told the interviewer. “It’s very hard to do.”