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James Cameron Recalls Almost Losing Leo DiCaprio In Titanic: ‘You Change One Element And It Doesn’t Work'


James Cameron is a filmmaker with many beloved projects, who is known for pushing the limits of what film and visual/practical effects are capable of. One of his most iconic movies is definitely Titanic, which was a sensation that became the highest grossing films of all time. It also made a megastar of Leonardo DiCaprio, although Cameron recently recalled almost losing him for Titanic, saying “you change one element and it doesn’t work.” Could we have gotten another king of the world?

Titanic was released back in 1997, when Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were still young stars in Hollywood. But casting this pair wasn’t always a sure thing, namely because the Romeo + Juliet actor wasn’t sure he wanted to take on his most iconic role. James Cameron spoke to Deadline about this process, sharing:

So I look back and I see — I’m constantly struck by how fragile the whole thing is, how many places it could have failed and blown up along the line, you know? And I think about that casting Leonardo [DiCaprio] and Kate [Winslet] in Titanic. Leo, the studio didn’t want him; I had to fight for him. Kate Treally liked him. And then Leonardo decided he didn’t want to make the movie. So then I had to talk him into it. You think at any one of those places, if that had really kind of frayed apart, it would have been somebody else and it wouldn’t have been that film. And I can’t imagine that film without him and without her. So there’s a fragility to the whole process, there’s a fragility to success. You change one element and it doesn’t work.



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