James Cameron says Leonardo DiCaprio nearly missed out on 'Titanic' role because he was 'just so negative' in his audition
Leonardo DiCaprio nearly lost the chance to play Jack Dawson in "Titanic."
Director James Cameron said the star was "so negative" during his second audition.
Cameron said the Academy Award-winning actor initially refused to read lines with Kate Winslet.
James Cameron's "Titanic" is one of the most successful films of all time, earning 11 Oscars in 1998 out of the 14 it was nominated for, as well as raking in $2.208 billion over the years.
The story of the real ill-fated passenger liner is the backdrop for a doomed love story between poor artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and wealthy socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet).
But the film almost looked completely different, because leading man Leonardo DiCaprio nearly missed out on being cast due to his attitude during the audition process, according to Cameron.
The "Terminator" and "Aliens" director recently spoke to GQ about his impressive career ahead of "Avatar: The Way of Water," and said that DiCaprio was initially quite charming during the audition process, but things took a turn.
He explained: "So Leo came in — of course, charmed everybody, myself included. And I said, 'Alright, let's see what your chemistry's like with Kate.'"
This is when DiCaprio started to push back against 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, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Oh, I don't read.'"
Cameron said that his only response was to shake the young actor's hand, saying "Well, thanks for coming by," noting that this is when DiCaprio realized his mistake.
"He said, 'Wait, wait, wait. You mean if I don't read, I don't get the part? Just like that?'"
The director pointed out that because "Titanic" was such a huge project, he needed to be absolutely sure of who he was bringing on board.
Cameron recalled telling DiCaprio: "'Oh, yeah. Come on. This is, like, a giant movie that's gonna take two years of my life … so I'm not gonna f–k it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So you're gonna read, or you're not gonna get the part.'"
The now-68-year-old director recalled that DiCaprio's attitude wasn't great, saying: "Every ounce of his entire being [was] just so negative, right up until I said, 'Action!' and then he turned into Jack."
Thankfully, the actor's performance gelled perfectly with Winslet's, who "lit up" opposite DiCaprio, instantly convincing Cameron that "he's the guy."
Read the original article on Insider