In many ways, the 1997 feature Titanic was the latest old-school Hollywood blockbuster, based on star power and a dramatic story to win over audiences rather than CGI or brand recognition. Rumors about the making of the film have taken on epic proportions ever since. A long-standing legend was that Matthew McConaughey was going to play the lead role of Jack Dawson until Leonardo DiCaprio came on the scene. In an interview with Rob Lowe, McConaughey admitted that his audition went so well that he was sure he nailed the role.
“So I went and read with Kate Winslet and it wasn’t one of the auditions, they filmed it, so it was like screen test time. After we left, you know, it was one of those that I They kept going and when we got out they said, ‘It was great.’ I mean, kind of like hugs. I really thought it was going to happen. It didn’t. “
In the moment in which Titanic was being done, director James Cameron was looking for a charismatic lead to take on the role of Jack. Matthew McConaughey I was already an established movie star at the time. But Cameron ultimately decided that the role of Jack needed someone younger. It was then that his attention was drawn to a young actor named Leonardo DiCaprio.
Unfortunately, DiCaprio wasn’t interested in doing a big-budget romance. Despite starting out in sitcoms, the young actor had already made a name for himself on the indie circuit with critically acclaimed performances on Basketball Diaries Y What is Gilbert Grape eating. DiCaprio had little desire to be a part of the Hollywood blockbuster, but his audition scene convinced Cameron, even though the actor himself put little effort into it.
“[DiCaprio] I read it once, then I started fooling around, and I could never get him to focus on it again. But for a split second, a ray of light descended from the sky and illuminated the forest. “
It’s strange considering McConaughey tried his best on his audition, he was already an established big movie star and really wanted to play Jack, but Cameron chose to go with DiCaprio, who had little experience making big-budget movies, and even less interest in become a star.
Still, Cameron’s instinct cannot be faulted, as the film became one of the biggest hits of all time. DiCaprio’s performance was so overwhelming that “Leomania” became a legitimate pop culture phenomenon, and his role as Jack Dawson became the most popular character of DiCaprio’s career.
As for McConaughey, he was able to bounce back from his failed Titanic audition and go on to make a series of commercially and critically 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 taught McConaughey Titanic hearing.