‘Titanic’ director James Cameron had to convince Leonardo DiCaprio to do film: ‘He thought it was too easy’
James Cameron had his work cut out for him when it came to getting Leonardo DiCaprio to star in Titanic.
The famed director was honored with a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, on Thursday and told Fox News Digital all about his struggle to get DiCaprio to play Jack Dawson.
“Leonardo came in, auditioned with Kate [Winslet]he was spectacular and then I had to convince the studio to have him and him in the movie,” he said.
Cameron revealed that it “took about three or four weeks” to convince DiCaprio that it would be a good decision.
“He didn’t accept the role until he realized how difficult it was. He thought it was too easy. “Man, I don’t want to do this. I want to make a guy with a drug addiction problem, or whatever. .’ He wanted more of a problem because he saw it as actionable,” Cameron explained.
Leonardo DiCaprio almost turned down the role of Jack Dawson in “Titanic” because he thought it was “too easy”. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
“I said ‘no, it’s when you can do what Jimmy Stewart does and just stand there and take center stage’ and that’s what convinced him,” the director said. “He didn’t think it was hard enough, then when he did it, he realized how hard it was.”
Jon Landau, a producer on “Titanic,” added that DiCaprio’s father helped them in the process of trying to convince the actor to take the role. Cameron said that DiCaprio’s father “had a lot of ideas” about changes to the script that might have done the trick, but instead of changing the content, Cameron worked to convince the actor that the material was of the caliber he wanted.
“Titanic” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet attend the 88th Academy Awards on February 28, 2016. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
Cameron and Landau’s hand and footprints were immortalized in front of the TCL Chinese Theater this week. They told Fox News Digital they were very honored and it was an achievement they never “could have dreamed” of achieving.
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“It’s not really a dream come true because I could never have dreamed that it was possible for a kid from a small village in rural Canada to be here and now be a part of this history,” Cameron said. “I was comparing it to a fossil. Here is the fossilized record of people who came before us for over a century, you know, household names. To be among them now, it’s amazing.”
He went on to explain that he “didn’t come from a Hollywood family” but always had a love for movies. He said he made his parents take him to the movies whenever I could get my arm around him long enough” and that “the first place (he) wanted to come see” when he moved to Los Angeles was Hollywood Boulevard and the Chinese Theatre.
Director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau immortalized their hands and footprints in Hollywood history. (Fox News)
Landau echoed his sentiments, saying, “I think it’s beyond what anyone could ever imagine. You grow up, you have dreams,” and the fact that one of his dreams came true “just blows his mind.”
The stars of another of Cameron’s hits, “Avatar” and its latest sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water,” Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang were present at the ceremony.
Weaver spoke of her long working relationship with Cameron, calling him “an incredible storyteller”. The actress said for him “it all starts with what story he’s trying to tell and what’s the bigger picture in his story.”
“I remember reading the first Avatar, and…I would read every page and be like ‘how is he going to do that?’ How is he going to fly with this or horses with so many legs?’ I honestly didn’t know how he could do it and I still can’t believe he did it,” Weaver explained. “What I love about him is that he takes such big risks, but at the end of it all it’s this incredible emotional story.”
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Lang told Fox News Digital that it was “an honor to be asked to be here and to be considered not only a colleague, but I think a friend.”
“I feel like in a lot of ways they’ve been there for me for the last 16 years, they’ve been so kind and so kind in every aspect, not just in terms of work, but in terms of my life and family,” he said. Lang for Landau and Cameron. “So to be able to, in a small way, return the favor, so to speak, there’s no place I’d rather be here.”
From left to right, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Landau, James Cameron and Stephen Lang attend the hand and footprint ceremony in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Lori Bashian is an entertainment production assistant for Fox News Digital.