Why Leonardo DiCaprio almost didn’t play Jack Dawson in Titanic

Why Leonardo DiCaprio almost didn’t play Jack Dawson in Titanic
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

Twenty years ago, Titanic made its debut in theatres. I will give you a few seconds to queue up "My Heart Will Go On" on your Spotify playlist before you freak out at how fast time flies.

It may not be the most profound movie as compared to the other Oscar-winning films we've seen. It's not as socially relevant as 12 Years a Slave, there is no convoluted plot similar to The Departed but it is no doubt a classic. We still have space in our hearts for Leonardo DiCaprio's boyish looks and have arguments if Kate Winslet's character Rose could have allowed Jack on the door she was floating on.

As we remember the movie for its pop culture significance and how much we still refer to it, here are fun facts you should know about the film.

#1 Shot on the wrong sea

Titanic has a lot of famous scenes such as the "I'm the King of the World" one complete with a shot of dolphins swimming past the ship. If you want to be geeky about it, those dolphins belong nowhere the North Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic sailed. According to the movie's IMDB page, they are Pacific white-sided dolphins. But, hey, Jack is still king of the world.

#2 Leo almost didn't land the part

It's hard to think of Jack Dawson being played by someone other than Leonardo DiCaprio. But it's said that the stuido initially wanted Matthew McConauhey to play Jack. Director James Cameron insisted on Leo, however and it turned out to be alright, alright, alright.

#3 The great debate

In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Kate Winslet said that indeed Jack could have shared the door with her to avoid being frozen to death. So yes, Jack died for nothing and just out of sheer foolishness for the sake of their love being more romantic. The lesson is clear here: Always share the space on the floating door when waiting for a rescue team in the middle of the ocean.

#4 James drew Rose like one of his French girls

In the same interview, Kate revealed that it was James Cameron who drew her. You will already notice that the hands seen when the camera focused on the drawing were too old to be Leo's. Yes, you can totally use this as an excuse to watch Titanic all over again to spot the inconsistency.

#5 It's not over yet

Kate may have one opinion about the surface area of the door. James has another one. Sorry, the debate is never going to be over. Put this argument right next to Ross and Rachel's "We were on a break" karfuffle. In an interview with Vanity Fair, James says to the question, "And the answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple…Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him…I think it's all kind of silly, really, that we're having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die."

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