When James Cameron casts for a new movie, every Hollywood actor’s ears straighten up (unless that person was Matt Damon, who turned down the chance to play Jake Sully in Avatar in exchange for 10% of gross profit). Every actor comes out of the woods to fight in the mortifying audition process because they know no film directed by Cameron can fail.
Titanic is no different, and, in fact, there were so many actors now on the A-list who were then strangers desperately trying to make their way into this title. Whether they lost to Leonardo DiCaprio, turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts, or rejected the role just because they didn’t like it, there were certainly some curious precursors for the role of Jack Dawson.
ten Matthew McConaughey
Rumor has it that Matthew McConaughey was offered the role of Jack by James Cameron himself, but that’s not exactly how it turned out. McConaughey came very close to landing the role of Jack, having even auditioned alongside Kate Winslet, but ultimately lost to DiCaprio.
As McConaughey was cast in romantic comedy roles, Jack would have been perfect for him. the Dallas Buyers Club the star himself said he really thinks it was going to happen, but it wasn’t like the actor had landed in rough times like back then Titanic came out, he was already a prominent bankable man.
9 Chris O’Donnell
At one point, Chris O’Donnell was one of the favorites for the role of Jack Dawson. At the time, O’Donnell wasn’t known for much outside of his role as Dick Grayson in Batman forever.
However, unfortunately it would be the box office failure of Batman and robin which kept him from getting the role of Jack. And while that’s not quite right – as he wasn’t the only reason the film was received so negatively – in Hollywood, sometimes that’s how the cards fall.
8 Billy Crudup
Although Billy Crudup has said in the past that he was never interested in playing a leading man, the only reason he turned down the role was because of scheduling conflicts. The actor was busy filming Without limits at the same time, who had a performance opposite to Titanic at the box office because he made less than $ 1 million on a $ 25 million budget.
And while that might have been a punch considering the film grossed over $ 2 billion worldwide, the actor is sticking to his guns believing he was right to lower the role. Crudup hates the intrusion that DiCaprio still suffers from the movie, and he thinks playing Jack would have wreaked havoc on his privacy.
7 Johnny Depp
In the 90s, Johnny Depp was perhaps the most requested actor in Hollywood, so it makes sense that he was selected to star in one of the most expensive films of all time. Not many people say no to James Cameron, but it was Johnny Depp who turned down the role of Jack simply because he didn’t like him.
Depp told Howard Stern he struggled to get through the 180-page script, claiming he had “worked” on it. But he might also have been too old, because he’s 12 years older than DiCaprio. And while Depp still looked young for his age at the time, he at the same time looked old enough to play an undercover FBI agent at the time, as he starred in Donnie Brasco the same year.
6 Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin is by far the youngest actor on the shortlist, as he would only be 17 when the film was released. However, the cast of the actors is based on their fundraising ability and, at the time, Culkin was one of the most famous children on the planet.
It’s hard to imagine Culkin in the role, but it would have done wonders for his career, because even to this day, 30 years after the fact, Culkin is still primarily known as the actor who played the boring Kevin McCallister. in Alone at home.
5 Christian Bale
Long before Christian Bale was known to gain and lose weight for his lead roles, and long before producers and directors approached him to star in their films, he often had to fight DiCaprio for the roles.
As DiCaprio was an unstoppable force at the time, Christian Bale kept losing to the Titanic star so much that he became envious, and he called DiCaprio his nemesis, and one of those roles was Jack Dawson. To make matters worse for the actor, the reasoning Cameron gave Bale as to why he wasn’t a good candidate – the director didn’t want two British actors playing Americans in the lead roles, as Kate Winslet was already chosen for the role of Rose.
4 Ethan hawke
Ethan Hawke is another actor who narrowly missed the role of Jack. But just like Billy Crudup, Hawke is relieved he never got the part, as he said watching DiCaprio in the role was like watching a Beatle, saying “every woman wanted to fuck him and every guy wanted to fight him.” “
Titanic Would’ve been a big break for Hawke, as prior to 1997 he’d never had much of a lead role except for the low-budget romantic drama Before sunrise. However, his biggest movie at that time was released the same year as the Titanic, entitled Gattaca; unfortunately it bombed at the box office.
3 Tom cruise
Tom Cruise was virtually offered the lead role in every film in development in the ’90s, and at one point, studio executives even wanted to change the name of Being John Malkovich at Being Tom Cruise.
There have even been so many roles that were specifically written for Cruise only to have him turn them down. And while the role of Jack was not specifically written with Cruise in mind, he almost starred in the movie, but since he was already an established star in the mid-90s, his asking price was just too high.
2 Phoenix River
After playing in Support me and wowed audiences at such a young age, playing Young Indiana Jones in The last crusadee, and being one of the youngest actors to be nominated for an Oscar, River Phoenix sadly passed away at the age of 23.
It is said that when Cameron began to conceptualize Titanic, he wanted to build the cast around River Phoenix as Jack. And if Phoenix had never died in October 1993, chances are he was in the role, not DiCaprio.
1 Brad pitt
There were a lot of roles Brad pITT almost played in – and most shocking of all is that Pitt was almost cast to play Willy Wonka in the Tim Burton remake – but he also nearly secured his place on the RMS Titanic. too.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t just Pitt who was in the running for Jack, but his then-wife Jeniffer Aniston was also being considered for the role of Rose. And, being the funny man that he is, Pitt hilariously mentioned that he would have shared the raft in his Golden Globe 2020 speech, given the controversy that there was enough room for Jack on the raft. which Rose was lying on.
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