21 Fascinating Facts About the Legendary 'Titanic' Movie
It's been more than two decades since James Cameron made history with his great romantic epic, Titanic. The film's legacy has "gone on" in the hearts of all die-hard fans but there are still some ongoing debates... Could Jack have fit on the door, was the story really real...? Read on to find out!
21. How Kate Winslet Forced The Director To Cast Her
The acclaimed actress, Kate Winslet was not always the first choice for the lead role of Rose. She was still a growing talent back in the 90s and in the end, it was her tenacity that landed her the job. In fact, she called the director, James Cameron, personally to beg him for this role. She said:
“I closed the script, wept floods of tears and said, ‘Right, I’ve absolutely got to be a part of this. No two ways about it. And I think he pulled over and I said, ‘I just have to do this, and you are really mad if you don’t cast me.’”
20. Titanic Was Never Meant To Feature Celine Dion's Iconic Voice
One of the closest calls in the Titanic movie history is in connection to the amazing soundtrack. Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' has become synonymous with the movie. But fans might not know this single was almost not part of the story... James Cameron wanted the music to be purely instrumental.
Fortunately, the man in charge of the sound effects had other plans... It took him a month to convince the director to include the iconic song... and we're all pretty happy they eventually went with it. He said:
“She started singing the song and it was just electrifying. By the end of it, we were all emotionally shook up. She started crying while singing it two-thirds of the way through the song, and then everybody in the room was crying. She was singing it like her life depended on it.”
19. The Long List Of Ladies Vying For The Role Of Rose
For this role of a lifetime there sure were a lot of ladies in the audition line! From the likes of Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone all the way to Gwyneth Paltrow... Kate really had to go above and beyond to stand out from this crowd of hopefuls.
18. Kate Winslet Flashed Leonardo DiCaprio (By Accident)
During the first few days on set, the main characters had a comical moment in the dressing room. Kate was getting her makeup done when both of them had a blush-worthy moment. This incident actually helped break the ice between them! Kate shared:
“I was having my makeup put on – with nothing on – and there was Leo. He saw me and went, ‘Whooa!’ and I said, ‘We’re going to spend the whole day like this; we might as well get over it now.’ That broke the ice.”
17. Jack Didn't Really Draw That Famous Sketch Of Rose
We all remember the sultry scene where Jack draws Rose while wearing the Heart of the Ocean necklace. But fans don't know who the surprising artist behind the drawing really is... It was none other than director, James Cameron! It seems he is truly multitalented... The sketch was auctioned for $16,000.
16. Who Was Jack's Character Really Based On
The back story for Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Jack Dawson, draws inspiration from the writer Jack London. He was alive during the Titanic period and actually spent time at a sailor. While he never sailed on the Titanic, he did prove a great muse for the role.
15. Gloria Stuart Was The Only Cast Member Alive When The Real Titanic Sunk
As a baby, the 2-year old Gloria Stuart was actually alive when the real-life Titanic went down. This actress has a very special role in the film. The year after the success of Titanic she became the oldest Academy Award nominee! Gloria was a full 87 years of age when she attended the ceremony.
14. Leonardo Dicaprio's Body Double Gained Lots Of Attention
Brett Baker played the body double for Leo and his security would often tell fans that Baker was indeed the real actor... This would cause some media frenzy whenever they came on to the set each day! Baker said:
“They went berserk. Screaming, looking inside the window, waving their pieces of paper for an autograph. The guards just thought this was so funny. I don’t know if anyone knew that was going on at the gate every morning.”
13. Who Else Was In The Running For The Lead Role
Just as many actors wanted the role of Jack as actresses that wanted to play Rose. While Leonardo eventually landed the coveted spot, there were a few other big names in the running. From Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to Jeremy Sisto, it was a tough choice to make!
12. Leonardo DiCaprio Auditioned Thanks To Kate Winslet
So how did Leo end up auditioning for the role that would change his life? Well, it was actually all thanks to his future bestie, Kate Winslet. The actress urged him to try out for the role during the Cannes Film Festival! Leo spoke on this moment in 2016 saying:
“We’d done all of these independent movies. I loved her as an actress and she said, ‘Let’s do this together, we can do this.’ We did it, and it became something that we could’ve never foreseen.”
11. Why The Filmmakers Used A Decoy Title
Does the title, 'Planet Ice' ring a bell? We didn't think so... That's because that title was never really used for a movie. It was just employed as a decoy title for Titanic. Why? Well, this was just in case other studios were also busy making films about the same shipwreck... Clever!
10. The Couple That Really Was On The Titanic When It Sunk
Do you remember the sweet elderly couple that refused to leave each other during the sinking of the ship? Theirs was a real story based on the Straus couple who really went down with the ship. Isidor and Ida Strauss were emotively played by Lew Palter and Elsa Raven in one of the film's saddest scenes.
9. Why Did An Astrophysicist Cause A Big Scene To Be Filmed Again
Why did James Cameron make changes to the 3D version of the movie? He was actually emailed by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson... He suggested that Cameron correct the stargazing scene as Rose would not have seen the stars they initially indicated while floating in real life at that location and time...
8. Director James Cameron Took 12 Dives To The Real Shipwreck
The film's director became extremely emotionally involved in the real-life story of the Titanic... During the research for the film, he took many dives down to the real shipwreck and was often left emotional... He eventually became the person who had spent the most time "on" the ship!
7. Titanic Is One Of The World's Most Expensive Movies
One of the most shocking facts about this film is, of course, the budget... Back in the day, it was the most expensive movie ever made... These days it still comes in a grand second place. Why? Well, the movie cost a staggering $200 million to produce... If you do the math, that's $1 million per minute of screen time!
6. $4,500 Caviar Anyone?
If we ever wondered why the budget for this movie was so high, we now know why... They spared no expense! Not even on the food... The production team wanted to make first-class life seem as believable as possible and thus they used real Beluga caviar.
Leo was the one to share this little behind the scenes fact. Apparently the caviar was priced at around $3,200 to $4,500 per pound. Jonathan Hyde also quickly stated that his character (Bruce Ismay) was a food lover when this dish was served... He comically said:
"[I] made an acting decision on the spot that Ismay was a big eater."
5. Leonardo DiCaprio Often Made Up His Own Lines
Leo was truly the right man for the job... Not only was his acting impeccable, but he was one of the best improvisers. In fact, a beloved line was made up on the spot! Remember when Jack stands at the head of the ship and shouts, "I'm the king of the world?" Well, it was never in the original script!
4. The Big Debate About The Door
Many fans have wondered about the door Rose floats on in the final scenes of the movie... The historical facts actually line up and there really was a door used to survive the sinking of the Titanic. However, the artifact, which is stored in a museum, was a lot smaller than the one seen in the film!
3. Why Didn't Rose And Jack Just Share The Door
An episode of Mythbusters has tested the dimensions of the door in the Titanic film and found that it could've held both protagonists... So, everything points to the fact that the filming crew simply used a door that would give Kate Winslet some ease in staying afloat for the film...
There are also a few other interesting theories about the door. Many believe that the oak door was possibly too heavy to hold both of them and thus Jack made the sacrifice. Either way, it certainly created some craze amongst fans and viewers of this movie!
2. Which "Cast Member" Never Got Any Screen Time
There is one cast member that was there every day of filming yet never appeared on screen... It was Leo's pet lizard. The little animal went by the name Blizzard and was the center of much attention around the set of Titanic. It's not surprising considering Leo has always been an avid animal lover.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio Initially Hated Being On The Ship
Leo loved his role as Jack but he was a bit apprehensive about the wet conditions at first. He apparently acted like a cat to water while on the film set. He only adapted to the temperature when crew members covered him in warm water during the filming... However, by the final scene, things had changed.
Leo had transformed into a fish during the water scenes. He was loving every minute of the filming and didn't even need the bucket of warm water anymore! James Cameron explained the comical scenario:
“I’m down there in my scuba equipment, and Leo comes down, and he’s a total fish underwater. And he’s [even] doing somersaults...”
Say what you will about Titanic and it's lengthy run time or overdid love story... One thing is undeniable, this was the closet thing the world ever came to a 90s classic. So tell us, which fact made you go, "Woah?!" Leave a comment and share this with your movie-loving friends.