Titanic was one of the biggest and most greatly commended masterpieces of the late ’90s, and it was all thanks to all the actors’ outstanding performances under James Cameron’s remarkable directing. But if there was one person who didn’t quite enjoy the shoot, it was the Jack Dawson of the film, aka Leonardo DiCaprio.
Not only did he have a ‘quarter-life crisis’ on the sets of the movie, but he also got so reportedly sick of filming in the giant tub, that filmmaker Cameron had acquired, that he strolled around the entire set only to end up calling it “bulls—t”.
Leonardo DiCaprio Struggled In Quarter-Life Crisis On The Titanic Set
Back when he was cast in Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio was more instinctively attracted to the fun and carefree lifestyle that he looked for in his movies as well. Thus, being constantly on set and filming in the giant tub that James Cameron had obtained for the movie eventually drove the young actor sick.
A story cover cum interview by Vanity Fair from January 1998 covered DiCaprio’s story about the same. As per the story:
“[Leonardo DiCaprio] was sick of the brown land, the mariachi merriment, and [James] Cameron’s big tub.”
Thus, one day, he decided to go about the set to perhaps seek some adventure to get out of the constant boredom that James Cameron‘s giant tank had surrounded him with.
“Jonah Johnson, DiCaprio’s assistant for the movie, recalls the day he ambled over to the set, took a good look at the four sound stages, the 17-million-gallon water tank, the smokestacks rising majestically against the sky, the hordes of extras running around in period clothes… and thought, ‘This is bulls—t.’”
However, little could the then-23-year-old star do about the situation as his schedule got even more hectic for Titanic and he “bobbed through the water scenes he had detested from the moment he first edged catlike into the tank.”
Titanic Wasn’t Quite Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Cup Of Tea’
Although he signed up for it, Leonardo DiCaprio soon realized that Titanic wasn’t quite his cup of tea. He really missed the life he led back in L.A. and wanted to go back to it. As the story further covered:
“Though he admired [James] Cameron, and liked his role as the cocky artist who steals costar Kate Winslet’s waterproof heart, DiCaprio instinctively saw himself as someone other than a big-time, big-budget star who could be hailed on street corners by just… Leo!”
But it’s not like he was wrong about wanting to go back to his old life and shooting the films he shot: DiCaprio’s concerns about himself were rather justified.
“How could he help but be concerned? All his entrancing qualities—the brashness, the sweet adolescent awkwardness—were about to be given a heroic dimension and Hollywood spin… love, innocence, the perils of the sea.”
Furthermore, having the same DiCaprio who had “confined himself mainly to playing oddballs and misfits in movies” play a somewhat different character like Jack Dawson wasn’t entirely appealing to him: especially not in the conditions in which he had to shoot.
“At the wrap party in March, [Kate] Winslet presented him with a thick thermal blanket, in which he buried himself. ‘After the whole experience,’ he says now, ‘I know it’s really not my cup of tea—all respect to Jim [Cameron] and the actors who do that type of thing.’”
Considering how much he disliked being on the sets of Titanic, it’s pretty much a surprise how Leonardo DiCaprio still ended up performing so tremendously that the movie got nominated for 14 Oscars and wound up winning a whopping 11 out of them!