“Thanks for coming by”: James Cameron Was Ready To Kick Leonardo DiCaprio Out Of Titanic – What Changed His Mind?

James Cameron, the director of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, was ready to fire Leonardo DiCaprio during the casting process.

"Thanks for coming by": James Cameron Was Ready To Kick Leonardo DiCaprio Out Of Titanic - What Changed His Mind?


  • DiCaprio initially refused to read lines for the character of Jack, which almost led to Cameron dismissing him from the project.
  • However, after realizing he wouldn't get the part without reading, DiCaprio agreed and impressed Cameron with his performance during the screen test.
  • This led to the iconic pairing of DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which contributed significantly to the film's success.
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James Cameron hit it big when his 1997 movie Titanic won 11 Academy Awards. Apart from Cameron’s excellent vision, it was the movie’s lead pairing that won millions of hearts worldwide. It propelled both Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet to everlasting global stardom, making them one of the best pairings in the history of cinema.

James Cameron
James Cameron

However, that pairing might have never come about for Cameron was ready to kick DiCaprio out during their pairing as the actor refused to read lines for the character. However, even he knew that he couldn’t get a more perfect Jack than him and decided to cast him as soon as the Inception star eventually read the lines.

Also Read: “I’ve been trying to figure out if we got that right”: Not the Door Scene, James Cameron Was Worried for 20 Years if He Got Another ‘Titanic’ Sequence Right


James Cameron Was Ready To Fire Leonardo DiCaprio From Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Also Read: “I didn’t feel it was my right to be miserable”: Kate Winslet Kept Her Feelings Secret While Leonardo DiCaprio Was Complaining to Her in Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to do the movie for he already had a pretty good career so far and had plenty of opportunities. But James Cameron and Kate Winslet eventually convinced him and he showed up for the meeting.

And just as everyone expected the star charmed everyone with his looks, personality, and charisma. While Winslet was already locked in for the part, DiCaprio had one more obstacle to cross, a screen test. But it was during the screen test that disaster struck. In an interview with GQ, the director revealed,


“He came in a couple of days later, and I had the camera set up to record the video. He didn’t know he was gonna test. He thought it was another meeting to meet Kate. So I said, ‘Okay, we’ll just go in the next room, and we’ll run some lines and I’ll video it.’ And he said, ‘You mean, I’m reading?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read.’ I shook his hand and said, ‘Thanks for coming by.’”

Cameron had already given up on DiCaprio but the actor came back shocked that he was going to be kicked out as easily.

Also Read: Leonardo DiCaprio Lost His Mind After One Titanic Scene Because of James Cameron’s 20 Takes Rule

Leonardo DiCaprio Screen Test Convinced Cameron To Cast Him

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

When DiCaprio refused to read lines, Cameron knew he wouldn’t be betting his entire career and a huge movie on him and hence had already said his goodbyes. But the young actor wasn’t ready to give up then, as the Avatar director revealed in his GQ interview.


“And he said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. If I don’t read, I don’t get the part? Just like that?’ And I said, ‘Oh, yeah. Come on. This is a giant movie, its going to take two years of my life… So, I’m not going to f**k it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So, you’re going to read, or you’re not going to get the part.’”

Relentless and let down, DiCaprio agreed.

“So he comes in, and he’s like every ounce of his entire being is just so negative — right up until I said, ‘Action.’ Then he turned into Jack. Kate just lit up, and they played the scene. Dark clouds had opened up, and a ray of sun came down and lit up Jack. I’m like, ‘All right. He’s the guy.’”

And that is how the $2.2 billion grossing movie got its magical pairing.

Titanic can be streamed on Paramount Plus.


Written by Maria Sultan

Articles Published: 1264

Maria Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. Having honed her skills are a Freelance and Professional content writer for more than 5 years (and counting), her expertise spans various genres and content type. A Political Science and History Graduate, her deep interest in the world around shapes her writing, blending her insights across diverse themes.

Outside the realm of writing, Maria can be often found buried in the world of books or pursuing art or engaged in fervent discussions about anything or everything, her passions balanced by binge watching Kdramas, Anime, Movies or Series during leisure hours.