By this point, we’ve all seen Titanic. Some of you might regret watching James Cameron’s nautical epic. Others might regard Titanic as a perfect romantic-disaster flick that is only despised because of its success. Either way, the fact that the cast and crew of Titanic’s food was laced with PCP during filming will probably make even the most fervent of naysayers contemplate re-watching the film.
Some of you may already be aware of this tale. Back in 1996, over a year before Titanic landed in cinemas and instantly became a pop culture phenomenon, E! Online reported that the film crew’s lobster chowder was spiked with the drug. However, at the time, it was assumed that neither James Cameron nor any of Titanic’s major stars, which included Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and the one and only Billy Zane, were victims. However Bill Paxton has now come out with some comments that suggest even they were drugged too.
"Jim had one eye completely red, like the Terminator’s eye – no pupil, no iris, just red. The other eye looked like he’d been sniffing glue since the age of four."
So what actually happened to the Titanic crew’s food? Who was responsible? Well, there’s only one man that I think we can all assume wasn’t in on it. And that’s the legend that is Billy Zane. Why do you have such faith that Billy Zane wasn’t involved? I’ll let Hansel from Zoolander explain:
According to Sabotage Times, two chefs that had recently been fired by James Cameron were quickly blamed for the incident. However there’s no report that either of them were found guilty or actually confessed to the offence. Whoever did it decided to strike at the post-shoot party, where they placed PCP inside the main course, which was lobster chowder. Bill Paxton explained that the cast and crew reacted in different ways to the PCP. Some cried. Some saw streaks and psychedelics. Paxton just felt "weird" and assumed it was "food poisoning." Either way, 24 hours later everyone affected had been released from hospital, and the legendary tale helped to enhance the myth that Titanic’s shoot had been a tumultuous rollercoaster of bloated budgets and toilet bans.
That’s right, James Cameron allegedly used to inform his crew that anyone who needed to use the toilet should "just keep walking." The director has since insisted he only made this declaration once, and it was during a rather integral shot that had taken two hours to set up. Meanwhile his 15-day shifts and 80-hour work weeks soon started to grate on the actors too. But all of this was clearly worthwhile. That’s because Titanic went on to make $2.1 billion at the box office, and it’s still, over 15 years later, the second highest grossing film of all time. Thus, Cameron wins.