Fans of Titanic may be aware that there was once an extended ending to the film that brought the late Bill Paxton back into the story. After his death, we now know what he thinks of the ending that almost was. In one of his last interviews before he passed away, the actor admitted he was glad that version of the finale wasn't used, as it just wasn't necessary.
I always saw the wrap-around story that I was involved with, with Suzy Amis and Gloria Stuart, we were like the gantry on the Saturn V rocket. We're there to hold the rocket up. But once the rocket takes off, the gantry is forgotten and falls away. Coming back to us was a way to wrap it up and kind of tie up the old Rose's story and all that. But you didn't really need anything from us. Our job was done by then. So it became very evident in the cutting. If you're smart and you take the ego and the narcissism out of it, you'll listen to the film. The film will tell you what it needs and what it does not need. And the baby needs tough love. It just wasn't necessary.
In the extended ending, the elderly Rose is heading to the side of the ship when she's seen by Bill Paxton's character Brock Lovett and some of the crew. They're afraid she going to jump and so they run to her, only to discover that she has the elusive gem that Lovett has been searching for, and she's going to toss it over the side.
As Bill Paxton tells Yahoo, the scene just wasn't necessary. His job was to help set up the main part of the film that follows the young Jack and Rose on board the ill-fated vessel. Once that story has launched, the other side of the story is no longer necessary. It's almost certainly true. We doubt anybody left the theater after seeing Titanic for the first time thinking "but what happened to Brock Lovett?" What's more, the ending itself is incredibly ham-handed in the way it spells out the film's ultimate message. Check it out.
Bill Paxton was mostly known for being a character actor so he wasn't a film's focus very often. As such, there's probably a massive amount of footage of him on cutting room floors. Still, the man clearly understood what his job was, and did his best to do it well. Paxton died yesterday at the age of 61 from complications due to surgery.