Despite being released back in 1997, James Cameron's Titanic is arguably just as relevant today as it was when it hit theaters and broke endless box office records. Just about every line of Titanic is quotable, and the performances by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are arguably the most iconic and well-known of their respective careers. But other actors went out for those roles, including Matthew McConaughey.
That's right, it turns out that the Rom-Com favorite and Oscar winner could have been Jack Dawson, and actually went in to read for the part with Kate Winslet herself. Matthew McConaughey recently recalled this story, saying:
Well, this stinks. Nobody likes rejection, and it must have been worse considering Matthew McConaughey felt so confident after reading with Kate Winslet for Titanic. And when the movie ended up being the insane hit that it was, it must have been especially painful for the Dallas Buyer's Club actor.
The story of Matthew McConaughey's killer Titanic audition comes from his recent appearance on THR'sAwards Chatter podcast. Considering the actor's long career in Hollywood beginning with Dazed and Confused, he's no doubt faced plenty of rejections and auditions that were all for naught. But McConaughey isn't a name typically associated with James Cameron's behemoth blockbuster.
It's hard to imagine someone else playing Jack Dawson, let alone Matthew McConaughey. While the actor has enjoyed a long tenure in the movies, his critical success is more of a recent event. His involvement in projects like Interstellar and The Wolf of Wall Street helped put him in more serious dramatic work, while Dallas Buyer's Club and the first season of True Detective brought accolades his way. But prior to that, he was mostly known as the King of Romantic Comedies.
Of course, there's also likely an upside from side stepping Jack Dawson in Titanic. While it brought Leonardo DiCaprio tons of money and success, it's also the role that will likely follow the actor forever. DiCaprio has worked with everyone and finally earned his coveted Academy Award, but trips to the supermarket and the airport no doubt include people telling him he's the king of the world, or asking him to never let go. It's just that iconic of a project.
Titanic would not be the first time Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio's paths crossed professionally. In fact, they starred in Martin Scoresese's The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013-- with both performances being critical successes. And the two actors are certainly not playing the same type anymore.
Matthew McConaughey will be next seen in Serenity, coming to theaters January 25th, while Leonardo DiCaprio just wrapped Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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