Leonardo DiCaprio almost wasn’t cast as Jack in ‘Titanic’

It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role of “Titanic’s” Jack Dawson. I mean, remember those pretty boy looks? Those bedroom eyes? That smile? His small frame, which made you want to hug him forever so that he’d never ever slip away into the ocean? How could anyone else ever step into that totally iconic role?

Welp. It turns out that had Paramount had its way, Leonardo DiCaprio would never have been cast. That’s right. Late ’90s childhood crushes everywhere would have been completely different if Jack was played by the studio’s top choice.

Say what?!


But Leo is Jack. Charming, boyish good looks, a great dancer, a fantastic artist, a little bit of a mystery. You know—everything you want in a man you’ll only be spending a few hours with before he dies in the ocean.

As hard as it is to think about, once you hear who was the top pick, you might just be able to picture it. Ready?


Instead of DiCaprio’s hand, Kate Winslet would have never been “not letting go” (and by that we mean totally letting go) of—drumroll please—Matthew McConaughey’s!

“I auditioned with Matthew, isn’t that weird?” Winslet said on a recent episode of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” “Never said that in public before. I auditioned with Matthew, which was completely fantastic. It just wouldn’t have been the whole, Jack and Rose, Kate and Leo thing.”

As much as we could possibly, maybe, somewhat see 1997 McConaughey in the role, we can’t imagine a world without the whole “Kate and Leo thing,” so we’re glad we don’t have to.


Although they didn’t audition with Winslet, some other pretty well known actors were also looking to play Jack. Can you imagine Christian Bale, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp in the role? While all are swoon-worthy, we just can’t see it!


According to Winslet, it was director James Cameron who wanted DiCaprio for the role—and we’re so glad he did.

In honor of “Titanic” returning to theaters for its twentieth anniversary, Winslet also answered Titanic-themed questions from Colbert’s staff, many of whom are big-time fans of the film. She also re-enacted the famous “door scene” with Colbert, proving once and for all that yes, Jack and Rose both could have fit!

Check out the full Titanic segment of the interview below:

If you’re now torn between your love for Leo and Matthew, don’t worry—they later starred in a film together, so you can get the best of both worlds! While there is no romance on a sinking ship, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is filled with drama.


Oh, and wondering who else might have been Rose? That character could have been played by Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore or Claire Danes, all of whom auditioned.

In the end, we’re so thankful for how it all turned out—even if that door scene totally could have ended differently. Leo and Kate are seriously the best!