It turns out James Cameron's Titanic, which remains one of the most successful movies ever, could have looked a whole lot different. We know the tale of Jack and Rose as told by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. However, that couple could have very easily been played by Matthew McConaughey and Gwyneth Paltrow instead, had things went just a little bit differently.
During a recent episode of the Shoot This Now podcast, it was brought up that both Matthew McConaughey and Gwyneth Paltrow were not only in the running, but were amongst the top choices for the 1997 box office smash. In an interview with Stephen Colbert last year, Kate Winslet revealed that she actually auditioned with McConaughey. Here's what she had to say about it.
"I auditioned with Matthew, isn't that weird? 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."
At the time, McConaughey wasn't nearly as well known as he is now, having primarily been known for his work in Dazed and Confused. Not to mention that it wasn't until relatively recently in his career that he was taken more seriously, ultimately leading him to an Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club in 2014. But he could just as easily been nominated for Best Actor for Titanic, had things gone another way. Instead, that was what put Leonardo DiCaprio in an entirely different realm and helped turn him into one of easily the most talented actors working today.
As for Gwyneth Paltrow, she was reportedly one of the final two actresses being considered for the role of Rose, which ultimately went to Kate Winslet and earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars. Paltrow, in an interview with Howard Stern, makes it clear that she didn't turn the role down, as is a common misconception, according to her account and that she doesn't hold onto things that simply didn't work out.
"I know that the story is that I turned it down. I think I was really in contention for it, I was one of the last two. I look back at the choices I've made and think, 'Why the hell did I say yes to that? And no to that?' And you know, you look at the big picture and think: There's a universal lesson here. What good is it to hold onto roles?"
It didn't take long for Gwyneth Paltrow to bounce back in a big way. She went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999, which also went on to win Best Picture that year. Though, it's commonly regarded as one of the biggest mistakes ever made by The Academy to not have awarded Saving Private Ryan with the Oscar that year. But that's a story for another time.
Titanic went on to gross more than $2 billion at the box office, which was beyond unheard of in 1997, and won 10 Oscars. It remains just one of four movies more than two decades later to have crossed the $2 billion mark at the global box office. This comes to us courtesy of the Shoot This Now podcast.