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The actor had just starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio at the time
It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the roles of Jack and Rose in Titanic, other than Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
However, Claire Danes has now revealed that she was initially touted for the role.
Speaking to actor Dax Shepherd on his podcast Armchair Expert, Danes reflected on the career decision she made back in the nineties to turn down the part.
‘I think I did [get offered the role] I’m not entirely clear on that,’ she said before confirming there was ‘strong interest’ in her for the lead part.
‘Honestly I had just made this romantic epic with Leo [DiCaprio] in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic and I just didn’t have it in me.’
At the time, a 17-year-old Danes had just wrapped Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet where Danes starred as the famous female protagonist opposite DiCaprio’s Romeo (and at the time she admitted to having some ‘crush-y’ feelings towards the Oscar winner).
The Homeland actor then revealed – having been a close confidant to DiCaprio – that she had learned he too was conflicted about whether to take what then became a career-defining role.
‘I knew he [DiCaprio] was wrestling with the decision to do that movie or not and he looked up at me and said, “I’m doing it.” I could see he wasn’t sure but he was like f*** it, I’ve got to do this thing.
‘I looked at him like I totally understand why he wanted to do that but I’m not ready for that. I remember after the movie came out and he just went into another stratosphere… It was a little scary. I just couldn’t do it, I didn’t want it.’
Danes clarified she has ‘zero regrets’ about turning down the role, explaining: ‘I was really clear about it, I wasn’t conflicted. I was feeling eager to have different creative experiences and that felt like a repeat and it was going to propel me towards something that I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with.’
DiCaprio himself recently spoke about how the 1997 movie changed his life after he suddenly found himself being followed by paparazzi.
Asked by podcast host Marc Maron when he realised his life was never going to be the same, the 45-year-old replied: ‘Yeah, a film called Titanic.‘
‘I was in my early twenties, then the movie came out and I just remember four SUVs outside my house one day and they just kept following me every day of my life and I was like OK, this life will no longer be the same.’