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5 Facts From Behind The Scenes Of Titanic

It’s been more than two decades since the release of director James Cameron’s iconic classic, Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett. Taking place in 1912, it dramatizes the historic sinking of the R.M.S Titanic, as well as introduces certain fictional elements, to tell an incredible story. The romantic component between the two leads, for example, contributed in large part to moviegoers turning out in droves to see the film that went on to win 11 Oscars.

Photo: flickr.com/Smedley Smoots

Timing Is Everything

James Cameron made the movie exactly two hours and 40 minutes. He wanted to include as much detail as possible, and give the audience enough to connect with the colorful characters in the film. More importantly though, and un-coincidentally, it took this exact same amount of time for the ship to sink in real life. Even the iceberg collision was true to life, lasting exactly 37 seconds. Talk about precision.

Persistence Pays Off

Kate Winslett believed she was meant to play the part of Rose. She sent notes to James Cameron every single day in an effort to convince him to give her the part, even urging him to stop auditioning other actresses. Cameron was impressed by her persistence, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Photo: flickr.com/oscary2008

Shipwreck Obsession

James Cameron made a point to see the remains of the Titanic before filming began, going on a number of diving expeditions to get up close and personal with the real Titanic. He claimed that the whole experience of seeing the wreckage was very emotional for him. Overall, Cameron took 12 dives to see the remains of the ship, and dedicated himself to learning absolutely everything he could about the iconic vessel.

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org/Courtesy of NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI)

Real Love

Though the characters of Jack and Rose were fictional, they were inspired by a romance that happened aboard the real-life Titanic. During the movie, there’s a scene where an older couple holds each other in bed, as their room floods with water. It was a nod to the true romance of Ida and Isidor Straus, the owners of Macy’s, who both sadly passed away the night of the sinking.

Ida was offered a seat on one of the life boats, but declined the offer by stating, “As we have lived together, so we shall die together,” revealing just how much the couple loved one another.

Awkward Lines

One of the most iconic and seductive scenes in the movie was when Rose requested that Jack draw her “like one of his French girls.” DiCaprio was reportedly so nervous, that instead of proceeding with his scripted line, he accidentally said, “Over on the bed…the couch,” which Cameron felt was so authentically perfect, that he decided to keep it in the movie.

Interestingly, Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t the studio’s first choice- that honor went to Matthew McConaughey. It was only through James Cameron’s insistence that DiCaprio landed the part.

While the cast began with no more than a 165-page outline, it delivered nothing short of an instant classic. Both DiCaprio and Winslett were universally praised for their performances, while Cameron was recognized for his brilliance.