One of the many reasons why Titanic is arguably one of the highest-grossing movies of all time is because of the burning chemistry between lead actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. While the sinking of the titular boat in the James Cameron movie is very hard to watch, witnessing the star-crossed love story between Jack and Rose makes watching the heavy journey in the flick worth it for those of us who enjoy romantic epics. Now, nearly 26 years after the movie’s release, Winslet is speaking honestly about what it was like working with DiCaprio in the box office hit and what their relationship is like today.
It still amazes me to this day that through the clever direction of James Cameron, we were able to see the love story of two RSS Titanic passengers develop on the big screen. Despite the packed story and tight timeline of the romance, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s chemistry in the film unfolds smoothly, offering audiences a compelling tale that places the flick among the best romantic movies. In ET’s exclusive peek in the new featurette of Titanic: Stories from the Heart found in the bonus disc of the new 4k Ultra HD release, Winslet spoke about how she and her male lead co-star “clicked immediately, right away.” She explained:
I can see where she’s coming from in terms of the actor being “very free with himself.” If you take a look at Leonardo DiCaprio’s best movies, you can tell there’s an energy and radiance that emanates from every performance. When that dedication takes over, he can successfully play any role he takes on. And to think that originally, the Wolf of Wall Street star might not have been Jack Dawson. There were actually four actors who could have been cast in Titanic as Rose’s love interest. In Kate Winslet’s screen test, it was actually with Clueless’s Jeremy Sisto who auditioned.
James Cameron told ET last year that he had to sell the Revenant star to studios who only knew him for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?. As the then-up-and-comer didn’t want to be filmed reading the script, Cameron told studios they’d have to just trust his word that the rising star was the right person for Jack. Ultimately, the then-20-year-old actor was cast. Decades later, Winslet is thankful he was picked as her screen partner, as she said she couldn’t imagine it any other way thinking about it today.
Considering the Oscar-winning movie takes place in 1912, one would think it would’ve helped the cat to understand the time period to fully embrace their characters. According to the Avatar: The Way of Water actress, that’s exactly what Leonardo DiCaprio did in order to feel in sync with Jack’s surroundings:
One can’t help but loving hearing about the connection that Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio had back in 1997, and it has endured. Over a decade after James Cameron’s film came out, the two starred in Revolutionary Road, which is about a 1950s couple that’s struggling with personal problems and the breakdown of their marriage. For Titanic fans out there, this romantic-drama film might be hard to watch, as it shows Winslet and DiCaprio’s character more at each other’s throats than in the historical romance film. However, their successful on-screen dynamic still existed. They also had an emotional reunion in 2021 after a few years of not seeing each other due to the pandemic. Winslet said the following about how they communicate now:
It’s wonderful that the bond between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio is still just as strong as the day they met filming the iconic ’90s film. Let’s hope that it continues to thrive as time goes on — and that the two team up for another film at some point.
Fans can experience more behind-the-scenes goodies when the historical drama film’s two-disc 4K Ultra HD box set comes out on December 5th. Other than the Stories from the Heart featurette, fans will have access to five hours of new bonus content. And at present, the budding chemistry between the two leads is also available to see if you stream Titanic with a Paramount+ subscription.