Claire Danes reveals she turned down the lead in Titanic for a very understandable reason

More than 20 years after its release, Titanic remains one of the most iconic movies of all time—and one of our go-to flicks every time we need a good cry. The film propelled its young stars, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, to fame, but it turns out, DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet costar Claire Danes almost starred alongside him, and we cannot believe this plot twist.

It’s truly difficult to imagine anyone but Winslet as Rose from Titanic, but Danes just dished that her name was tossed in the mix to play Jack’s love interest. People reports that Danes shared the story in an interview with Dax Shepard on the Monday, January 27th episode of his podcast, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. She said that while she’s “not entirely clear” on what went down (this was more than two decades ago, after all!), she knew there was “strong interest” in having her star alongside DiCaprio again, especially after the pair played star-crossed lovers just a year earlier.


“I had just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic,” Danes revealed. “And I just didn’t have it in me.”

It seems she knew that the movie was going to be a huge success, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready for that level of fame. Of course, the success of Titanic made DiCaprio one of the biggest and most bankable actors in Hollywood. Danes remembers that time, saying, “I remember after that movie came out and he just went into another stratosphere,” which she recalls feeling “a little scary.”

She said, “I think I may have sensed that I was courting that [level of fame] or I was proximate to that,” she said. “I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want it.”

Danes says she has "zero regrets" about turning down the role, adding, "I was really clear about it. I wasn’t conflicted. It was going to propel me to something I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with. I knew I had to do a lot of foundation building."


Danes also remembers DiCaprio struggling with the same concerns. When he finally told her that he had decided to take the role of Jack, she said, “I could see he wasn’t sure…But he was like, ‘Fuck it, I gotta do this.’”

Of course, we would have loved to see these two together on the big screen again (would Danes’ Rose have helped rescue Jack in that door scene?!), we totally hear what she’s saying. Plus, these two could totally star together in something again, and we’d love to see them team up on the big screen. Hollywood, are you listening? We need this. We deserve this.

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