Bizarre But True Behind The Scenes Stories From The Sets of James Cameron’s Titanic

By THP Team


Titanic has to be one of the most prolific films ever made in Hollywood history. The sheer magnificence of the film coupled with the trueness of the story, made this film one of the greatest cult classics in the history of cinema and theatre. The vision of James Cameron unfolded in one of the most spectacular ways and went on to create cinematic history. What we see on screen is the hard work of thousands of crew members working their ass off to give us the greatest cinematic experiences in history. But there are some stories that were never told, some stories that sunk into the depths of time, just like the Titanic. The History Pictures brings to you five such prolific stories from the behind-the-scenes of Titanic.

The Food was Laced with PCP Once

PCP or Phencyclidine is one of the most commonly used drugs in the US. Also known as angel dust, this marvelous powder was once used as an anesthetic but is now classified as a schedule II drug and is banned by the US government. Most commonly used with cannabis, this drug was also used in foods during the late eighties and nineties and that is what brought the drug to the sets of the Titanic. Someone in the crew, laced the chowder for dinner with PCP. The crew obviously ate all the chowder and later eighty people in the crew including the director James Cameron and actor Bill Paxton were taken to the hospital as they started hallucinating and feeling drowsy. The case was investigated but no one was found guilty. The set painted Marilyn McAvoy said that the taste of the chowder was just amazing and she remembered how many people got up to take more servings of the chowder. She initially thought that the chowder was just made so tasty, but later realized that it was the PCP and not the taste of the chowder that attracted the people.

Matthew McConaughey was Almost Cast As Jack

The Academy Award winning actor, Matthew McConaughey has given some of the best performances in cinematic history, especially his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club that ultimately got him the Oscar. His characters have been versatile, vivid, and full with zeal. He has played an umbrella of roles but there is one role he wished he had gotten at that time. And that role was of the lead protagonist of the Titanic, Jack. The role that ultimately went to Leonardo DiCaprio was initially offered to Matthew McConaughey. But eventually things did not work out and the audition did not go according to the plans of both James and Matthew and so they called it off. In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Kate Winslet aka Rose revealed that Matthew was the first choice for the role of Jack. She quotes how different it would have been as the equation of Leo and Kate, Jack and Rose would have never existed. We’re actually happy that the role went to Leo, it gave the world the brilliant actor he is today.

The Move is Actually In Real Time

When was the last time you saw a movie and the movie ran according to the timeline of the real events it was inspired from, frame by frame. Obviously not all true story films incorporate all the parts of the true story. Some are left behind to maintain the integrity of the true story. But Titanic was different. Not only did James Cameron showcase every minuted detail of the sinking of the ship he also unfolded the film in real time. The only thing fictional on the film was the story of Jack and Rose and the characters around them. The entire accident was spot on and in real time. The sinking of the ship took exactly two hours and 40 minutes, which is also the running time of the film. The ice berg collision in real life was exactly 37 seconds which was also the collision time in the movie. This shows how James Cameron maintained the realness of the film by using the same time slots of the accidents to show them in the movie. James Cameron is truly a genius.

The Plank That Save Rose is Real

Everyone remembers the last scene of the film where Rose and Jack find a plank of wood and Jack convinces Rose to lie down on the plank and save herself. There have been hundreds of debates and discussions that state that there was enough room for the both of them but nonetheless the film stayed the way it was. But what is surprising is that the plank on which Rose was saved is the replica of an actual memorabilia of the Titanic disaster that was salvaged from the wreck of the ship. James Cameron often visited the museum where the plank was kept when he was researching for the film. He chanced upon the piece of wood and decided that the climax of the film will showcase a similar plank of wood paneling that would form the basis of the ending. We can always argue, for and against, of the fact that there was enough room for the both of them but we can all do is debate. The film has ended the way it has.

Kate Flashed Leo On Their First Meeting

Nude scenes are one of the most difficult scenes in the film for the actors as well as the crew. Especially if the actors are meeting for the first time it is difficult to accustom oneself to a nude scene. The most famous scene of the Titanic is for most people the one where Rose lies naked on a couch and asks Jack to paint her like one of his French girls. The sheer brilliance of their acting coupled with the rawness of the scene etched it in the minds of most movie buffs. But the scene was also a little uncomfortable, not for Kate but for Leo. So in a move to make Leo more comfortable with the nude aspect of the scene, Kate Winslet flashed Leonardo DiCaprio on their first meeting to break the ice between the two. This move helped as it removed all aspects of doubt and uneasiness from Leo’s mind and allowed the scene to be shot the way it was intended by Cameron.

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