Matthew McConaughey Opens Up About Auditioning For 'Titanic'

Olivia Blair
·2-min read
Photo credit: Vera Anderson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Vera Anderson - Getty Images

From ELLE

Matthew McConaughey has recalled auditioning for Titanic, setting the story straight on longstanding rumours.

The Dallas Buyer's Club actor recently appeared on the Literally podcast with fellow actor Rob Lowe when he was asked about the rumours over who was initially in the running to play Jack in the hit 1997 movie.

Of course, the memorable role went to Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the movie opposite Kate Winslet who played Rose, triggering a decades-long friendship between the pair that fans still fawn over.

'So I went and read for Titanic with Kate Winslet and it was not one of those auditions, they filmed it. So it was into screen test time. And, I only got nods from Jim [Cameron, the director] but from the producers and Kate and everything after we left, it was one of those ones where they followed me and when we went outside they said, "that went great," and [there was] hugs.

'I remember I really thought it was going to happen... it did not,' the Oscar winner said.

McConaughey said he later spoke to Cameron about this as over the years he heard evolving gossip suggesting a number of scenarios relating to his involvement in the film, one being that McConaughey had been given the role and turned it down. The rumours were so pervading that McConaughey says he even tried to call his agent at the time to double check he hadn't turned the role down on his behalf.

Photo credit: Getty - 20th Century Fox
Photo credit: Getty - 20th Century Fox

'Negative. Not factual,' the Texan actor confirmed to Lowe about the rumour he'd been given and then later turned down the role. 'I did not get offered that role. Jim confirmed that... I did go have a good screen test, I thought I had the role but did not get the role. So yeah, I was in contention.'

Coincidentally, Lowe then confirmed that he also contested for the villainous role in Titanic, which ultimately went to Billy Zane.

'Neither one of us made the cut,' McConaughey confirmed. 'But we were in the running. Love it.'

McConaughey later did end up working with DiCaprio on The Wolf Of Wall Street, with the 51-year-0ld singing the praises of his co-star on the podcast for allowing him to improvise and collaborate on the iconic chest-beating scene.

'Not everybody wants you to win, I've worked with guys who don't want you to win... but fortunately I've worked with a lot more people - and Leonardo was one of them - who went, "oh no, this is great, this is cool, I'm going to sit over here and be the guy that's listening" and was feeding me ideas.'

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