Just imagine Jack uttering, "alright, alright, alright."
We can't picture Jack Dawson from Titanic as anyone else but the boyishly handsome Leonardo DiCaprio. But if casting had gone differently, movie lovers could've been treated to a dose of old-fashioned hospitality and Southern charm.
During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, November 30, Kate Winslet, who played Rose DeWitt Bukater, revealed that Matthew McConaughey auditioned for the iconic role of Jack.
"I auditioned with Matthew [McConaughey]—isn't that weird?" Winslet told Colbert. "Never said that in public before!"
That’s right: Before James Cameron tapped the young kid from Romeo + Juliet to star in his 1997 hit movie, Cameron had the beloved Texan in mind to play the penniless artist who falls in love with Rose. It certainly would’ve made for an interesting coupling, and we would’ve loved to hear the actor’s signature Southern drawl in the first-class dinner scene or the epic one-liner, "I'm king of the world." But, in the long run, we’re glad Cameron went with DiCaprio. Besides, who knows if we would’ve ever gotten classic Southern films and rom-com movies, such as A Time to Kill, Dallas Buyers Club, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and The Wedding Planner, if McConaughey were offered the role?
"[It would have been a] totally different film,” Winslet said. “It just wouldn't have been the whole Jack and Rose—Kate and Leo thing."
McConaughey eventually went on to star in another Oscar-nominated film in 1997 that also took place on a ship: Amistad. Though he lost out to DiCaprio for the role in Titanic, McConaughey ended up working with him on the movie Wolf of Wall Street in 2013.
In honor of the film’s 20th anniversary this year, watch the late-night host grill Winslet on more Titanic-related questions below. During the interview, she goes on to admit that she never listens to Celine Dion’s "My Heart Will Go On," as well as the fact that she got hypothermia after filming the tragic ending.
Titanic was re-released in theaters, beginning on December 1, for an exclusive one-week run. Purchase a ticket while you still can to relive all the memories from the passionate and heartbreaking love story. That’s if you can peel yourself off the couch from watching Hallmark’s holiday movie marathon.