Claire Danes wasn’t ready for the fame that would surely come from Titanic.
The actress has revealed that the beloved 1997 movie, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, almost had a different cast. While on Dax Shepard‘s Armchair Expert podcast this week, Danes said that she has “zero” regrets about walking away from the role opposite DiCaprio, despite being a “big Leo fan.” The stars had actually just filmed Romeo + Juliet together before production on Titanic began.
When asked if she got offered Titanic, Danes told Shepard, “I think I did. I’m not entirely clear on that. There was strong interest, but honestly, I’d just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic, and I just didn’t have it in me.”
“And I remember, Leo and I shared a manager at the time, and we were there at the office. And I was on a balcony, which is funny…and Leo had this rental red convertible…and he was kinda going in circles in the parking lot,” Danes recalled. “And I knew he was wrestling with the decision to do that movie or not and he just looked up at me, and he said, ‘I’m doing it. I’m doing it.'”
“And I could see he wasn’t sure, but he was like, ‘F–k it, I gotta do this thing.'” Danes said. “And I looked down on him going, I totally understand why you are doing it. And I’m not ready for that. And I think I really wasn’t ready for it.”
Danes went on to explain that she didn’t want the intense amount of fame that came along with the Titanic role, and she later witnessed it happen to DiCaprio after the movie was released.
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
The Homeland actress then explained to Shepard why she has “zero” regrets about turning down the role.
“I was just really clear about it,” Danes said. “I wasn’t conflicted, I wasn’t.”
“I was just feeling eager to have different creative experiences, that felt like a repeat,” Danes explained. “And, as I said, I think it was gonna propel me towards something that I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with. And I knew I had to do a lot of foundation building.”
You can hear Danes talk more about her career on the latest episode of Armchair Expert.
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