“I remember there was a meeting with Leo. Then there was Leo’s screen test,” Cameron recalls during Interview with GQ. “So the meeting was funny because I’m sitting in my conference room waiting to meet a representative, right? And I’m looking around and all the women in the entire office are in the meeting, for some reason. Like, there’s an executive producer, okay, okay. But our accountant? Why was she in the meeting? She was. They all wanted to meet Leo. She was hysterical. She looked around and went, “I think I already know the answer to the question here.”
Cameron said that DiCaprio charmed everyone in the meeting, including himself. However, the director still wanted to see what his chemistry with Kate Winslet would be like. Days later, DiCaprio reappeared, not knowing Cameron would test him.
The Titanic The director said DiCaprio told him, “Oh, I don’t read.” Then Cameron said he shook the actor’s hand and thanked him for coming. When DiCaprio saw the opportunity slip away, Cameron said Romeo + Juliet The star said, “Wait, wait, wait. You mean, if I hadn’t read, I wouldn’t have gotten the part like this.”
Cameron then explained to DiCaprio that the film was “like a giant movie that’s going to take two years of my life and you’re going to do five more things, while I’m doing the post-production and all the model work and everything. So I’m not going to do that. I’m making the wrong casting decision, so you’ll read Otherwise, you won’t get the part.”
DiCaprio had no other choice but to read for Cameron and while the director kept watching the actor, he could tell that “every ounce of his being was so negative.” However, when the director said the work, Cameron said that DiCaprio “turned into Jack and Kate just lit up and they went into this whole thing and played to the scene. The dark clouds opened up, and a ray of sunshine came down and lit Jack up. I’m like, ‘Okay, he’s the guy. ‘”