How Paul Rudd became the unlikely influence on Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Titanic’ decision
Paul Rudd has been reminiscing on some of his earlier career moments and, bizarrely, how he may have had an influence on Leonardo DiCaprio’s decision to take up a role in Titanic.
The 1997 film, which was famously directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, went on to become a major box office blockbuster with DiCaprio in the lead role and ended up being nominated for 14 Academy Awards.
After becoming the highest-grossing film ever at the time, Titanic remains one of the most iconic roles of DiCaprio’s career… but he nearly didn’t take up the opportunity. In what would mark his major breakthrough, DiCaprio was offered the role while filming Romeo + Juliet alongside Paul Rudd when, by pure coincidence, the conversation held significant weight in Rudd’s family life. “My father was a Titanic expert and he used to take people all over the world talking about Titanic. He would go to universities,” Rudd said while appearing on the Graham Norton Show.
Rudd explained that after wrapping up the filming for Romeo + Juliet, some members of the cast headed for a drink: “We all went out out to bar…I was riding to the place with Leo, and he said, ‘I just got offered this movie, and it’s a big movie,'” said Rudd. Sensing that DiCaprio was unsure on his decision, Rudd said the news was “incredible” considering DiCaprio had only appeared in indie cinematic roles up until that point.
Rudd remembered: “He was saying, ‘Well, I don’t know what I’ll do,’ and I remember saying, ‘You should do it,'” he said while laughing.
“I don’t think I had any say, but it is kind of interesting to think back on that,” he joked.