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Leonardo DiCaprio Thought His Role in Titanic Would Be 'Too Easy'

image via screenshot
image via screenshot

Titanic’s 20th anniversary is truly the gift that keeps on giving, if you consider a “gift” to be 20-year-old, behind-the-scenes gossip from a sappy movie about a literal sinking ship. This week’s treasure? Leonardo DiCaprio was worried that his now-iconic role of Jack would be “too easy.”

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This news comes via a hilarious exclusive from E! News, who spoke to the film’s executive producer Rae Sanchini on occasion of this film’s 20th anniversary. According to Sanchini, “the hardest thing with Leo was convincing him that there was complexity in Jack Dawson. Because when you think about it, Jack is the purest of heart. We meet him, and he’s not conflicted. He knows exactly who he is.”

Consider for a moment young Leonardo DiCaprio—a baby-faced, smooth-skinned 23-year-old who looked like a cherub and spent the early part of his film career playing a developmentally disabled teen from Iowa; a poet with a drug problem; and a young, hot Romeo who wore Hawaiian shirts and smoked cigarettes at gas stations. Jack Dawson—puppy-eyed, rakish, a sensual lover—was the kind of role a cocky actor who would later win an Oscar for being mauled by a bear on-camera would hate. But for some reason (money?) he made it work.

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Sanchini reveals that Leo used a line of reasoning that sounds like that of the second-hottest dude in your high school musical who gets cast in Guys and Dolls as Nathan Detroit but really thinks he should be playing Sky Masterson: “playing a character like Jack, who doesn’t have any obvious stuff to hide behind... was a challenge in and of itself.”

Ooooo-kay, Leo! Whatever gets you through the night.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I enjoyed his early work (Basketball Diaries, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape...) but in everything he’s done in the past 20 years I’ve always felt that Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance style can best be described as “the best actor in a high school theater troupe.”