More than two decades after its 1997 release, Titanic is still one of the most loved and successful films of all time. The story about two lovers who meet on the doomed RMS Titanic has captured the hearts of millions around the world because, while the film itself is fiction, it was set against a very real disaster that left a lasting impact.
You can tell from watching the three-hour film that a lot of work and money went into creating such a masterpiece. From the set design to the costumes to the sacrifices made by the actors, nothing was taken lightly. Keep reading to find out 15 facts that you might not have known about the making of Titanic and what really went on behind the scenes.
YouTube: Titanic World
One of the film’s most iconic scenes is when Rose finally decides to abandon her fiancé and rescue Jack down in the ship’s E-Deck. When Cal tries to stop her, she spits in his face. Interestingly, Kate Winslet improvised the move, which was originally supposed to be her stabbing him with a hairpin instead.
In our opinion, Leonardo DiCaprio was perfect for the role of Jack Dawson. But before he won the role, it was offered to Johnny Depp, who turned it down. Other actors who could have appeared in the film include Matthew McConaughey, who the studio wanted for Jack, and Angelina Jolie for Rose.
Of course, the film wasn’t really filmed in the ocean. Rather, the water scenes were filmed in a giant pool known as a horizon tank which contained 17 million gallons of water. The tank is located in Mexico’s Baja studios. As well as holding a replica of the ship, the tank boasted views of what looked like the open ocean.
Things are said to have become quite intense during the filming of the sinking scenes. James Cameron allegedly told the actors they would lose their jobs if they left the set to relieve themselves, so those who were desperate had to go in the water. The things you do for art!
The sinking of the ship is widely considered to be a cinematic masterpiece. The filmmakers tended to favor practical effects over CGI, and when it came time for the water to gush through and destroy the ship’s interior, they really did flood and destroy their own set. This added more pressure to get everything right in one take.