‘I Had To Really Twist His Arm’: James Cameron Says Leonardo DiCaprio Nearly Passed On ‘Titanic’

James Cameron said he had to work hard to convince Leonardo DiCaprio to take on the role of Jack in “Titanic” — the very role that would ultimately catapult the actor to superstardom.

“He didn’t want to do it. He thought it was boring,” Cameron told People during an interview at the Golden Globes, Tuesday. “He didn’t want to do a leading man,” he said.

“I had to really twist his arm to be in the movie,” Cameron said. He revealed the tactic he used to entice DiCaprio, saying his plan worked “only when I convinced him that it was actually a difficult challenge.”

Twenty five years after the release of the iconic movie, “Titanic” remains one of the highest-grossing films ever made, according to Deadline. Cameron admitted he “can’t imagine that film” without DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the starring roles.

“I think about that, casting Leonardo and Kate in ‘Titanic.’ Leo, the studio didn’t want him; I had to fight for him,” Cameron told People. (RELATED: James Cameron Says He Cut ‘Gunplay Action’ From ‘Avatar 2’ Because He Didn’t Want To ‘Fetishize’ Guns)

“Kate really liked him,” the director said of DiCaprio. “And then Leonardo decided he didn’t want to make the movie. So then I had to talk him into it.”

The famous director admitted that the movie wouldn’t have been the same if DiCaprio had declined the role of Jack. “You think at any one of those places, if that had really kind of frayed apart, it would have been somebody else ,and it wouldn’t have been that film,” Cameron told People. “And I can’t imagine that film without him and without her.”

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