Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance-disaster movie directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Titanic.
1. Cameron’s inspiration for Titanic came from his fascination with shipwrecks. He felt a love story interspersed with the human loss would be essential to convey the emotional impact of the disaster.
2. Production began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual RMS Titanic wreck.
3. The modern scenes on the research vessel were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck.
4. Scale models, computer-generated imagery, and a reconstruction of the Titanic built at Baja Studios, at Playas de Rosarito in Baja, California were used to re-create the sinking.
5. At the time, Titanic was the most expensive film ever made, with a production budget of $200 million.
6. Upon its release on December 19, 1997, Titanic achieved critical and commercial success. It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, it tied All About Eve for the most Oscar nominations, and won 11, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben Hur for the most Oscars won by a single film.
7. With an initial worldwide gross of over $1.84 billion, Titanic was the first movie to reach the billion-dollar mark.
8. A 3D version of Titanic, released on April 4, 2012 to commemorate the centennial of the sinking, earned it an additional $343.6 million worldwide, pushing the film’s worldwide total to $2.18 billion and making it the second film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide, right after Avatar.
9. In 2017, the movie was re-released for its 20th anniversary and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
10. The elderly couple seen hugging on the bed while water floods their room were the owners of Macy’s department story in New York, Ida and Isidor Straus, both of whom died on the Titanic. Ida was offered a seat on a lifeboat but refused so that she could stay with her husband saying, “As we have lived together, we shall die together.” There was a scene filmed that depicted this moment but was cut from the final version. It was Mrs. Straus’ who originally said, “Where you go, I go,” that inspired Rose’s same line in the movie.
11. After finding out that she had to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet decided to break the ice, and when they first met, she flashed him.
12. When Jack is preparing to draw Rose, he says to her, “Over on the bed… the couch.” The line was scripted as, “Lie on that couch,” but Leonardo DiCaprio made an honest mistake and James Cameron liked it so much he kept it.
13. Due to the long theatrical run of the movie, Paramount had to sent out replacement reels to theaters that had literally worn out their copies.
14. The hands seen sketching Rose are not Leonardo DiCaprio’s but James Cameron’s. In post production, Cameron, who is left-handed, mirror-imaged the sketching shots so the artist would appear to be right-handed, like DiCaprio.
15. Reportedly, James Cameron spoke to and personally provided each of the extras, which is at least 150 of them, with names and back stories of Titanic passengers.
16. About 120 tons of water, triple what had been initially planned, were released for Eric Braeden’s final scene. Braeden said that he has never been more terrified in his life than when he was preparing for it, as there was obviously no possible physical rehearsal.
17. With her nomination for Best Supporting Actress at age 87, Gloria Stuart became the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar.
18. Gloria Stuart, being only 86, was aged by makeup to play Rose at age 100. She wasn’t a fan of the experience. Strangely enough, Stuart died in 2010 at the age of 100.
19. The studios wanted Matthew McConaughey to play Jack, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio. McConaughey and DiCaprio went on to co-star in The Wolf of Wall Street.
20. The original carpet manufacturers were persuaded to make an 18,000 square foot reproduction of the original weave that was on the ship.
21. Titanic contains over 100 speaking parts and over 1,000 extras, all of whom needed to be dressed in lavish period costume.
22. The most expensive first-class suite on the Titanic cost $4,350, which is about $75,000 today.
23. There was a scene storyboarded, in which Rose was to walk off the Carpathia and disappear into the crows. However, since the budget had run so high, James Cameron had to cut this scene due to the expense of having almost 1,000 extras brought to New York to film just 30 seconds of the movie.
24. The post-sinking scenes were shot in a 350,000 gallon tank where the frozen corpses were created by applying a powder on the actors that then crystallized when exposed to water. Wax was applied to hair and clothes to create a wet look.
25. Kate Winslet was one of the few actors who didn’t want to wear a wetsuit during the water scenes. As a result, she got pneumonia, and nearly quit the production. However, James Cameron persuaded her to stay.
26. As a joke in the edit suit, James Cameron had a razor blade with a label that said, “Use only if movie doesn’t work.”
27. Johnny Depp was offered the role of Jack Dawson, but turned it down, and considers it a a big regret.
28. Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Smith but turned it down due to a gastrointestinal infection at the time.
29. Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic in 1909, opened up their private archives to the production, sharing blueprints that were long thought lost.
30. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Barry injured themselves while filming the scene in which their characters pull up a bench in third class and use it to smash a gate open. DiCaprio threw out a shoulder, and Barry caught himself in the chin with the bench.