8 Actors Who Were Up For The Role Of Jack In ‘Titanic’

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

To this day, Titanic remains seated in the number two spot for highest-grossing film of all time. The movie with the number one spot is another one of director James Cameron’s films, Avatar. 

A big component that determines a movie’s success is the casting. If you cast the wrong actors to play even a smaller character, it could throw the whole thing off. Casting directors, studios, and general directors really have to communicate with each other to pick the right people to play the parts.

In this case, Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater had to really seem like they were in love. If that wasn’t there, there’s no way this movie would fly. Can you imagine if anyone else besides Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio had been cast?

It almost happened — many times! Here are eight actors that almost played the role of Jack.

To this day, Kate and Leo remain incredibly close friends, and that chemistry is so clear in the 1997 blockbuster hit. What if they had never acted together in this movie?

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What Would Titanic Be Without Leo?


This is the film that really put Leo on the map, and Leo is a big part of the reason that this movie went over so well. It’s really difficult to imagine how things might have gone if the part of Jack had gone to any other actor.

Yet, as with all Hollywood movies, there were many different names that came to the table in pre-production. These are eight of the other actors that might have been cast as Jack if history were to rewrite itself.

1. Christian Bale

christian bale

One of the things that Harrison Cheung, the author and former assistant to Christian Bale, revealed in his biography about the actor is that he was turned down for this role. Leo turned out to be quite the competition for Christian throughout both of their careers.

2. Johnny Depp

johnna depp

While Johnny would later play a very, very different character, traversing the seas with Pirates of the Caribbean, he just couldn’t get through the script for Titanic in a phone interview. He admitted to Howard Stern that he had trouble with it.

3. Matthew McConaughey


While director James Cameron will neither confirm nor deny whether Matthew was considered for the character — as he doesn’t think that’s the right thing to do — Not Starring reports that the studio wanted him. Can you imagine what this movie would have been if the young, rugged Southern boy had played Jack instead of sweet Leo?

4. Jeremy Sisto

4. Jeremy Sisto

Jeremy’s screen test with Kate Winslet has made its rounds on the internet. The Clueless star made it far in the audition process, but the chemistry between him and Kate just wasn’t nearly as strong as the spark between Kate and Leo.

5. Chris O’Donnell


Chris and Leo have also gone up against each other many times, vying for multiple roles — including the role of Robin in 1995’s Batman Forever.

6. Brad Pitt

6. Brad Pitt

According to Not Starring, Brad Pitt was also in the running at some point in the casting game. Do you think Titanic would have stayed on the top for as long as it did with Brad front and center?

7. Macaulay Culkin


Macaulay was a big name at the time this film was made, and it’s been said by many different outlets, including Vanity Fair, that his name came up in casting conversations. While it’s hard to confirm anything 100%, it’s interesting to think of the Home Alone star as Rose’s romantic interest.

8. Billy Crudup


Billy turned down the opportunity to even audition for the part because he did not want the superstardom that would come along with such a huge project.

Could you picture any of these young men as Jack? Please SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook!