Just how many people auditioned for roles in the ’90s blockbuster Titanic? Matthew McConaughey previously admitted to auditioning for the role of Jack. On Thursday, during her interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Reba McEntire revealed that she turned down a Titanic role that eventually went to Kathy Bates. There’s no bad blood, but McEntire did admit to being somewhat disappointed that she couldn’t make the scheduling for the film work with her touring.
In a game called “The McEntire Truth,” Cohen and guest Morris Chestnut guessed whether statements made about McEntire were actually true or just urban legends. One such statement was, “Reba was offered the role of Molly Brown in Titanic but had to turn it down.” Cohen and Chestnut both guessed that it was true, and they were right!
“We were on tour, and I had a lot of people on the payroll,” McEntire explained when Cohen asked why she turned down the part. “We had these three months already scheduled to do the movie, and then they got behind on scheduling and said, ‘No, we’re going to have to move it in this time,’ so we couldn’t reschedule all the arenas and everything.”
Cohen asked, “When it was such a huge hit, did it kind of kill you?” McEntire admitted, “Well, sure! Absolutely! But you’ve got to take care of your people.”
Later in the episode, McEntire reflected on another time that her people took care of her in the wake of an incredible tragedy. Although she’s never collaborated on music with fellow country legend Dolly Parton, McEntire described a time when Parton still came through for her in a big way.
“In 1991, I lost everybody but two band members and I lost my tour manager in a plane crash in San Diego,” McEntire explained. “[Parton] called me. She said, ‘You can have my band. You take them.’ And her band leader did put together a new band for me.”
Parton’s act of kindness is incredible; likewise, we love that McEntire put the commitments of her band and crew first, rather than dropping everything for a role in Titanic — although we must admit, it would have been interesting to see how she played the unsinkable Molly Brown.