“Why did you throw away the diamond?” That’s the number one question writer/director James Cameron said he’s asked when people come up to him and talk about his 1997 film, Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
“My belief as the writer is that if you’re really paying attention to the lessons of the film, it’s a kind of an anti-materialist statement about finding things that are really important in life,” he said.
The story is about a rich girl and a poor boy who fall in love aboard the Titanic just before the supposedly unsinkable ship goes down, becoming one of the most historic shipwrecks of all time. The film grossed more than $2 billion at the box office and was recently re-released in 3-D. Now, with the new Blu-ray release of the film, SheKnows had the chance to sit down with the master himself.
So, what does the director of one of the most romantic movies of all time think after seeing the film again after all these years?
“I’m just happy it was all done 16 years ago,” Cameron said.
Not a lot of misgivings
But why? Was it such a challenging movie that the director is just ready to move on? Not really. When Cameron does it, he does it right. He doesn’t have many misgivings about how the film turned out. But there were a few things he reflected on after watching it again after so many years.
“I felt lucky in a way when I look at how precarious it was. Like, what if I hadn’t cast Leo or if I hadn’t cast Kate? What if that sunset hadn’t been so perfect that day we shot on the bow…?” he asks himself, realizing how many things went right on this very challenging film.
So, if he wouldn’t have done anything differently, what one thing tortured him the most during filming?
“We were beating our heads against the wall to get the film finished,” he says. “The deep dives down to the wreck were very challenging, technically.”
But that wasn’t the only thing. Sinking the ship was quite the endeavor, too.
A huge ship
“It was a huge set,” Cameron said. “It was a 1.4 million pound set and we could sink it 40 feet down… and we’d bring it back up, dry it off, dry off all the people and do another take.”
Yow, that’s some production. But from the man who brought us Avatar, it seems like small potatoes. So, what about Avatar 2 and now the rumor of an Avatar 3 circulating Hollywood?
Cameron wouldn’t leak any secrets. He likes it when you go to the theaters to see what he’s got planned for his movies. And apparently, a lot of other people do, too.
Titanic Blu-ray released on Sept. 10 with more than 2 1/2 hours of new behind-the-scenes footage. Hooray, Jack and Rose!
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox