Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio will now be forever in the public’s conscious as the star-crossed lovers Rose and Jack on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, yet it all could have been so different after early screen tests of Winslet were revealed, showing the British actress blonde, looking nervous and stuttering over her lines. More shockingly, it wasn’t DiCaprio who was opposite her on screen, but Jeremy Sisto, best known as Elton from Clueless.
Entertainment Weekly reports that director James Cameron had the choice of two up and coming actors, with DiCaprio having made early waves in the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? From the footage shown of the screen test, it’s pretty obvious that the director made the right choice in picking him: it shows very little in the way of on-screen chemistry between the two actors. Admittedly, screen tests are never going to be perfect anyway, but – even with judgement clouded by the familiarity of DiCaprio’s performance in the 1997 film – it’s clear that Sisto is too confident, too sure of himself and gives the impression of a man some 10 years older than Rose, rather than the youthful, wide-eyed love that Di Caprio’s character portrays.
Sisto has gone on to have a pretty fine career nevertheless, currently starring in ABC show Suburgatory, but we wonder whether he ever looks at DiCaprio enviously, now one of the most successful actors of all time.