Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio’s poignant on-screen chemistry in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet almost had them play lovers once again in James Cameron’s Titanic. But the 40-year-old actress turned down the role that ultimately went to English actress Kate Winslet.
The Homeland star discussed why she didn’t pursue the role of Rose Dewitt Bukater in the film that launched DiCaprio into the pinnacle of stardom. Speaking to Dax Shepard on Monday’s episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, Danes shared that “there was strong interest” for her to star alongside DiCaprio in Titanic.
“I think I did,” the actress answered when Shepard asked if she was considered for the role. “I’m not entirely clear on that. There was strong interest,” she added.
“I had just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City,” Danes continued, referring to the 1999 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
She adds, “which is where they were going to shoot Titanic. And I just didn’t have it in me.”
When Danes had already set her mind giving the part a hard pass, she revealed that DiCaprio “was wrestling with the decision whether to do it or not.”
Aside from avoiding a repetitive streak in her career, Danes also revealed that she didn’t want the level of fame that came along with starring in the drama. Titanic went on to become the second highest-grossing film of all time next to Avatar — also directed by Cameron — before Avengers: Endgame took over the latter’s box office reign.
“I think I may have sensed that I was courting that [level of fame] or I was proximate to that,” she told Shepard. “I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want it.”