Why Claire Danes turned down 'Titanic'

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
The stars of the new film adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are shown in a scene from the film. The film is set for release in November.

Claire Danes has revealed that she was offered the role of Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic before Kate Winslet, but turned it down because she had just starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the romantic epic Romeo + Juliet. 

The 40-year-old Homeland star made this admission during her recent appearance on Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard, during which time the host asked her whether or not she was actually offered the part.

Danes wasn’t actually too sure, though, explaining, “I think I did. I’m not entirely clear on that. There was strong interest.”

Read More: Paul Rudd told Leonardo DiCaprio to do Titanic

Either way, Danes is adamant that she would have turned down the role, as she had just finished work on Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 take on William Shakespeare’s iconic love story, which saw DiCaprio play Romeo and her play Juliet and was shot in Mexico. 

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

“I had just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic! And I just didn't have it in me,” Danes admitted. 

While DiCaprio obviously went on to play Jack, Danes says he wrestled “with the decision whether to do it or not.” In fact, Danes even caught the actor circling outside of his manager’s office in a red convertible as he tried to reach a decision. 

Read more: Diane Lane and Paul Rudd recreated that famous scene from “Titanic”

“He just looked up at me and said, 'I'm doing it! I'm doing it!' And I could see he wasn't sure. But he was like, 'F*** it, I gotta do this thing.' And I looked down at him, and I was like, 'I totally understand why you're doing that. And I'm not ready for that.' And I think I really wasn't ready for it. And I remember after that movie came out... and he just went into another stratosphere.”

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13: Claire Danes of "Homeland" speaks during the Showtime segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 13, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

However, despite the success of Titanic, Danes has “zero regret” in turning it down, as she added, “I was really clear about it. I wasn’t conflicted. It was going to propel me to something I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with. I knew I had to do a lot of foundation building.”