Leonardo DiCaprio’s co-star ‘couldn’t stop crying’ after last meeting

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Today, James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic airs on Film4 at 5.10pm. The 1997 classic remains one of Hollywood’s greatest and most successful blockbusters, claiming a record-equalling 11 Academy Awards. It follows the story of the Titanic’s inaugural voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912, and the drama of the passengers who boarded it, and sadly died on it.

Among them is Leonardo DiCaprio’s poor artist Jack Dawson, who falls for socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater, played by Kate Winslet.

Decades after the vessel tragically hits an iceberg, Rose details her story on board, as rescue crews attempt to search for a priceless necklace reportedly on the ship.

Along with Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Ben-Hur, Titanic holds the record for the most Oscars won at a single ceremony.

The film’s brilliance was demonstrated through the relationship of DiCaprio and Winslet’s character, both stars friends even today.

Winslet once opened up about their bond after recalling their first encounter together in years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to The Guardian last year, Winslet noted how she “couldn’t stop crying” when she finally reunited with DiCaprio after being forced apart due to COVID-19.

She said: “I’ve known him for half my life!

“It’s not as if I’ve found myself in New York or he’s been in London and there’s been a chance to have dinner or grab a coffee and a catch up.

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“We haven’t been able to leave our countries. Like so many friendships globally, we’ve missed each other because of Covid.

“He’s my friend, my really close friend. We’re bonded for life.”

After three years apart, the meeting finally occurred in 2021, the publication added.

Winslet has opened up previously on how Titanic changed her life, as she went from being a relatively unknown star to the leading actress on the then-biggest movie of all time.

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Speaking to Reuters last year, Winslet discussed the impact that film had and how nothing prepared her for what would come as a result of its release.

The Reading-born star continued: “I was 21. To be suddenly famous is one thing, but to be suddenly famous, to be followed, to have your home staked out — and with no bodyguards, no security — that was quite different.

“And yet, in a way, my life did not change.

“I had a little flat in North London before the film and after the film I went right back to it. Just because the film did what it did, didn’t mean I was suddenly going to live in a six-million-pound house in LA.”

Winslet, now 46, admitted that she “wasn’t ready to be a famous accomplished actor”, as she still had a “lot to learn”.

DiCaprio was already a huge name in Hollywood, with roles in Romeo + Juliet and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? earning him critical acclaim.

He recalled how Robert De Niro was central to earning him a breakthrough role when auditioning for 1993’s This Boy’s Life.

Speaking about his time on set for the biographical film, DiCaprio told Time Out: “I was 15 years old, and I remember every single detail…Everything was so new to me.”

He described seeing De Niro on set as being “one of the most influential experiences of my life” as he was able to witness the legend’s “dedication” to the craft.

This bond helped establish DiCaprio among the elite of Hollywood, but the star noted how he had a “culture shock” when it came to his first scenes with De Niro.

DiCaprio continued: “[De Niro]’s like, ‘Is it empty, is it empty?’ and I just stood up and threw my chair down, or something, and screamed at him, ‘No, it’s not empty.'”

He added: “And then [De Niro] had this smirk on his face, and just started slowly busting up, laughing in my face. And then he looked at everybody else, and the whole room started laughing.”

DiCaprio was convinced his chance for the part had gone.

And while he eventually secured the role, De Niro’s presence on set, and conviction in his skills, rubbed off on the then-teen.

He concluded: “I remember how seriously he took everything, how focused he was, how he would play with.

“He’d just sit there, and you’d have to sometimes realise you were in the scene because you’re just watching him do an improv riff.”

Titanic airs on Film4 from 5.10pm today.

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