Titanic: The Character Robert De Niro Almost Played (and why He Didn’t)


Titanic could count on the talent of Robert De Niro, but he had to turn down the offer — that’s why and who he was going to play.

There were several big names in the cast of Titanic, but Robert De Niro was almost in it, because he was supposed to play one minor but important character, but eventually dropped out — that’s what happened and who he was going to play. While James Cameron is often associated with sci-fi projects thanks to films such as Terminator and Avatar, one of his biggest and most memorable projects was far from this area: Titanic, a dramatic disaster film released in 1997 and which at that time was the most popular. the most expensive movie ever made.

Based on reports of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, Titanic tells the story of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), two passengers from different social strata who fall in love with each other on board the ship during his illness. – fateful first voyage. Although the main, romantic story of Titanic, like its main characters, is fictional, through Jack and Rose, viewers got acquainted with many characters based on real people, such as Molly Brown (Kathy Bates) and Bruce J. Ismay (Jonathan Hyde), and of course some important crew members and leaders were also included, as were Officer William Murdoch (Ewen Stewart) and Captain Edward John Smith (Bernard Hill).

Although he appears only occasionally and briefly throughout Titanic, Captain Smith is one of the most memorable and important supporting characters in the film, and his final scene is one of the most memorable, as he, as a great captain, literally went down with his death. ship. Captain Smith was played by Bernard Hill, but if everything had gone according to the crew’s plan, another actor would have taken his place: none other than Robert De Niro, who, unfortunately, declined the offer due to health problems.

According to The Mirror, Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Smith in Titanic, but the legendary actor had to refuse this offer. It is reported that at that time De Niro had a gastrointestinal infection, because of which he could not accept the role, so the crew had to look for another actor. In the same year that Titanic was released, De Niro starred in three films: James Mangold’s neo-noir crime film Cops, Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, and Barry Levinson’s black comedy Wag the Dog. Of course, the absence of the role of Captain Smith in Titanic was not a big loss for De Niro, who continued to star in a number of films of different genres, primarily in the trilogy “Meeting Parents”, “The Silver Linings Method”, “The Joker” and “The Irishman”. Bernard Hill’s career got a boost after he played Captain Smith in Titanic, and his biggest roles since then have been Philos in The Scorpion King and King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Given how little screen time Captain Smith had in Titanic, it’s hard to say how much Robert De Niro influenced the final product and would have given his character more scenes and dialogues. Ultimately, Robert De Niro’s departure from Titanic was the best move for both actors, as De Niro appeared in the movie Jackie Brown, and Bernard Hill got the role of Captain Smith in one of the biggest and most influential films of all time.