“It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? We could have all fit on there,” Kate Winslet, who played leading lady Rose, quipped during a December 2022 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, referring to costar Leonardo DiCaprio and director James Cameron.
Comedian Jack Whitehall agreed with her logic, chiming in: “What the hell? That door could float with three people!”
The Avatar filmmaker helmed 1997’s Titanic, which was inspired by the historical sinking of the RMS Titanic. In addition to chronicling the shipwreck — which was caused by the boat hitting an iceberg — the film featured a fictional forbidden romance between Rose (Winslet) and Jack (DiCaprio). In the movie’s final act, Jack ends up saving Rose’s life by insisting she lay down on a floating door to avoid hypothermia or drowning in the ocean. The stowaway, who seemingly could not fit on the plank of wood beside his love, ended up dying in the water before a rescue team arrived.
Amid the film’s success, eagle-eyed fans have debated how much space there actually was aboard the door. The heated discussions even inspired Cameron to conduct a field experiment to solve the dispute once and for all.
“We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all,” the acclaimed director told the Toronto Sun in December 2022. “We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie.”
He continued at the time: “We took two stunt people who were the same body mass of Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived through a variety of methods and the answer was, there was no way they both could have survived. Only one could survive.”
While the cast and creative team have since remained at odds about whether or not both Jack and Rose could have fit on the floating wood, they found filming Titanic to be a memorable experience.
“Titanic was very much an experiment for Kate Winslet and I. We’d done all of these independent movies. I loved her as an actress and she said, ‘Let’s do this together, we can do this.’ We did it, and it became something that we could’ve never foreseen,” DiCaprio recalled to Deadline in February 2016. “We never predicted that it would be what it was, and I said, ‘OK, slow down. Let all this pass a little bit, and let’s get back to … find something that …’ I knew it was going to be an adjustment. I knew there was an expectation of me to do a certain thing at that point, and I knew I had to get back to what my intentions were from the onset.”
Scroll below for the Titanic cast’s thoughts about the film’s controversial ending: