Cameron explained, “We were looking at all the young actresses, up-and-coming, and Kate’s name kept coming up.” Once she was on his radar, Cameron decided to meet the 19-year old actress and offered her an audition. Other contenders for the part included Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Reese Witherspoon, but in the end, there was only one actress perfect for the role of forcing Jack to freeze to death by not sharing her wooden floatie: Kate frickin’ Winslet. And she proved it when they brought her in for a screen test.
Winslet’s screen test has been floating around the internet for a few years now, and you can check the full thing out above. The video sees her reading opposite Jeremy Sisto (aka Elton from “Clueless, aka Billy from “Six Feet Under”), and it was no joke: they’re both in costume, in a room that befits the period setting. Landau explained:
“We set up, truly, an old-fashioned screen test. And when I say old-fashioned, we found a period set and we put them in costume. And coming out of that, there was no question in our mind that Kate Winslet was the right person to play Rose.”
Sure enough, the video sees Winslet proving that she’s the only woman for the part by bringing Rose DeWitt Bukater to life. Somehow, the character already feels fully realized in her hands: a miserable heiress with hidden depths who dreams of seizing control of her life. Even though she’s yet to read with the scene partner she will eventually make history with, Winslet’s screen test proves that she connected with Rose from the very start.
“Titanic” will be re-released in theaters on February 10, 2023.