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Matthew McConaughey clarifies ‘Titanic’ audition rumors: ‘I did not get offered the role’

Matthew McConaughey is telling all about his “Titanic” audition.

Appearing on “Literally! with Rob Lowe” on Thursday, McConaughey went on-record to clarify how exactly his audition for the lead role in “Titanic” went down.

“So I went and read with Kate Winslet [who starred as Rose] and it was not one of the auditions — they filmed it so it was like into screen test time,” McConaughey, 51, explained. “After we left, you know, it was one of those ones where they, like, followed me and when we got outside they were like, ‘That went great.’ I mean, kind of like hugs. I really thought it was going to happen. It did not.”

Though the actor was led to believe the role would go to him based on his audition, the lead role of Jack ultimately went to Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor then took the time to shoot down rumors once and for all that he turned down the role.

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“I asked [James] Cameron about this, because the gossip over the years that I heard and would see written about me was that I had the [lead] role in ‘Titanic’ and turned it down,” McConaughey recalled. “Not factual. I did not get offered that role.”

“For a while I was saying, ‘I gotta find that agent. They’re in trouble,’” the actor recalled. “I did not ever get the offer.”

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In a 2018 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McConaughey also noted that he was not offered the part. “I went and auditioned for that. I wanted that. I auditioned with Kate Winslet. Had a good audition. Walked away from there pretty confident that I had it. I didn’t get it. I never got offered that,” he said at the time.

Matthew McConaughey is clarifying rumors that he was offered the lead role in 'Titanic.'

Matthew McConaughey is clarifying rumors that he was offered the lead role in ‘Titanic.’
(Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

While McConaughey wasn’t able to flaunt his heartthrob skills in “Titanic,” the 2000s proved to be a major success in establishing the actor in rom-coms — with roles in films like “Failure to Launch,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “The Wedding Planner.”

In late January, McConaughey and co-star Jennifer Lopez reunited virtually for the 20th anniversary of “The Wedding Planner” and discussed the fond memories they had of the film — including the filming of the dumpster scene where Lopez’s character gets rescued by McConaughey’s.

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Matthew McConaughey was almost cast as Jack in 'Titanic,' but was ultimately passed up for Leonardo DiCaprio.

Matthew McConaughey was almost cast as Jack in ‘Titanic,’ but was ultimately passed up for Leonardo DiCaprio.
(Reuters)

“One of my favorite lines in the whole thing, one of the reasons why I love that script was, ‘You smell like grilled cheese and plums,’ I think I said, which is probably one of the best smells in the world,” Lopez recalled with a laugh. “It was just the idea of her fading out and this Prince Charming just rescued her and her saying, ‘You smell like grilled cheese and plums.'”

McConaughey then recalled Lopez almost hurting her ankle while filming the scene, and thought that the “All I Have” singer was “baller” as a result.

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“I was like ‘Oh! JLo is baller…’ You were doing your own stunts… but a lot of people wouldn’t have done that,” McConaughey said in praise of Lopez. “I think that was the day when I was like, ‘Oh yeah, J.Lo breaks a sweat,’ meaning when you’re on set you love to do the work and you want to do all of the work, even stuff like that that could be potentially dangerous. I remember that.”


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