Nearly 20 years after James Cameron’s hit blockbuster “Titanic” brought Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet together, just to rip them apart, the actress is finally revisiting her role in the movie’s ending. Despite the emotional power of the film’s final moments, Winslet admits that her co-star’s character probably didn’t need to die.
For the small faction of those that aren’t familiar with “Titanic,” the movie ends with the ship sinking and lovers Jack (DiCaprio) and Rose (Winslet) forced to survive for about an hour in freezing cold water. They find a bit of debris from the ship, a large wooden door, but it quickly becomes apparent that they won’t both fit. In the greatest act of chivalry in film history, Jack lets Rose have the door while he stays in the ice water. Eventually, he succumbs to hypothermia, but Rose, and her heart, go on.
The actress, appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Feb. 1 when the topic of her very popular role in the 1997 film came up. After Winslet reunited for a photo with DiCaprio at the 2016 SAG Awards, late-night host Kimmel remarked that the two stayed friends despite her letting him die in the water.
“I agree,” the 40-year-old actress confessed. ”I think he could have actually fit on that door.”
Although Winslet seems to think they both could have survived the ordeal, this isn’t the first time this issue has been addressed. “Titanic” director James Cameron has been a good sport about it for years. In 2012, he stood by his decision to kill Jack the way he did, arguing that space on the door was never the issue in the famous scene.
“It’s not a question of room; it’s a question of buoyancy,” he told IGN (via Daily Mail). “Jack puts Rose on the raft, then he gets on the raft — He’s not an idiot; he doesn’t want to die — and then the raft sinks. So it’s clear that there’s really only enough buoyancy available for one person. So, he makes a decision to let her be that person.”
While Cameron could be considered the foremost expert on the film, he’s no scientist. However, a pair of noteworthy scientists took up the case later that year. The director got a rude awakening when the scene in question was the topic of a segment on the hit Discovery Channel series “MythBusters.” Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman set out to build and test a model of the door to see if two people could reasonably fit on top for the hour the movie demanded. In the end, they discovered that Jack could have fit on the board had he utilized the life vest that Rose was wearing for additional buoyancy. With the director was on hand to give the experiment his blessing, the duo deemed the chance of survival for two people on the raft as “plausible.”
“I think you guys are missing the point here. The script says Jack dies here, so he has to die,” Cameron said on the show. “So maybe we screwed up and the board should have been a tiny bit smaller, but the dude is going down.”