Paul Rudd Recalls Encouraging Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in 'Titanic'

Paul Rudd and Leonardo DiCaprio_Split - Getty - H 2019
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"He was saying, 'I don't know what I'll do,' and I remember saying, 'You should do it,'" Rudd says of a conversation he had with DiCaprio after the actor was offered the role in James Cameron's 1997 film.

Leonardo DiCaprio may have catapulted to box office success after starring in James Cameron's Titanic, but did Paul Rudd play a role in convincing the actor to star in the film? Rudd says it's a possibility.

During a visit to The Graham Norton Show, set to air Friday, the Living With Yourself star reflected on working with DiCaprio on Romeo + Juliet. At the time, Rudd said, DiCaprio informed him that he'd been offered a role in Titanic, something Rudd had a surprising personal connection with. 

"My father was a Titanic expert and he used to take people all over the world talking about Titanic. He would go to universities," Rudd shared. 

Rudd said he learned of DiCaprio's Titanic offer on his last day of filming Romeo + Juliet, but DiCaprio hadn't accepted the role just yet. 

"We all went out out to bar...I was riding to the place with Leo, and he said, 'I just got offered this movie, and it's a big movie,'" said Rudd. He told DiCaprio the news was "incredible," and they continued to "have a conversation about it," with DiCaprio ultimately questioning whether he should take on a studio role after having starred in indie films. 

"He was saying, 'Well, I don't know what I'll do,' and I remember saying, 'You should do it,'" Rudd recalled, leaving Norton to declare the actor the unsung hero for the 1997 film. 

"I don't think I had any say, but it is kind of interesting to think back on that," Rudd added, joking that he could've been an influence. 

The decision ended up working out for DiCaprio. Titanic went on to win 11 awards at the 1998 Oscars.