It’s a debate that nearly breaks the internet every time it resurfaces. Could Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson have squeezed onto that door with Kate Winslet’s Rose at the end of Titanic? James Cameron now has the definite answer.
There really is no one quite like James Cameron. He now has three films in the Top 5 of highest-grossing films of all time (Titanic, Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water).
Everyone has been talking and apparently visiting their nearest cinema to watch Avatar: The Way of Water, but it’s Titanic that is making waves today.
James Cameron has revealed that he conducted a scientific experiment to see if Jack, played by a very young Leonardo DiCaprio, could have fit on the door that Kate Winslet’s Rose was lying on as the titular ship had sunk.
The scene showed Jack trying to climb on it but failing to get on the door without endangering both their lives. So, Jack stayed in the freezing cold water and eventually froze to death. Rose then tearfully lets go of him and his body sinks into the Atlantic.
Now, Cameron says that Jack could have in fact survived! We have been lied to for 25 years. Cameron can even proved it with science.
Well, not quite. The experiment was conducted during the filming of National Geographic’s Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron. According to Variety, Cameron hired two stunt people of the same weight and height as Winslet and DiCaprio at the time and they simply recreated the circumstances of the film.
The first test apparently ended as the film suggested; if Jack was to get on the made-shift raft, both would have been submerged in the freezing cold water, probably resulting in death.
A second test was conducted where both were partially submerged but all their vital organs were above water. This made it slightly more likely that they would survive, but Cameron pointed out that “out of the water, [his body’s] violent shaking was helping him.”
For the final test, the poor stunt people had to go through all the strenuous activity that Jack and Rose did in the film. Before they find themselves in the ocean, the poor couple had been running about and Jack was even arrested, with Rose having to take a fire axe to his handcuffs in order to free him.
Cameron also changed up one seemingly tiny detail: Rose gives Jack her life jacket. And whatever was the key change here, it worked.
“He’s stabilized,” Cameron said. “He got into a place where if we projected that out, he just might’ve made it until the lifeboat got there. Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables. I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not going to do one thing that jeopardized her,’ and that’s 100 percent in character.”
There you have it. The final, conclusive answer to whether Jack could have survived at the end of Titanic. He might’ve.
Titanic will be back in cinemas on February 10 for its 25th anniversary.