Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Titanic’
Like many, you probably love to relive the romance, action and weepy Celine Dion ballads in ‘Titanic.’
The cast of ‘Titanic’ has kept quite busy since the film left theaters as the top-grosser of all time. (It held that crown until James Cameron unseated himself in 2009 with ‘Avatar.’) While you may know what Leo and Kate are up to now, it’s fun to look back to a time when they were young up-and-comers in Hollywood. Catch up with the cast of ‘Titanic’ then and now below. You might be surprised by who else was in the film. (What’s Billy Zane up to these days?)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson)
Then: An up-and-coming star at the time of the release of ‘Titanic,’ DiCaprio was coming off of acclaimed turns in the dramas ‘Marvin’s Room’ and ‘The Basketball Diaries.’ His role opposite fellow teen sensation Claire Danes in 1996′s ‘Romeo + Juliet’ was the first brick in the wall that was “Leo-mania.”
Now: One of the biggest stars in the world, Leo has found a new director muse in Martin Scorsese, who he was worked with on such films as ‘The Aviator’ and ‘The Departed.’ He also reteamed with Kate Winslet for the period drama ‘Revolutionary Road,’ a film which offered a dark portrait of what may have happened to the ‘Titanic’ couple had Jack not died in the freezing ocean.
Kate Winslet (Rose DeWitt Bukater)
Then: Known at the time for her work in prestige films like ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Jude,’ ‘Titanic’ launched Winslet onto the A-list.
Now: One of the most acclaimed actors of her generation, Winslet has had success in film (‘The Reader’) and on TV (‘Mildred Pierce’). With an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy under her belt, Winslet is one Tony Award away from entering the prestigious “EGOT” category.
Billy Zane (Caledon Nathan “Cal” Hockley)
Then: Known for his dashing hero roles in movies like ‘The Phantom’ where he “smashed” evil, Zane brought his smarmy charisma to the role of Rose’s smarmy husband-to-be Cal Hockley.
Now: While Zane has continued to work in projects both reputable (‘Samantha Who?’) and questionable (‘Leprechaun’s Revenge’), he is perhaps best known these days for his cameo appearance in ‘Zoolander.’ As Hansel says to Derek, “Listen to your friend Billy Zane. He’s a cool dude.”
Frances Fisher (Ruth DeWitt Bukater)
Then: Fisher played Rose’s mother, Ruth Dewitt Bukater, in ‘Titanic.’ She had previously starred in ‘Unforgiven’ and on the ‘X-Files’-ish TV series ‘Strange Luck.’ Fisher also has a daughter with former beau Clint Eastwood, whom she met on ‘Unforgiven.’
Now: Fisher continues to be an in-demand character actress in everything from ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3′ to the upcoming teen alien flick ‘The Host.’ She recently recalled her time on ‘Titanic,’ saying, “There were so many amazing moments.”
Kathy Bates (Margaret “Molly” Brown)
Then: Arguably the biggest star at the time of the film’s release, Bates had already scored an Oscar nom for her creepy turn in ‘Misery.’ She played the real life “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in ‘Titanic.’
Now: Kathy Bates continues to bring her larger-than-life persona to everything from ‘The Office’ to her own series ‘Harry’s Law.’ She portrayed a famous historical character again in 2011, when she played Gertrude Stein in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris,’ and she is currently part of the ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ cast.
Victor Garber (Thomas Andrews)
Then: A veteran of stage and screen, Garber played real life ship builder Thomas Andrews.
Now: Garber scored his most high-profile role as Jennifer Garner’s duplicitous pop on the hit TV series ‘Alias.’ He continues to work steadily on stage and screen, often as an in-demand voiceover artist. (He voiced Charlie in the recent ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot.)
Bernard Hill (Captain Edward John Smith)
Then: The gruff, bearded Hill played the Titanic’s ship captain, Edward Smith.
Now: Yep, Hill went on to play King Theoden in ‘The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers,’ where ruled over Helm’s Deep. Gamers will also recognize Hill as the voice of Sir. Walter Beck in ‘Fable III.’
Bill Paxton (Brock Lovett)
Then: A veteran of ‘Aliens’ and ‘The Terminator,’ Paxton was one of the few actors in ‘Titanic’ who had previously worked with Cameron. Prior to playing treasure seeker Brock Lovett in ‘Titanic”s modern-day sequences, Paxton had delivered acclaimed turns in films like ‘Apollo 13′ and ‘One False Move.’
Now: You might say that Paxton has a ‘Big Love’ for the HBO series that he starred on for five seasons as Mormon father Bill Henrickson. And contrary to popular belief, he was not the president in ‘Independence Day.’ That was Bill Pullman.
Gloria Stuart (Rose Dawson Calvert)
Then: A veteran of silent films, Stuart was best-known for playing Claude Rains’ love interest in ‘The Invisible Man.’ At 87, she became the oldest person to be nominated for an Oscar for her role in ‘Titanic.’
Now: Sadly, Stuart passed away from respiratory failure in 2010 at the age of 100. A documentary on her long and storied career, ‘The Secret Life of Old Rose,’ was recently seeking funding on KickStarter.