‘Titanic’: Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder Could Have Played Jack and Rose

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were born to play Jack and Rose. Titanic wouldn’t be the same without these two, and their chemistry throughout the film is what caused the movie to be such a smashing success. But believe it or not, several other bigtime Hollywood actors were heavily considered for James Cameron’s film. This includes ex-fiances, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. 

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder | The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became best friends on the set of ‘Titanic’

Initially, Winslet was afraid to work alongside DiCaprio, considering he is so talented and “beautiful” as she describes him. The actress tells Oprah that she was intimidated by the idea of working with him at first, yet once she got to know him, she realized how down to earth he is. The two became so close while on set, that according to Rolling Stone, they’d snuggle up under a blanket and have the most intimate conversations with each other. 

Fortunately for fans of Titanic, DiCaprio and Winslet will “never let go” of their everlasting bond. The actors remain best friends to this day, Winslet even going so far as to call DiCaprio her “closest friend in the world.” She really meant it too, because according to reports, DiCaprio walked her down the aisle at her 2013 wedding. The co-stars still keep in close contact with each other, and according to DiCaprio, he is always looking for opportunities to work alongside Winslet. He then adds, “she’s my favorite actress in the industry.” *Swoon.*

And as much as we adore DiCaprio and Winslet’s unbreakable bond, numerous other A-list actors could’ve played Jack and Rose. Can you picture a world where Depp and Ryder were to play these lovestruck characters? Apparently, James Cameron could.

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder could have starred in ‘Titanic’

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder during “Mermaids” Premiere | Barry King/WireImage

According to HuffPost, there’s a long list of A-list celebrities who were considered for the leading roles in Titanic. Considering the 1997 film cost more to make than the actual Titanic, it makes sense that Cameron would want to heavily weigh his options when it came down to casting the leads. At the time, Depp and Ryder were some of the biggest celebrity names in the business. The two also happened to be in one of the most beloved Hollywood relationships of the 1990s.   

Depp and Ryder had already starred together as love interests in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see them as romantic leads once more. The only problem is, the pair split a few years before Titanic began production. Their break up was messy and heartbreaking for both Ryder and Depp, so having the exes rekindled in such an intimate romance film seems pretty unlikely. Still, it’s interesting that Cameron considered the two actors for the movie.  

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder’s whirlwind romance

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder during "Mermaids" Premiere
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder during “Mermaids” Premiere | Barry King/WireImage

Depp and Ryder were in a serious relationship from 1989 to 1993. The two were madly in love, to the point where Depp proposed to Ryder after only five months of dating. In Winona Ryder: The Biography, the book perfectly captures the moment they fell in love. (It just so happens that it was during the same moment Depp and Ryder first locked eyes on each other.)

“It was at the premiere of that movie where Johnny Depp spotted Winona. They were in the lobby of New York’s Ziegfeld Theater, and according to both, it was love at first sight. ‘I was getting a coke,’ remembers Winona. But Depp was more precise. ‘It was a classic glance,’ he said, ‘like the zoom lenses in West Side Story, and everything else gets foggy.’”