Ever since it broke box-office records in 1997, Titanic has been the subject of much debate — especially when it comes to its finale, in which Leonardo DiCaprio’s street kid Jack chooses to drown rather than hang on to (and fatally weigh down) the wooden door that his love, Kate Winslet’s Rose, is clinging to for survival. As the popular fan theory goes, Jack could have shared that buoyant object with Rose in one way or another, and it’s gained so much traction over the years that even Mythbusters covered it in a 2012 episode (watch it below). So does James Cameron also agree that his film’s finale is fundamentally flawed? Well…um…no.
In a wide-ranging interview with Marlow Stern at The Daily Beast, Cameron is asked if he thinks Jack could have paired up with Rose in the freezing-cold ocean. And his answer leaves no doubt about his position on the matter:
“[Laughs] We’re gonna go there? Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, “Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.” It’s that simple. You can do all the post-analysis you want. So you’re talking about the Mythbusters episode, right? Where they sort of pop the myth? OK, so let’s really play that out: You’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later — which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead. So that wouldn’t work. His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died. They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of s–t.”
Cameron’s typically blunt (and amusing) response leaves no doubt he’s not in tune with his Oscar-winning hit’s revisionist critics. And as the interview also makes clear, he’s at odds with the current presidential administration, about which he expresses some less-than-subtle feelings (“these people are insane,” for one). To read Cameron’s entire chat — which also tackles the Oscars, his interest in superhero cinema, the Terminator franchise, and his Avatar sequels, which he says are still in development (he’s just finished Avatar 5’s script) — visit The Daily Beast.
Kate Winslet Finally Admits That Rose Totally Should Have Saved Jack in ‘Titanic’: