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James Cameron almost didn’t choose Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet to star in ‘Titanic’ | CNN

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CNN
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James Cameron is sharing some surprising details from the making of his blockbuster hit “Titanic,” which celebrates 25 years of being released next month.

In a new video interview with GQ, the iconic director revealed that he almost didn’t end up casting Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet – his two romantic leads whose careers as major Hollywood movie stars were cemented by the landmark Oscar-winning film.

While considering actors to play the roles of his star-crossed lovers on the doomed ocean liner, Cameron explained that he was initially thinking of someone like Gwyneth Paltrow for Rose, and that while Winslet had been proposed as an option, he was afraid she was too much of a typecast.

“I actually didn’t see Kate at first,” he said in the video. “She had done a couple of other historical dramas as well, and she was getting a reputation as ‘Corset Kate’ doing historical stuff.” (It is true that “The Reader” actress’s three credits prior to “Titanic” were also period costume dramas – “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995, followed by “Jude” and “Hamlet” one year later.)

Cameron went on to say that he was afraid that putting Winslet in the role “was going to look like the laziest casting in the world,” but that he nonetheless agreed to meet her in the end. Of course, he thought she was “fantastic,” and the rest is history.

With DiCaprio, meanwhile, there were some initial hiccups.

After an initial “hysterical” meeting with the heartthrob actor, in which all the women in the production office somehow ended up in the conference room alongside Cameron, DiCaprio was invited back for a screen test with Winslet, who had already been cast at that point.

But when the “Romeo + Juliet” star came in, he was surprised to learn he’d have to read lines and be filmed alongside Winslet to gauge their chemistry on camera.

“He came in, he thought it was another meeting to meet Kate,” Cameron described.

He remembered telling the pair, “We’ll just run some lines, and I’ll video it.”

But then DiCaprio – who by then had led several movies and scored an Oscar nomination for 1993’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” – informed Cameron, “You mean I’m reading?…I don’t read,” meaning that he no longer submitted to having to audition for film roles.

Without missing a beat, Cameron extended his hand to the star and and told him, “Well, thanks for coming by.”

The director then explained to DiCaprio the enormity of the project before them, how the film was going to take two years out of his life, and how he was “not going to f**k it up by making the wrong decision in casting.”

“So you’re going to read or you’re not going to get the part,” Cameron said he told the young actor.

DiCaprio reluctantly submitted, to his credit.

Cameron remembered how the actor “lit up” and “became Jack,” creating electric chemistry with Winslet later seen plainly in the film itself.

“Titanic” sailed into theaters on December 19, 1997 and eventually went on to win 11 Academy Awards, including best director for Cameron.

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Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star, dead at 66 | CNN

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CNN
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Clarence Gilyard, the actor best known for playing computer hacker Theo in “Die Hard” and naval flight officer Marcus “Sundown” Williams in “Top Gun,” has died at the age of 66.

His death was announced on Monday in a statement from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he had been working as an associate professor at the College of Fine Arts.

“It is with profound sadness that I share this news,” Dean Nancy Uscher said in the statement shared on Instagram. “His students were deeply inspired by him, as were all who knew him. He had many extraordinary talents and was extremely well-known in the university through his dedication to teaching and his professional accomplishments.”

UNLV film chair Heather Addison remembered Gilyard as a “beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV.”

She added: “Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years. We love you and will miss you dearly, Professor G!”

No further details surrounding his death have been made public.

According to UNLV, Gilyard ventured into acting after studying Theatre Arts at California State University. He landed his first role on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1981.

In 1986, Gilyard made his film debut in “Top Gun,” in which he played Sundown, one of the elite fighter pilots.

Two years later, he was cast as Theo, the computer expert who helps Hans Gruber’s terrorist group, in the thriller “Die Hard.”

He got his big primetime TV break in 1989, when he landed the role of Conrad McMasters on the NBC legal drama “Matlock,” starring opposite Andy Griffith. He then portrayed Chuck Norris’ crime-fighting partner Jimmy Trivette on “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Gilyard’s acting credits also include “The Karate Kid Part II,” “CHiPS” and the “Left Behind” films.

Despite his accomplished acting career, Gilyard stepped away from acting in 2006 to start teaching at UNLV and directing productions at the university’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre.

“I’m wired to teach. And I’m a professional, but the profession has to feed the classroom. It’s what stimulates my characters because I’m in touch with people’s lives in the 21st century,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2017.

“I work best as an artist when I’m in a fertile arena. That means creative and imaginative. Being with all those millennials — I don’t understand what they’re saying but I’m siphoning off their energy.”

He did, however, make a brief return to the screen in 2021, when he reunited with Bruce Willis and De’voreaux White for a “Die Hard” battery commercial.

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‘That ’90s Show’ First Trailer: ‘That ’70s Show’ Vets Red & Kitty Return

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Kitty and Red Forman are up their usual antics in the epic first look at Netflix’s That ’90s Show, set 15 years after the events of That ’70s Show. Netflix revealed that the series will premiere January 19, 2023 when they dropped the teaser trailer that features Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith back as their beloved characters, who are now grandparents. Kitty and Red are hosting their granddaughter Leia (played by Callie Haverda) who is visiting Point Place. And of course, the iconic Forman basement makes an appearance!

The official longline for the new show reads, “It’s 1995 and Leia Forman is desperate for some adventure in her life or at least a best friend who isn’t her dad. When she arrives in Point Place to visit her grandparents, Red and Kitty, Leia finds what she’s looking for right next door when she meets the dynamic and rebellious Gwen. With the help of Gwen’s friends, including her lovable brother Nate, his smart, laser-focused girlfriend Nikki, the sarcastic and insightful Ozzie, and the charming Jay, Leia realizes adventure could happen there just like it did for her parents all those years ago. Excited to reinvent herself, she convinces her parents to let her stay for the summer. With a basement full of teens again, Kitty is happy the Forman house is now a home for a new generation and Red is, well…Red.”

That 90s Show

That ’70s Show aired from 1998 to 2006 and focused on a group of six teenagers living in Point Place, Wisconsin. Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, and Wilmer Valderrama will all return in guest appearances in That ’90s Show. The new cast members include Ashley Aufderheide, Mace Coronel, Maxwell Alee Donovan, Reyn Doi, and Sam Morelos.

Mila Kunis, 39, previously spoke out against the storyline for That ’90s Show, where her character Jackie is with Kelso, played her real-life husband Ashton, instead of Wilmer’s character Fez.

“My husband and I are together in it, which is weird, because we shouldn’t have been,” she told Access Hollywood in September. “I called BS. I was like, ‘My character would be with Fez.’ I think that I ended up with Wilmer’s character. I was like, ‘Why are you and I together?’ ” Mila also said it was “super weird” to film the new show with her husband.

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Kanye West adds far-right Nick Fuentes to 2024 campaign team

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Kanye West adds far-right Nick Fuentes to 2024 campaign team

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