It’s hard to imagine baby-faced boy Leonardo DiCaprio embracing anyone other than Kate Winslet on the deck of the Titanic. Apparently, though, things almost went a very different way, with Claire Danes revealing that she was in the running to play Rose.

In a recent interview with Dax Shepherd on his Armchair Expert podcast, Danes revealed that there was “strong interest” in her for the role, but that she turned it down because she was not ready for the pressure and increased profile it would bring.

“I had just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic,” she explained. The “romantic epic” in question is Romeo & Juliet, where Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes played the famous star-crossed lovers.

“It was going to propel me to something I knew I didn’t have the resources to cope with. I knew I had to do a lot of foundation-building,” she said.

The role instead went to Kate Winslet, propelling her to huge stardom.

Strangely enough, Leo was not the first choice to play the role of Jack, either. In a 2017 interview, Winslet revealed that Matthew McConaughey was in the running. She said:

“I auditioned with Matthew, isn’t that weird? Never said that in public before. I auditioned with Matthew, which was completely fantastic. It just wouldn’t have been the whole, Jack and Rose, Kate and Leo thing.”

Anyway, if you need me, I’ll be spending the rest of the day imagining how these wild, alternate reality versions of Titanic would have played out.

Image: Getty Images / Steve Granitz