Actor Billy Zane stopped by HuffPost Live on Monday, February 8, and discussed how the iconic film Titanic affected his life.
“You either get people telling me to put a cork in it or I’m told I’m a cool dude, and as long as the ratio is pretty equal, I’m pretty happy,” Zane, 49, said of how fans react when they recognize him. “It’s refreshing as opposed to being told ‘You’re the a–hole from Titanic.’ That one I get a lot which is really nice. Nice to meet people that way.”
Zane played Titanic’s main antagonist, Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley, who was set to marry Rose (Kate Winslet) before she fell for Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), and while his character isn’t exactly beloved, the movie is. “We knew we were making a good film, but we didn’t know we were being buoyed by the zeitgeist, pardon the pun, and tapping into a vein of the moment that I think really required catharsis for whatever reason,” Zane said of the 1997 drama.
The actor told HuffPost that he will never get tired of talking about the 11-time Oscar-winning film and even willingly invites the conversation. “Do I ever mind being part of one of the biggest films of all time? Does it ever become a burden? Oh, yes, oh, druther,” he joked. “I’m so honored and flattered to have just been on that ride and for something that was such a mad calling card, unilaterally at a time when the delivery systems were still a bit archaic.”
Unlike his cruel-hearted character in Titanic, Zane had only nice words for costar DiCaprio, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Revenant. “He better [win an Oscar]! He’s amazing! My God. … I think he’ll be awarded for that role but really for many performances that he should have been nominated, let alone won for,” the Back to the Future actor said. “He’s a wonderful fella.”
Zane joins the cast of Paramount’s Zoolander 2, in theaters this month.
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