Billy Zane thinks Titanic should have ended with his character, the smug, abusive Cal Hockley making amends with Rose after Jack Dawson’s death.
Zane told The Today Show on Monday that things could have gone differently, making Cal a more sympathetic player in the Titanic storyline.
“I think he [Cal] found redemption by the end, and I wish he had found her on the [rescue boat] Carpathia and was able to right his wrongs.”
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) June 28, 2016
Zane said his character was misunderstood.
“I wasn’t the iceberg! I did not drown 2,000 people.”
Zane now stars as an attorney in Freeform’s mystery drama series, Guilt. The 50-year-old actor says people approach him “every day” to talk about the 1997 film.
“Where’s the diamond?”
“You’re a terrible shot!”
“I don’t know what [Rose] was thinking!”
Entertainment Weekly describes Zane’s role in the blockbuster-turned-classic movie, which made use of advanced high definition technology to accurately bring the sunken 1909 ocean liner Titanic to its former splendor.
“During the film, Cal did everything within his power to squash the budding romance.”
“He had Jack (Leo DiCaprio) arrested and handcuffed to a pipe, attempted to trick Rose (Kate Winslet) into sailing away on a lifeboat without her newfound lover, and chased the couple through the flooding ship with a pistol.”
“Still, Zane insists Cal wasn’t as villainous as he appeared.”
Fans have had mixed reactions to what may be a tongue-in-cheek opinion by Zane. The interview has resulted in long diatribes on social media in which people revisit the plot, explain motives, character arcs, and on and on. Some comments were to the point; others required a much longer explanation.
“What is Billy Zane smoking?” wrote Cinema Blend on Facebook.
“Aha. I think Billy Zane perhaps misunderstood his character. I did wonder for a moment if his suicide could be attributed to guilt, but apparently not. That’s the thing. People do bad things, but you can’t always assume their suicide was down to ‘guilt’ – which I wonder a lot. I think for the most part it’s probably often self-pity. People can live with guilt.” – Eliza Hollywood
“He got what was coming. Honestly, don’t behave like that if you want to think you will have a chance in the future.” – Jen Francis
“Did I get transported to the year 1997? lol Billy’s like “I’ll never let go”..I think Billy Zane is adorable, but damn, let it go dude, the character Cal was a prime example of a douche nugget, it’s ok to admit you played a bad guy, and were pretty damn good at it might I add.” – Felicia Booker
However, Carrie Elaine Johnson agreed with Zane.
“Rose was spoiled and entitled and she would have grown tired of Jack. Cal might have been an ass but he was able to at least give Rose a comfortable life. I mean she was basically a miserable person…might as well be comfortable. Also, I have seen this movie once and I hated it.”
— Check123 HISTORY (@Check123H) June 29, 2016
Titanic has retained a massive following over two decades. Kate Winslet recently acknowledged on Today.com that fans went crazy at the Golden Globes where she and co-star Leo DiCaprio were reunited.
“People are always so excited to see Leo and myself in the same space. Which, you know, at the end of the day, that is so lovely, isn’t it. It’s been 20 years and people still get such a kick out of it.”
“It’s really quite endearing. And we do laugh about it…”
“People still get so overwhelmed with the Jack and Rose thing.”
[Image via 20th Century Fox]