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This Actor Really Thought He Landed Leonardo DiCaprio’s Part in Titanic

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If Matthew McConaughey had gotten his way, moviegoers would’ve been mourning a very different Jack at the end of Titanic.

During an appearance on Saturday’s episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, the 49-year-old actor revealed that he had gone out for the lead role in James Cameron’s 1998 Best Picture winner—and even thought he was a shoe-in—but ultimately lost out on the part to Leonardo DiCaprio.

“I wanted that,” he said. “I auditioned with Kate Winslet. Had a good audition. Walked away from there pretty confident that I had it. I didn’t get it. I never got offered that.”

But it seems like McConaughey ultimately wasn’t too fazed by by the missed opportunity because he got to keep living it up while starring in high-paying rom-coms. “I was also living on a beach and going out without my shirt on, just like I did before I was famous,” he said of his life during that time. “I was living a romantic comedy.”

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com