How different things could have been with the Texas-born actor playing the part of the penniless artist instead of Leonardo DiCaprio.
While McConaughey’s first role was in Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age movie Dazed & Confused, Leo’s breakthrough came with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, which he starred in alongside (also relatively unknown) Johnny Depp, at the tender age of 19.
Post continues after video: Kate and Leo's enduring friendship
The two actors’ careers took very different avenues – McConaughey starred in Spielberg movie Amistad, before becoming known as something of a rom-com actor (The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch).
In the last seven or eight years his preferred roles have been distinctly on the meatier side, and he won a number of awards for his part in Dallas Buyer’s Club in 2013.
DiCaprio, meanwhile, became a '90s heartthrob following his starring role in Romeo + Juliet, so perhaps he had the edge on McConaughey by the time auditions for Titanic rolled around.
Post continues after video: The alternative ending for ‘Titanic’ is seriously weeeiird
The two actors (who are only five years apart in age) later co-starred in Wolf of Wall Street (also 2013) with McConaughey playing the sort of mentor figure to DiCaprio’s eager apprentice.
In a twist, the film earned DiCaprio the Oscar nomination that lost out to McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club.
Fans of Titanic – or just Kate Winslet – can watch the entire interview below. It reveals a few other truths about the making of the movie (for example, it was director James Cameron who was responsible for those ‘French’ sketches of Jack’s).
This post originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia