To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, Cameron participated in National Geographic special Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron, in which three scientific tests were conducted by stunt actors to determine if Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) could fit on a raft alongside Rose (Kate Winslet).
In one of the stunts, two actors who were roughly the same size as Winslet and DiCaprio, performed the “strenuous activities” that the characters went through in the film.
Cameron then had the female stunt performer give her life jacket to the male performer, something that does not happen in the film.
If this had happened, Jack would have been “stabilised,” and could have potentially “made it until the lifeboat got there”, Cameron said.
However, the character wouldn’t have allowed this to happen, Cameron explained, because Jack’s “thought process was, I’m not going to do one thing that jeopardised her”.
“Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables,” Cameron reportedly said in the documentary. “Based on what I know today, I would have made the raft smaller so there’s no doubt.”
Fans have spent decades trying to prove to Cameron that there was plenty of space on the floating door for both Rose and Jack to survive, with one couple even reenacting the scene to demonstrate the various positions the characters could have assumed.
Cameron has responded to the theories before, explaining in 2012 that it wasn’t a “question of room, but a question of buoyancy”.
“When Jack puts Rose on the raft, he tries to get on the raft – he’s not an idiot, he doesn’t want to die – and the raft sinks; it kind of flips,” he said.
“It’s clear that there’s really only enough buoyancy available for one person, so he makes the decision to let her be that person.”
“Apparently I was too fat,” she said. “Why were they so mean to me? They were so mean. I wasn’t even f***ing fat.”