Movie director James Cameron said in a recent interview that testosterone was a “toxin” that men should work out of their systems.
Cameron made the remarks during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the second film of the Avatar movie franchise — “Avatar: The Way Of Water” — which has taken a decade to make and hits theaters later this month.
“Maybe it’s still a honeymoon phase,” Cameron said of his relationship with Disney. “I don’t know. We’ll see. If the movie doesn’t make money, then, maybe, the honeymoon’s over.”
Cameron, now 68 years old, said that he has changed as he has gotten older as his “F-bomb-laden shouting matches with executives is behind him,” the publication said.
“A lot of things I did earlier, I wouldn’t do — career-wise and just risks that you take as a wild, testosterone-poisoned young man,” he said. “I always think of [testosterone] as a toxin that you have to slowly work out of your system.”
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Cameron explained that his first meeting with DiCaprio actually went very well — although he noted that he was amused by the fact that all of the women associated with the production suddenly had a reason to be in the room for the actor’s first appearance.
“There was a meeting with Leo and there was a screen test with Leo,” Cameron reflected, adding, “So the meeting was funny, because I’m in my conference room waiting to meet an actor, right? And I look around, and all the women in the entire office are in the meeting for some reason. Like, there’s a female executive producer, okay, fine. But our accountant? You know, why was she in the meeting?”
Cameron laughed again, saying that he realized as he looked around the room that they had all just wanted to meet DiCaprio.
“So Leo came in — of course, charmed everybody, myself included,” Cameron continued, noting that actress Kate Winslet had already been chosen to play the part of Rose. “And I said, ‘Alright, let’s see what your chemistry’s like with Kate.’”
So DiCaprio was asked to come back for a meeting with Winslet, and he agreed — but when he arrived and Cameron asked him to read with her, the “Romeo + Juliet” star balked.
“He said, ‘You mean I’m reading?’” Cameron recalled. “And I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Oh, I don’t read.’”
The “Avatar” director’s response was to immediately thank DiCaprio for his time, at which point Cameron said the actor back-pedaled quickly. “He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait. You mean if I don’t read, I don’t get the part? Just like that?’”
Cameron said his reply was simple: “I said, ‘Oh, yeah. Come on. This is, like, a giant movie that’s gonna take two years of my life … so I’m not gonna f*** it up by making the wrong decision in casting. So you’re gonna read, or you’re not gonna get the part.’”
Virginia Kruta contributed to this report.