There are few universally accepted truths in our world, but there are a few: the earth is round. The sky is blue. Jack could have fit on that door with Rose in Titanic, thus making his tragic death unnecessary.
Despite the decades-spanning lament by fans that had Rose only scooted over a little bit all of this could have been avoided (even Kate Winslet agrees that her character could have made room) director James Cameron has had about enough of the endless speculation.
In a new interview, Vanity Fair asks him the common fan question outright, and Cameron points out the necessity for Jack’s end from a plot perspective.
“The answer is very simple because it says on page 147 that Jack dies,” he explained. “Very simple… Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him.”
He’s also grown weary of the debate (and probably being asked this question).
“I think it’s all kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless…The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons.”
That said, Cameron absolutely stands by his claim that from a physics perspective, Jack could not have fit on that board.
“I was in the water with the piece of wood putting people on it for about two days getting it exactly buoyant enough so that it would support one person with full free-board, meaning that she wasn’t immersed at all in the 28 degree water so that she could survive the three hours it took until the rescue ship got there,” he said. “I believed at the time, and still do, that that’s what it would have taken for one person to survive.”
Every Titanic fan forever and always: