This December will be the 20th anniversary of the release of Titanic, James Cameron’s epic romance about the dangers of transatlantic boating, and in an extended profile from Vanity Fair, Cameron has shared a timely story about a memory he has of the night his movie won big at the Oscars. Apparently, during a break in the Academy Awards ceremony, Cameron was hanging out on the main floor when Harvey Weinstein stepped up and tried to sell Cameron on Miramax, his studio at the time, saying, “how great they were for the artist.”
Unfortunately for Weinstein, Cameron was already mad at him for the old thing that people were mad at Harvey Weinstein about—specifically his tendency to push for excessive creative control over the movies he was backing. Guillermo Del Toro had recently worked with Miramax on Mimic and Cameron knew “how badly he was dealt with,” so when Weinstein started telling him how great his studio was, Cameron “read him chapter and verse” about how awful he thought Miramax really was. This “led to an altercation” that didn’t escalate into a full-blown rumble, but Cameron does say he hit Weinstein with his Oscar.
This all happened right among the seats for the ceremony, and Cameron says that as they began to crack their knuckles and plan their special attacks or whatever, the people around them kept yelling at them not to fight there. “Like it was okay to fight in the parking lot,” Cameron adds, “but it was not okay there when the music was playing and they were about to go live.”
Sadly, cooler heads prevailed and we were all deprived of what would’ve been a pretty awesome Oscar moment in retrospect.