James Cameron's Titanic is fondly remembered for many things, but the villainous Caledon 'Cal' Hockley (Billy Zane) isn't one of them. Whenever people look back at one of the biggest blockbuster movies ever made, Cal is often remembered with disdain since he treated Rose (Kate Winslet) poorly and tried to kill Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). However, back in 2016, Billy Zane defended Cal and gave some insight to one of the famous movie's least loved aspects. Now that Titanic is turning 20, does Billy still believe that Cal was a better suitor than our beloved Jack?
Catching Up With Cal
Last year, US Weekly caught up with #BillyZane, who starred in Guilt, and asked the actor about his most famous role aboard the unsinkable Titanic. The actor shared a few anecdotes from the set and revealed that some fans of the movie had actually warmed up to his character as the years have passed.
"The world is divided into two kinds: When [women] were younger they were like, 'How can you do that to Jack?' And when they grow up they [now say to me], 'What was Rose thinking?"
This of course, does not justify Cal's violently possessive attitude towards Rose, but it gives an interesting look at the other side of the unsinkable love triangle. While Jack and Rose's relationship represented an unpredictable but genuine love, Cal's engagement to Rose presented her with a stable but constrictive future.
Zane then elaborated on his choice to play Titanic's main antagonist, since he's not one to back out from a challenging role. Even if there wasn't much to Cal outside of being Jack's foil and moral opposite, Zane still felt that Cal gave him a lot of material to play with.
"The bad guys are fun because they are challenging. I like to play them because they are usually a little less dimensional on page and need to be rounded off and require a challenging approach. Heroes I lean towards [though] because I'm a bit of a sentimentalist."
Cal is remembered by Titanic fans for being an arrogant elitist who was easy to hate. Helping matters was the fact that he flipped a table in a violent rage when Rose refused to take his side in an argument before firing a gun at the movie's leading lovers, guaranteeing Cal an even smaller fanbase than he may have hoped for.
But the fact that Cal is still despised shows how talented Zane is. His performance left such an impact that people still give it some thought whenever they remember Titanic. Cal may be one of the worst people to have boarded the R.M.S. Titanic, but just like every character in the movie, he served a purpose. After all, what's a good love story without a great villain?
What did you think of Cal in Titanic? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Source: US Weekly]