The result of James Cameron’s big experiment on Jack and Rose at the end of “Titanic” yielded a pretty surprising result: Cameron actually admitted that BOTH Jack and Rose might have been able to survive.
For the National Geographic special “Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron”, they simulated the conditions of the movie as closely as possible.
They found two actors about the same size and weight as Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio at the time. They put them on a raft the same size and buoyancy as the piece of debris from the film.
And they had them in cold water . . . but kept an eye on their vitals to prevent hypothermia. They also made them go through everything Jack and Rose went through before ending up on the raft.
That included “tussling” with another passenger for Rose’s life vest, their frantic flight off the boat, and having to swim to safety.
Cameron has always said the debris lacked the buoyancy to keep both Jack and Rose above the freezing water. But after trying several different solutions, they found one that might have worked.
The actors put most of their bodies on top of the raft, with only their lower legs below the water. And they were in a position that allowed them to share body heat.
This way, they might have been able to survive a few hours, which would have been long enough to be rescued.
Cameron says, quote, “Final verdict: Jack might have lived. But there’s a lot of variables. In a well-lit experiment in a test pool, we can’t possibly simulate the terror, the adrenaline, all the things that would have worked against them.”
He adds, quote, “Based on what I know today, I would have made the raft smaller so there’s no doubt.”