Paul Rudd encouraged Leonardo DiCaprio to take on iconic 'Titanic' role

Paul Rudd could be the reason that James Cameron's "Titanic" didn't sink.

During a visit to "The Graham Norton Show,"  Rudd, 50, told the story from the days of filming "Romeo + Juliet," in which Leonardo DiCaprio told Rudd that he'd been offered the role of the heroic Jack in "Titanic.'

According to Rudd, DiCaprio, now 44, was unsure whether he'd take the role.

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"He was saying, 'Well, I don't know what I'll do,'" Rudd said. "And I remember saying, 'You should do it.'"

"I don't think I had any say," he noted. "But it is kind of interesting to think back on that."

Rudd also has a surprising connection to the actual Titanic: His father was an expert on the doomed luxury vessel and would travel to universities to lecture on it.

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Also present for the interview was Robert De Niro, who discussed his own involvement with DiCaprio's rise to fame.

De Niro, 76, remembered doing a table read for "This Boy's Life" with a teenage DiCaprio.

"Leo wasn't reading the lead, it was another kid," said De Niro. "At the end of it, I said '(DiCaprio) is interesting, you should pay more attention to him.' I don't know whether my saying that had anything to do with it."

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Norton chimed in: "You know it did!"