Reba McEntire explains why she turned down iconic ‘Titanic’ role

Reba McEntire admitted she turned down the role of a lifetime.

On Thursday’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” the 63-year-old revealed she was initially cast as the “unsinkable” Molly Brown in the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. However, the country crooner had to turn down the epic romantic drama due to scheduling conflicts.

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“We were on tour and I had a lot of people on the payroll and we had these three months to do the movie,” explained McEntire. “And then they got behind on scheduling and said, ‘No, we’re going to have to move it in this time.’ So we couldn’t reschedule all the arenas and everything.”

The memorable role would eventually go to Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates. According to People magazine, the movie became an instant worldwide sensation, earning over $2 billion at the box office and 11 Oscars.

When Cohen, 50, asked McEntire if it killed her that “Titanic” went on to become such a huge hit without her, she said, “Well, sure, absolutely.”

“But you got to take care of your people,” she added.

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But McEntire has earned her own success as one of the most influential artists in country music. People magazine shared that as “The Queen of Country,” McEntire has sold over 56 million album copies worldwide. In addition, she has 24 No. 1 country singles and 13 No. 1 country albums on the Billboard charts.

Reba McEntire performs "Does He Love You" at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Reba McEntire performs "Does He Love You" at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) (Invision)

McEntire’s 29th studio album, “Stronger Than the Truth,” is set for release on April 5. She will also host the 2019 ACM Awards in Las Vegas that same month for a record 16th time.

In 2015, McEntire told Fox News that her “love of music,” as well as “curiosity” and “trying to find new songs” has kept her going for more than four decades in the music industry.

“I love music and I love to listen to music,” she explained at the time. “I like to hear stories sung in songs because music is very healing. “I’m very curious about what everybody else finds interesting and what touches their hearts. I love to go to concerts and I like to be a part of it. I love the competition.”

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McEntire also reflected on what she would change if she went back to her 20s.

“I guess everything happens for a reason, and everything you do is a learning process,” she said. “I could probably write you a list if I had time – well if you had time – for me to sit here and write it all down. I mean, I was 21, got married probably way too early, but I learned a lot.”