The speech that has haunted James Cameron for 25 years

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.10 - 2023 3:02 PM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
The speech that has haunted James Cameron for 25 years

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"I am the king of the world!" These were the words passionately exclaimed by James Cameron as he accepted his Oscar for Best Director for the film "Titanic."

The movie won 11 awards that night, setting a record that has yet to be broken. However, Cameron now admits that he regrets his choice of words, stating, "What I learned is that you don't quote your own movie when you win... because it's embarrassing."

Cameron's exuberance was likely fueled by the multiple trips he made to the stage at the Kodak Theatre that night. While some may see his speech as a tender moment, he fears it was perceived as arrogant.

The film "Titanic" won numerous Oscars, including Best Actress for Kate Winslet and Best Director and Best Picture for Cameron. Leonardo DiCaprio was notably absent from the nominations, sparking a so-called "curse" that he would later break in 2015 with "The Revenant."

The director also reflected on the uncertainty surrounding the margin by which he won, stating, "I assumed I won by a wide margin... But the reality is we will never know by how much we won, and it was probably not a landslide victory. I became aware of this in the 25 years that followed."

Adding to his embarrassment, Louis J. Horvitz, the director of the ceremony that night, reportedly thought Cameron was an "idiot." Cameron recalls the moment he realized his speech might be problematic:

"When I walked backstage and Warren Beatty looked at me as if to say, 'poor fool, what have you just done?' And I said, 'ah, was that not okay? Alright...'"

Despite the criticism, some still argue that Cameron's excitement was justified. After all, at that moment, he was (or at least felt like) the king of the world.

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