Cameron created 'ghostly' reality on 'Titanic' set, Garber says
Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:16PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, August 30, 2012 7:30AM EDT
It’s been 15 years since James Cameron’s epic disaster film, “Titanic,” cruised into movie theatres and into Hollywood’s history books as one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
Now as “Titanic 3D,” Cameron’s 2012 update, goes to DVD and Blu-ray on Sept. 10, fans can look forward to watching Leonardo DiCaprio woo Kate Winslet to their hearts’ content.
But according to Victor Garber, one of the film’s co-stars, this enduring tale based on the 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic almost never happened.
“When we were shooting we weren’t sure if it was going to be completed,” Garber, 63, told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday.
“It was a big film, with a lot of complicated scenes to get through. There of were times when all of us actors wondered if this ship would ever sail off the studio lot,” Garber said, with a grin.
Garber portrayed Thomas Andrews in the 1997 film, the real-life shipbuilder who was in charge for designing the plans for the doomed ocean liner.
The actor felt an instant kinship with Andrews as he read the script penned by director Cameron.
“I felt so much empathy for this man, and for the shock and horror that he experienced on board the Titanic,” said Garber.
“He saw all his efforts and the work of countless others end up in tragedy. To express that and do it powerfully and with few words just grabbed me,” he said.
Watching Cameron recreate the luxury liner for this US$200-million screen adaption also left a lasting impression on Garber.
“He paid such attention to detail,” Garber said on Tuesday on CTV’s Canada AM.
“It was almost a ghostly experience to be on set. But that was James’ genius. He had a vision. He made you feel like you were really on the Titanic,” said Garber.
Since 1997, the acclaimed actor from London, Ont. has only seen “Titanic” once in its entirety since the film’s premiere.
“I’ve caught bits and pieces on TV. It’s hard for me to watch myself on screen,” said Garber, who has amassed six Emmy and four Tony nominations for his work on TV and Broadway over the years.
However, such discomfort will not stop Garber from viewing his latest film, “Argo,” at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Directed by Ben Affleck, the political drama tells the tale of six American diplomats who were rescued from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
Affleck was keen on hiring Garber to portray Kenneth D. Taylor, Canada’s ambassador to at the time of the hostage crisis.
Garber had co-starred with Jennifer Garner, Affleck’s wife, on the TV action series, “Alias.”
Thanks to that series, Affleck developed an appreciation for Garber’s subtle, yet commanding presence on screen.
Even so, Garber was surprised when Affleck offered him the role.
“I’m just like any other actor,’ Garber told CTVNews.ca.
“I’ve done this job for a long time, but I still have my insecurities. Even today, with all that I have done in my career, there’s still a part of me that can’t believe it when people want to hire me,” he said.