Actors often dream of the opportunity to work with a filmmaker as accomplished as James Cameron. But as his first meeting with Cameron loomed, Eric Braeden found out titanic Director had a disturbing reputation. Here’s what The young and the restless star heard about Cameron beforehand and what happened when Braeden finally met him face to face.
Braeden began his Hollywood career in the early 1960s with a balanced mix of film and television work. Among his earliest credits is a 1961 film called Action Eichmann and a 1960s television series called Battle! The German-born actor also starred in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol and the 1970 sci-fi thriller Colossus: The Forbin Projectamong many, many other credits.
But by the time Braeden was set to meet Cameron, his most memorable role was far and wide as Victor Newman The young and the restless. The actor made his debut on the 1980 daytime soap opera and won a 1998 Daytime Emmy Award for the role. titanic was a great opportunity for Braeden, which made his worries about Cameron all the more concerning.
Braeden was considering the supporting role of John Jacob Aster IV in the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet epic. The character is identified in the film as the richest man aboard the titular ship. But Braeden heard from his driver and someone in the cloakroom department that the headmaster was a “big asshole”. Braeden admitted that he has little tolerance for such conflicts on set. And he was even willing to reject the project. But how did his meeting with Cameron actually go?
“I’m about to call my agent and say, ‘I’ll be right back. I can not do this. I can’t work with someone who’s a dictator,'” Braeden continued State of Mind with Maurice Benard. “Then they called me and said, ‘Are you coming to the set to get clothes, measurements and all that?’ … Suddenly Cameron says behind me, “I’m James Cameron. I’m so glad you’re here. I loved you in dah, dah, dah.’ … So I changed my mind. He couldn’t have been nicer. So much respect for the man. He’s a brilliant director. Absolutely brilliant director.”
Braeden’s story is a testament to the importance of meeting someone face-to-face before forming an opinion. By the looks of it, Braeden is giving a lot of weight to his limited screen time titanic. And the film remains a standout entry in his already stellar career.
Still, it’s easy to imagine that Braeden’s greatest on-screen legacy will be his many years as Victor Newman. The actor is still performing The young and the restless to this day. And his 40+ years in the role have made him two of the longest-running US soap opera stars still on the airwaves, alongside co-star Melody Thomas Scott.