17 things you (probably) didn't know about Titanic

It's been 17 years since Titanic opened with people queueing around the block to see Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's epic love story filled with icebergs, possessive fiancés and the musical stylings of Celine Dion.

So, to celebrate people yelling: "I'm the king of the world" and debating over whether two people could have fit on that piece of wood, here are 17 things that you (probably) didn't know about Titanic.

1. The hands seen sketching Rose are director James Cameron's, not Leonardo DiCaprio's.

Left-handed Cameron mirror-imaged the sketching shots in post-production so the artist would be right-handed, like DiCaprio.

2. After finding out that she had to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet decided to break the ice by flashing him when they first met.

3. Most of the stuntmen in the engine room scenes were only about 5 feet tall to make the engine room look a lot bigger.

4. James Cameron intended for Rose and Jack to be entirely fictitious, but discovered that there had been a real "J. Dawson" who died aboard the Titanic.

This "J. Dawson" was  Joseph Dawson, whose body was salvaged and buried in Nova Scotia with many other Titanic victims. Today, his grave is the most widely visited in the cemetery.

5. Jack's story to stop Rose committing suicide was based on a Titanic survivor's description of the freezing water.

To stop her jumping off the ship, Jack tells Rose a story about how he once fell into freezing cold water while ice fishing and how it feels like "being stabbed with a thousand knives all over your body."

This was an actual quote from a Titanic survivor describing the temperature of the North Atlantic water.

6. Gloria Stuart (Old Rose) was 86 at the time of filming and was aged by makeup to play Rose at age 101.

She became the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar at 87 with her nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

7. Macaulay Culkin was considered for the role of Jack Dawson

8. Titanic was the first film where two actors were nominated for an Academy Award for playing the same person in the same film.

Kate Winslet for Best Actress, and Gloria Stuart for Best Supporting Actress - neither won.

9. The line "keep back, or I'll shoot you all like dogs!" was ad-libbed

James Cameron instructed the actors playing the officers  (including Jonny Phillips) to keep order amongst the extras in the sinking scenes.

After the take, James Cameron ran up to Williams and told him it was great and to do it again.

Phillips asked "What did I say?", having been too caught up in the moment to realize what he was doing.

10. The piece of wooden panelling that Rose floated on after the sinking is based upon a genuine artifact that survived the sinking.

It is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Nova Scotia, Canada, though it was scaled larger to provide sufficient buoyancy as a life-raft for Rose (but not for Jack too)

11. Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Smith but turned it down due to a gastrointestinal infection at the time.

12. Rose's "sinking" coat was a size 8 while the rest of the gowns were a size 4.

It was so large to make Rose seem more vulnerable in the sinking scenes.

13. Egg white was used for the initial spitting sequence, but petroleum jelly was used in the sequence where Rose spits on Cal.

14. The first film James Cameron ever directed that did not include or mention nuclear weapons.

The director's ten films prior to Titanic included The Terminator, The Abyss, and Aliens.

15. Rose says "Jack" 80 times, not counting when she calls him "Mr. Dawson", but counting both Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart. Jack says "Rose" 50 times.

16. In the original script, Cal actually found Rose aboard the Carpathia after the sinking.

Rose was to tell him to let her mother know that she died on the Titanic, and that he would leave her alone for the rest of her life.

17. An alternative ending was shot, in which old Rose shows Brock the diamond before she throws it into the sea. James Cameron didn't use it, because it took away too much closure for the character of Rose.

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