Billy Zane talks ‘Titanic 3-D,’ cell phones, and luck

Billy Zane and Kate Winslet are seen in the original “Titanic.” The 3-D version of the film hits theaters Wednesday.

It’s been 15 years since “Titanic” reduced us all to sobbing wrecks and smashed box-office records. Today, James Cameron’s classic is being reissued in eye-popping 3-D, and we caught up with its sharp-suited villain Cal Hockley, also known as actor Billy Zane.

How did the original “Titanic” change your life?

It was an incredible calling card. “Titanic” was an invitation to the tables of sovereign leaders for whatever you wanted to leverage, in my case charities. It was a great honor to be canonized in the pantheon of significant movies.

Having played such a villain, are you worried about a new wave of unpopularity with the 3-D release?

Been there, done that, I’m well versed from the first time. There’s been a new perspective on Cal. Perhaps revisiting the movie has helped people see him through a different lens and have more sympathy.

You’re not experiencing hostility?

Men say I was terrible and women are in two camps: The ones who were swept up in Leo-mania and can’t believe I was in the way of true love, and the slyer ones with an appetite for jewelry who thought Rose was mad to leave Cal.

Would you have liked anything about living in 1912?

Life before cell phones! Also, the lost art of craftsmanship. I miss things being well made. Craftsmanship standards in general have fallen.

How do you and the ocean get along?

I forged my career at sea in “Dead Calm,” where I played a nutter on a boat. I do well at sea, the boats just got bigger. In real life? It makes it very hard to charter one.

What will audiences get out of this “Titanic” reissue?

It depends what audience. Most have seen the film before, so they’re going in with comforting expectation. It’s much like seeing an anthem band from the 1980s; waiting for the big hit, fired up nostalgically for when the first chord hits and you’re transported to a time and place. The device of 3-D allows the filmmaker to keep the audience off-balance — it’s an unpredictable space that allows heartstrings to be manipulated.

It’s easy to forget this is all based on a historic tragedy. How has this affected you?

More so than before. I saw a segment of the voyage I had never seen before. While watching it I had a very uneasy feeling. For the original, the tragedy hadn’t hit me. We were always caugh­t up in the artifice of film. Now it’s different, I feel the weight.

Does a real man make his own luck?

But of course.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

National

Teen can't go to his prom with Miss…

After Miss America declined, Patrick Farves has shrugged off offers from Khloe Kardashian, Las Vegas prostitutes and scores of young women on social media.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Going Out

Spend an evening in Franklin Square

Support historic Franklin Square on May 15 during the sixth annual Evening in Franklin Square soiree. The evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and…

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.