Reba McEntire Had to Turn Down a Role in Titanic — and Wasn't Happy When It Became a Huge Hit
Her heart went on
On Thursday’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the country crooner, 63, revealed that she was initially cast as the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in James Cameron’s 1995 blockbuster, but had to turn down the memorable role due to scheduling conflicts.
“We were on tour and I had a lot of people on the payroll and we had these three months to do the movie. And then they got behind on scheduling and said, ‘No, we’re going to have to move it in this time.’ So we couldn’t reschedule all the arenas and everything,” McEntire said.
The role would eventually go to Oscar winner Kathy Bates, and the movie turned into a worldwide smash, earning over $2 billion at the box office and winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Asked by Cohen if it killed her a little bit when the movie became such a huge hit, McEntire admitted, “Well, sure, absolutely.”
“But you got to take care of your people,” McEntire said.
Titanic came around just as McEntire was just gaining momentum on the big screen, with roles in 1990’s Tremors, 1994’s North and 1994’s The Little Rascals. Though she’s had a few credits since (like 2001’s One Night at McCool’s and a voice role in the 2006 Charlotte’s Web adaptation), McEntire has mostly kept her acting gigs to the small screen — spending six years on her widely popular sitcom Reba, which ended in 2007. She also led the one-season show Malibu Country, from 2012-13, and had a stint on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun in 2001.
Of course, music is really where McEntire made her mark. Known as “The Queen of Country,” McEntire has sold over 56 million album copies worldwide. She’s had 24 No. 1 country singles and 13 No. 1 country albums on the Billboard charts. Among her many accolades and awards is a membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame and a tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Her 29th studio album, Stronger Than the Truth, is set for release on April 5. Two days later, McEntire will host the 2019 ACM Awards in Las Vegas, for a record 16th time (and second year in a row).
McEntire found herself in the hot seat after disgraced comedian Roseanne Barr slammed her on Twitter for playing Colonel Sanders in a recent KFC commercial, claiming that McEntire likely doesn’t even eat chicken and suggesting she would be better for the role.
McEntire had a good sense of humor about it, bursting into laughter on WWHL when a caller brought it up.
“I thought it was hysterical,” McEntire said. “And she might eat more chicken than I do, I don’t know.”
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen airs Sunday-Thursday (11 p.m. ET) on Bravo.