Director James Cameron hopes to be the first human to dive solo to the lowest spot undersea.
All walks of life teemed aboard the RMS Titanic—from dollar dukes to striving immigrants. Little did they know how they would be betrayed.National Geographic Society-Corbis
Fifteen years after the blockbuster movie, Ramin Setoodeh talks to Hollywood insiders about whether Kate Winslet or Leonardo DiCaprio has the better career.Everett Collection (2); Getty Images (2)
Based on newly released photograph.
A newly released photograph of Titanic’s wreck suggests human remains may be embedded in the mud where the ship sank. The 2004 photograph shows a coat and boots in the mud at site. Most who have explored the wreck suggested that there are no human remains left, just clothes. But James Delgado, an official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explained that the photo does show remains, and that it is a question of “semantics.” He said, “I as an archaeologist would say those are human remains. Buried in that sediment are very likely forensic remains of that person.”
A hundred years ago tonight, the ‘Titanic‘ sank, taking more than 1,500 souls with it. Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck, tells Andrew Carter about the secret expedition to find it.
Robert Ballard's life's dream was to find the most famous shipwreck in the world, but if not for the Cold War and two missing submarines, the Titanic might never have been found.
Ballard, who also discovered the wreck of the Bismarck and the USS Yorktown, became interested in ocean exploration as a child while reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. “From a very early age, I wanted to be Captain Nemo and I wanted to explore the ocean floor,” he says. With his parents’ encouragement, he joined the Navy, worked at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and became an oceanographer. After 53 years and more than 130 expeditions, the 69-year-old adventurer is “still at it and hoping for a new discovery.”
Ballard had long been fascinated by Titanic, and always dreamed of finding it. Back in the 1970s, he led a failed expedition to do just that. But it wasn't until 1985, while serving as a naval intelligence officer, that he was able to secure the technology and funding that helped him finally discover it 1,000 miles due east of Boston. Having helped the U.S. Navy develop unmanned submarines, Ballard thought the technology might be useful in finding the lost ship. The Navy had little interest in funding the search, but it was very interested in finding the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher, two nuclear submarines that were lost in the 1960s on either side of where the Titanic went down. With the Cold War still in its final throes, the Navy had to keep the true nature of the submarine search a secret. They told Ballard that if he could find the subs, then afterward he could use their technology to search for the ship—but the world would think the expedition was about finding the Titanic from the beginning.
Dr. Robert Ballard, seen speaking at a conference in San Diego, had long been fascinated by the "Titanic," and always dreamed of finding its wreck. In 1985, while serving as a naval intelligence officer, was Ballard able to secure the technology and funding to find the wreckage. (Rich Schmitt, Zuma Press / Newscom)
“The Navy didn’t want to disclose the location of those submarines, so we needed a cover story and Titanic was the cover story," says Ballard. "I wanted to find the Titanic. The Navy just wanted our expedition to deflect from the true mission.”
Of course, history would show that the expedition was successful on all fronts. Ballard was able to do reconnaissance on the missing submarines, and in the early-morning hours of Sept. 1, the image of a boiler in the sand 12,000 feet beneath the surface signaled the discovery of the Titanic.
“There were two reactions almost simultaneously,” says Ballard. “The first reaction was celebration, we all jumped up shouting because we were near the end of the expedition and we thought we were going to fail. But that was followed quickly by a realization of where we were, that we were on a gravesite. We started seeing where the bodies had landed, that this was a cemetery, and it changed our emotional wall. It went from pure joy to thoughtful reflection.”
The Countess of Rothes was one of the wealthiest passengers aboard the doomed ship—and also one of its bravest. Elizabeth Kaye, author of the bestseller Lifeboat No. 8, recounts her dramatic story of survival.
On April 10, 1912, the Countess of Rothes boarded the Titanic and embarked on a voyage to America where she was to join her husband and share in his idyllic, if rather quixotic, dream of owning and operating a California orange grove.
At 33 years old, with a kindly expression and manner, and lucent dark eyes, the Countess was the Titanic’s most distinguished passenger, for among the ship’s renowned, moneyed travelers, only the Countess was renowned and moneyed—and titled.
‘Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic’ By Elizabeth Kaye. $1.99. Byliner. (AP Photo)
She was accompanied by her maid, and three steamer trunks stocked with signifiers of privilege: custom-made beaded dresses, hand-stitched satin and lace lingerie, a gold and silver vanity set, a diamond belt buckle, tea hats with hand-dyed ostrich feathers.
The four days at sea were unrelentingly posh and blessedly uneventful until the towering iceberg pierced the Titanic’s hull and divided the lives of everyone onboard into before and after.
At 1:10 a.m. on April 15, the Countess stood on the Titanic’s Boat Deck wearing a life belt, a full-length ermine coat, and an heirloom necklace configured from 300-year-old pearls. Capt. Edward Smith took her gloved hand, and guided her into Lifeboat No. 8, a wooden, white-painted craft measuring 30 feet long and nine feet wide. Moments later, the lifeboat was lowered 65 feet into the frigid ocean which, on that star-filled, moonless night, was as smooth and unmoving as glass.
Lifeboat No. 8 was built to hold 65 passengers, but as it landed in the water, it carried one steward, two sailors, Able Seaman Thomas Jones, and 23 women who had been traveling in first class and were variously clad in nightgowns, evening gowns, fur coats, high-button shoes and white satin slippers. Mere hours had passed since these ladies had nibbled on after-dinner chocolates and petitfours, and sought refuge from the bitter night air beneath the plump eiderdown quilts that covered their gilded Queen Anne and Louis XV beds. Yet now, they were afloat in the forbidding sea, staring up at the grandest and mightiest ship ever made and moving away from her because she was sinking.
Above all things, the Countess thought, we must not lose our self-control. But some of the women were soon quarreling about not having enough room to sit down; the Countess calmed them, speaking in a quiet, determined manner that impressed Seaman Jones.
The actor tells Marlow Stern his favorite ‘Titanic’ moments, whether Kate and Leo got steamy, and more.
Not even orange mocha frappuccinos could cut the tension.
Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), five-time reigning male model of the year, has had it up to here with his New Age-y arch nemesis, Hansel (Owen Wilson), so he decides to confront the rising star at a New York City nightclub. After a few ridiculous barbs, Zoolander flexes his ego, challenging Hansel to a “walk-off.” While Hansel boasts a sizable hipster entourage, the only man in Zoolander’s corner is Billy Zane, who warns him against a runway battle. “Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he’s a cool dude!” urges Hansel.
Billy Zane appears in a scene from "Titanic" in 1997, left, and attends the premiere of Titanic 3D last month in London. (Everett Collection; Ian West; Press Association / Landov)
By the time Zoolander premiered, in 2001, Zane had amassed an impressive film résumé. After making his film debut in Back to the Future, he starred in Dead Calm, opposite a young Nicole Kidman; David Lynch’s cult classic TV show, Twin Peaks; the time-traveling drama Orlando, with Tilda Swinton; the rowdy Western Tombstone; and last, but certainly not least, as Rose’s (Kate Winslet) rakish fiancé, Cal Hockley, in James Cameron’s film epic Titanic. After that, things went a bit south for him.
In honor of the release of Titanic 3D on April 4, Zane opened up to The Daily Beast about his favorite Titanic memories, shooting Back to the Future, his cameo as himself in Zoolander, and more.
Do you know how you were cast in Titanic?
Cameron clearly had gone against the grain of Hollywood by casting Kate Winslet, who was the new Brit girl; Leonardo, who was getting great reviews on his films, but they were indies; and I had made this big Paramount movie [The Phantom] that was oddly marketed and didn’t do great in theaters. But [me and Cameron] just hit it off.
What was your reaction to seeing Titanic 3-D all these years later?
Newsweek & The Daily Beast Editor in Chief Tina Brown sits down with Simon Schama, a professor of history at Columbia University, to talk about our continued fascination with the Titanic 100 years after it sank and the moment that the survivors would never forget.
Fifteen years after the blockbuster movie, Ramin Setoodeh talks to Hollywood insiders about whether Kate Winslet or Leonardo DiCaprio has the better career.