Main Characters From Titanic That Didn't Exist In Real Life

According to Box Office Mojo, "Titanic" is the third-highest grossing movie of all time. The film, featuring a steamy romance taking place on a sinking ship, captured the attention and eventually the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. The fact that it was based on a true story only added to the appeal.

In truth, many facets of the film were rooted in historical reality. The real Titanic was a $7.5 million marvel to behold (via USA Today), considered an unsinkable vessel by experts due to its buoyancy and impeccable design (via History). Much like in the film, the luxury liner did indeed strike an iceberg, ushering thousands of passengers into the icy waters, where many would meet sudden death (via National Geographic).

The movie, which was originally released in 1997 (via IMDb), did an excellent job of retelling the tale. But it was not without tweaks to the legend. One of the biggest examples of the screenwriters making use of their creative license exists within the characters themselves. Many of the most iconic Titanic passengers displayed onscreen in the legendary motion picture did not exist in real-life whatsoever (via Screen Rant). Here are the top five fake characters.

Jack Dawson was entirely fictional

The character known and loved by fans as Jack Dawson, pictured left above and played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was entirely fictional (via Screen Rant). According to BuzzFeed, cinematic visionary James Cameron wanted to focus the film around a lighthearted, lovable guy who was both free-spirited and penniless. In doing so, the film was able to explore social class inequality, as it existed on the ship and in the lives of everyday viewers.

In reality, any love affair between a first-class passenger and a third-class passenger would have been difficult, if not impossible. Third-class passengers were isolated from the wealthy aristocrats on the Titanic for a wide variety of reasons. So, Jack and Rose would never have gotten that first glimpse that initially heated up the screen.

In a bitter twist of irony, there actually was a third-class passenger aboard the Titanic by the name of J. Dawson. This fact was unbeknownst to writers at the time of filming and was only revealed later when avid fans began placing flowers on this late J. Dawson's grave (via Screen Rant).

Rose Bukater was not really onboard

Screen Rant reports that the free-thinking, wide-eyed youth known as Rose Bukater was also not a person aboard the Titanic. Her fiery personality and ability to see past her wealth and conservative upbringing are the two traits that landed her in the arms of her beau (the fictional Jack Dawson) to begin with. While these traits were not necessarily attributed to any of the real-life Titanic's leading ladies, the person who inspired this character actually did exist on land and in historical archives.

So, who was the woman whose life so inspired James Cameron's iconic character Rose? She was none other than an aristocratic artist by the name of Beatrice Wood, whose art and lifestyle challenged class norms of that era (via The Charmed Studio). Full of vibrancy and light even into her 105th year on Earth, James Cameron even gifted the artist with a VHS copy of the movie, but she only watched the happy beginning part of the picture. "It was too late in life to be sad," she reportedly said.

Villainous Caledon Hockley was also not real

The fact that the movie's evilest character, one pompous, self-consumed aristocrat by the name of Caledon Hockley, was never real could be seen as a sigh of relief. However, reviewers at Screen Rant point out that this artfully crafted character was very indicative of the extreme wealth inequality that plagued the people of this particular era. Actor Billy Zane, who portrayed Cal in the film, described him as a "product of his time."

In an interview with Digital Spy, Zane described the notoriously money-hungry Cal as a "device to move the plot along or be an obstacle." While this villain's egotistical personality could come across as extreme or one-dimensional, survival statistics from the actual ship prove this was very much the attitude of many passengers. As a point of reference, only 25% of third-class passengers survived the ill-fated iceberg collision compared to 62% of first-class passengers (via IC You See).

Rose's Mother, Ruth Dewitt Bukater, was fictional

At this point, you are probably witnessing a trend in this film. Yes, most of the central, iconic characters from the "Titanic" movie were either completely fictional or based on people who weren't actually on the boat. Rose's mother, Ruth Bukater, is among these fictional characters as well (via Screen Rant). Her attachment to wealth and influence is also an ongoing theatrical theme meant to direct the viewer's attention to underlying social status issues of that era.

While Ruth Bukater was not an actual person, per se, there were plenty of people like her, willing to trade their children's happiness in exchange for wealth and influence. Also, Beatrice Wood, the character who inspired Rose, hailed from a well-to-do family. In an interview with Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Beatrice described her mother as somewhat supportive of her dream to become an artist, but made it a point to comment on her mother's obsession with achieving these dreams while maintaining an heir of status and sophistication.

"She was very elegant, with a black satin dress with real hand embroidery at her throat and a wonderful hat with feathers," Beatrice recalled.

Spicer Lovejoy and his engraved Colt M1911

With a stare as steely as the icy blue waters below and a name befitting of a Bond character, supporting villain Spicer Lovejoy is also entirely made up. Screen Rant reports that even though this character is fictional, a great deal of thought went into his backstory in order to make him as believable as possible.

While Caledon Hockley is the usual suspect who leaves the audience fuming with anger, we mustn't forget that most of his actions would not have been possible without this secret agent gone bad sidekick. After all, it was Lovejoy who, armed with the notorious Colt M1911, infamously handcuffed our protagonist Jack Dawson to a pipe and left him to drown on the sinking ship. It was also Lovejoy who planted the expensive diamond necklace in order to frame Jack as a thief. So much of the movie's tension is built up around these incidents which, in the end, were the actions of this fictional antagonist.