Bill Paxton Reveals When The Titanic Cast All Took PCP

Bill Paxton and the cast and crew of Titanic accidentally dined on PCP-laced clam chowder during filming.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

James Cameron’s Titanic is one of the most popular movies in cinematic history. Nominated for 14 Academy Awards, the winner of 11, Titanic is one of the best stories ever told on screen, but there’s another story related to the fateful ship that is almost as iconic as Cameron’s tragic love story. In the tweet below, Titanic actor Bill Paxton recalls the infamous story about how he, Cameron, and about 150 other cast and crew members involved with the movie got laced with PCP.

In an old clip where Bill Paxton was being interviewed by the late TV host Larry King, King asks Paxton to recall the tale of how the majority of the Titanic cast and crew ended up high on PCP during one of the night shoots.

Paxton recalled how because he didn’t like the caterer that served most of the meals on set, he normally ordered his dinners separately, but on this fateful night, the actor decided to join director James Cameron and partake in crafty’s clam chowder. After chowing down on a couple of bowls, Paxton went back to his trailer, not knowing the night was about to get pretty bizarre. 

Continuing his recount of the iconic night, Bill Paxton said it was a little while later when he heard a commotion outside and opened up his trailer door to see several ambulances parked on the lot. He said an AD ran up to him and asked him if he had any of the clam chowder before ushering him with the rest of the cast and crew into an ambulance to be brought to the hospital.

At the time, Bill Paxton said they didn’t know the clam chowder had been laced with PCP, and they thought everyone had just ingested some bad clams that had been left out in the sun.

The actor recalled entering a tiny hospital near the set and witnessing 150 cast and crew members acting pretty weird. He said some people were freaking out as the drugs began to set in, while others were enjoying the euphoria and initiating congo dancing lines. 

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Bill Paxton continued to recount the chaos of the night and remembered thinking he didn’t want to get involved with the disturbia that was happening in the emergency room at one o’clock in the morning.

So, like a total boss, the actor excused himself from the hospital and walked back to his trailer, where he drank a full case of beer and waited out the high. “That seemed to help me,” the actor said, concluding his story with a grin.

No one ever found out who laced the clam chowder with PCP or why they did it. We will probably never know whether it was an elaborate prank or a malicious ploy.

But, thanks to Bill Paxton’s recount and tales from the other cast and crew who experienced the bizarre night, the legend of PCP on the Titanic set has gone down in history as one of the weirdest things to have ever happened while filming a movie.

Bill Paxton played Brock Lovett in 1997’s Titanic and was also known for starring in several other classic movies in the 80s and 90s, including Twister, True Lies, and Apollo 13. Unfortunately, the actor passed away at the age of 61 from a stroke that happened 11 days after he underwent heart surgery.