The Cast And Crew Of Titanic Was Drugged With PCP

Dozens of members of the cast and crew of Titanic - including Bill Paxton and James Cameron - were drugged with PCP by unknown parties during the making of the film.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

james cameron titanic

Titanic was one of the biggest movies of all time, and making the movie was quite an endeavor as well. But perhaps no behind-the-scenes story about the movie is as odd and insane as the time a batch of chowder was mysteriously dosed with PCP, drugging numerous members of the cast and crew. Reportedly, between 50 and 80 people were taken to Dartmouth General Hospital in Nova Scotia and an assistant director had to separate the cast and crew members into high and sober groups (via

Amongst the Titanic cast and crew members who were stoned off PCP were James Cameron himself and Bill Paxton, who was apparently fairly laid back during the experience. However, Paxton told it differently when he said in an interview “One minute I felt O.K., the next minute I felt so goddamn anxious I wanted to breathe in a paper bag.” Obviously, getting drugged by surprise is something that shouldn’t happen to anyone, especially if that drug is something as intense as PCP.

Fortunately, everyone ended up being fine after the scary incident, though they never found out who drugged the chowder. The Halifax Regional Police Service conducted an investigation into the Titanic PCP incident, but it didn’t end up being fruitful. The investigation closed in 1999.

While the PCP incident was likely the most harrowing event that happened while filming Titanic, the rest of the filming process was no picnic. Several people left the production during filming, three stuntmen broke bones, and many cast and crew members got sick from filming in cold water for hours at a time. The difficult filming experience was so overwhelming for star Kate Winslet that she actually said, “You’d have to pay me a lot of money to work with Jim again,” about James Cameron in 1999.

Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

It seems like Kate Winslet is finally ready to move on from the Titanic experience after all these years, as she’s finally reuniting with Cameron for 2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water. Of course, that quote has been brought up to Winslet with her promoting the upcoming film and she has definitely patched things up, telling Vanity Fair, “I loved doing Avatar with Jim—he is much more calm now.” It seems like her filming in the water with Cameron has paid off too, as she learned to hold her breath underwater for over seven minutes while training for the movie and filming.

Now we just have to get Titanic’s other star, Leonardo DiCaprio to return for another James Cameron film. The star didn’t appear to have any problems with the filming experience, so maybe we could see him reunite with Kate Winslet as well in one of the next Avatar sequels. As long as Avatar: The Way of Water does well, we can expect to see at least a couple of sequels in the future.

Avatar: The Way of Water has some work to do before it can surpass the box office totals of Titanic and the original Avatar. The film is currently sitting at around $661 million at the global box office with Titanic sitting at $2.18 billion and Avatar at the top of the list of the highest-grossing movies with $2.92 billion. You can see Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters now, just make sure to avoid PCP-laced chowder beforehand.