Reba McEntire Says She Turned Down Kathy Bates’ Role in ‘Titanic’

Reba McEntire

The country singer was the first pick to play the “unsinkable” Molly Brown.

The Unsinkable… Reba McEntire?

The 63-year-old country crooner and actress visited Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Thursday where she revealed that she lost out on a big part in the 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic due to scheduling conflicts. 

McEntire confirmed that she was originally cast to play the “unsinkable” Molly Brown in the James Cameron film — a role that later went to Kathy Bates. 

"We were on tour, and I had a lot of people on the pay roll,” McEntire explained. “We had these three months already scheduled 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.”

"When it was such a huge hit, did it kind of kill you?” host Cohen asked. 

"Well, sure! Absolutely! But you’ve got to take care of your people,” McEntire replied. 


McEntire was also asked about a potential collaboration between her and country legend Dolly Parton. "No, we haven’t [talked about it], but I think that’s a great idea," she replied. "I love Dolly Parton!"

It turns out, the two artists have a deep personal bond that spans several decades. 

"In 1991, I lost everybody but two band members and I lost my tour manager in a plane crash in San Diego,” McEntire recalled. “[Dolly] called me. She said, ‘You can have my band. You take them.’ And her band leader did put together a new band for me.”

McEntire isn't the only actor who lost out on a role in Titanic. Watch the clip below to see Matthew McConaughey talk about his audition for Jack: