James Cameron regrets his "cringeworthy" Oscars speech for Titanic

Titanic
(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

James Cameron has some regrets about his Oscars acceptance speech back in 1998. The director won the Best Director gong for Titanic, but admits he now thinks his speech was "cringeworthy".

Cameron discussed quoting a line from the movie to CNN’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? (opens in new tab) After thanking his parents in the speech, he said: "There is no way that I can express to you what I’m feeling right now. My heart is full to bursting, except to say, 'I'm the king of the world.'"

"What I learned is you don’t quote your own movie to the Academy if you win, because it’s cringeworthy," Cameron said of the moment. "It makes the assumption that you didn’t win by a narrow margin, but that every single person sitting in the audience on that night at the Kodak Theatre saw and loved Titanic. And we’ll never know how much we won by, but it might not have been a landslide at all."

Titanic won 11 awards at the 1998 Academy Awards including Best Picture, but Cameron admitted he "took flack for 25 years" for his comments. He added: "You do have to be careful what you say in your acceptance speech, me and Sally Field, we have a little self-help group together on this."

The Avatar: The Way of Water director was referencing how Field was criticized for her Places in the Heart speech in 1985 when she told the crowd: "I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me."

For what else is heading to theaters this year, check out our guide to 2023 movie release dates.

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.