Reece Thompson, the child actor who played the role of the young Irish boy in the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, revealed that he was still receiving royalties more than two decades after the film’s release.
Thompson was just five years old, he starred in the film as the third-class passenger who would perish alongside his mother and sister when the ‘unsinkable’ ship hit an iceberg.
In one scene, the youngster can be seen standing with his mum and sister in a large group of third-class passengers waiting for the gate to the lifeboats to open.
Thompson’s role was small and relatively insignificant to the film’s plot, but highlighted the plight of many poor passengers on board the Titanic.
Reece claims to remember only a little from his time on-set for the film, but each year a royalty cheque for a small sum reminds him of his part in the Oscar-winning film.
He says his talent agent offered his mother two options: either star in an ad for a petrol station, or take a small part in ‘a major motion picture’.
However, Reece’s mother decided to put her child forward for the role in Titanic – now the third highest-grossing film of all time.
Speaking to Business Insider, the former child actor said:
“It turned out to be one of the highest-grossing films in history, so it’s pretty bizarre in retrospect.
“My mum was like: ‘Let’s just do it. It’ll be cool. Even if the movie sucks, we’ll see it.’
“Obviously, it ended up exploding, so that wasn’t a bad decision on her part, that’s for sure.”
The cheques that arrive each year add up to more than you might expect for such a minor part.
“It’s weird because it’s not present in my mind anymore,” Reece said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, when am I going to get a new Titanic check?’
“When it happens, it’s like, ‘Oh, cool, an extra $100.’
“There have been a couple of times where it’s been like: ‘Oh, wow, that’s a $250 check.’
“But hopefully, they keep playing it a lot because that means more money for me.”
The Titanic was a luxury passenger ship that was considered to be the largest and most luxurious ship of its time. The ship was built by the White Star Line and was intended to be the flagship of their fleet. The Titanic was launched on May 31, 1911, and set sail on its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. The ship was headed to New York City from Southampton, England, with stops in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland.
The Titanic was considered to be the ultimate in luxury and grandeur. The ship was equipped with the latest technology and amenities, including elevators, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, and even a Turkish bath. The first-class accommodations were lavish, with private promenade decks, opulent dining rooms, and luxurious staterooms. The second-class accommodations were also quite comfortable, with private bathrooms and sitting rooms. The third-class accommodations were more basic, but still provided a comfortable journey for the immigrants who made up the majority of the passengers in this class.
The boat set sail on April 10, 1912, with 2,223 passengers and crew on board. The ship’s captain, Edward John Smith, had been with the White Star Line for over 30 years and was considered to be one of the most experienced and capable captains in the company. The ship sailed smoothly for the first few days, but on April 14th, the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink.
The ship was equipped with lifeboats, but there were not enough for all of the passengers and crew. Many of the lifeboats were launched only partially filled, and some of the crew members were reluctant to allow women and children to board them. As the ship began to sink, panic and chaos ensued. Passengers and crew struggled to find a way to safety, and many were trapped below decks as the water rose.
Despite the efforts of the crew to keep the ship afloat, the Titanic eventually sank at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912. A total of 1,517 people died in the disaster, while only 705 people were rescued by the RMS Carpathia, a ship that had answered the Titanic’s distress call. The loss of life was devastating, and the disaster sent shockwaves through the world.
The ship sinking was a turning point in maritime history. It highlighted the need for better safety measures and regulations on ships, as well as the importance of proper evacuation procedures. The disaster also brought attention to the class divisions on board the ship, as many of the first-class passengers were able to survive while many of the third-class passengers were not.
The Titanic’s legacy has been kept alive in various forms over the years. James Cameron’s 1997 film, “Titanic,” brought the story of the ship and its passengers to a new generation, grossing over $2 billion worldwide. The film went on to win 11 Academy Awards and has since become a cultural phenomenon. The film’s success has led to numerous re-releases, merchandise, and even a stage musical adaptation.
In addition, numerous books, documentaries, and TV shows have been made about the Titanic, and the ship’s wreckage was discovered in 1985 by a team of American and French scientists. The discovery of the wreckage allowed for a deeper understanding of the ship and its sinking, and many artifacts have been recovered and put on display in museums around the world.