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13th Nov 2023

Child actor still paid for Titanic role reveals he’s stopped cashing in the cheques

Charlie Herbert

child actor

He hasn’t seen the cheques in years, the former child actor said.

A man who had a fleeting but memorable role in Titanic as a child has revealed that he still gets paid for his appearance, but has not cashed in any of the cheques recently because of a change of address.

Reece Thompson was five-years-old when he played the role of an Irish passenger on the ill-fated ship in James Cameron’s 1997 epic.

We do not see much of Thompson in the movie, but he is part of one of its most heartbreaking scenes and one that you probably remember if you’ve seen it.

As third-class passengers, Thompson’s character’s family are unable to get on a lifeboat and the last we see of them is him, his sister and his mother lying in their cabin waiting to die.

Thompson does get a line in the film, when he asks his mother: “What are we doing mummy?”

She responds: “We’re just waiting, dear. When they finish putting first-class people in the boats, they’ll be starting with us, and we’ll want to be ready, right?”

More than 25 years later, Thompson has revealed that he still receives royalty cheques for his appearance but that he has stopped cashing them in recently.

Speaking to Australia’s Studio 10, he said: “Yeah, I still do [receive royalty cheques], it’s true.

“But I haven’t updated my address in several years, honestly since the last time I got interviewed for this.

“So, I haven’t seen them [the cheques] in a few years so I’m just assuming that they are still coming.”

He now works as a digital marketing director in Utah, but he still gets asked about his Titanic role, something he said he finds “interesting.”

“My wife and I mostly just get a kick out of the comments,” he explained.

“They are mostly just interesting to read, but yeah, it feels like a dream it was so long ago.

“Any number of different things [are said]. Honestly, some of the comments just can’t believe [the payments are] still happening 25 years later.

“Now people are beginning to associate my face with it. Before it was a random fact about me. Yeah, it’s kind of weird.”

An interesting fact about Thompson’s casting in the film is that he is not Irish and that before delivering his line in the movie, he did not even know what an Irish accent was, improvising one on the spot.

On this, he said: “Honestly, it was probably just that I looked Irish enough for a casting director that I got the job.

“I had an agent and so I guess that was kind of how it initially got started.

“My mom did tell me that before they cast me they hadn’t already decided who was going to get the line, so I think it was still up in the air who was going to actually say that as far as like the few kids that were in that movie.

“I didn’t know what an Irish accent was at all, didn’t have any appreciation for it and so I just did as best as I could with what they gave me.”

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(First published on July 31, 2023).