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13th May 2024

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

Nina McLaughlin

Child actor titanic

‘I haven’t seen the cheques in years’

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 hasn’t cashed in any of the cheques recently because of a change of address.

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

We don’t see much of Thompson, but he is part of one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the film, 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?”

Thompson in the film at the age of five (20th Century Fox)

More than 25 years later, Thompson is still asked a lot about his role in the film, and he revealed that he still receives royalty cheques for his appearance – but he’s stopped cashing them in recently.

Speaking to Australia’s Network 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. 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 role, something he said he finds “interesting.”

He may only have been in Titanic briefly, but Thompson features in one of the film’s most heartbreaking scenes (20th Century Fox)

He explained: “It’s interesting, I’d say my family and I mostly just think that it’s interesting that people are still finding it interesting.

“My wife and I mostly just get a kick out of comments.

“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 I just can’t believe that it’s happening 25 years later.

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

And if you’re thinking that there wasn’t a lot of skill behind Reece’s performance, think again. You may have worked out that he isn’t Irish, and before delivering his line in the movie he apparently didn’t even know what an Irish accent was, improvising one on the spot.

He continued: “Honestly, it was probably that I just looked Irish enough for a casting director that I got the job.

“I had an agent, 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 decided who was going to get the line, so I think it was kind of up in the air who was actually going to get to say that in the movie.

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

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