See Cora From "Titanic" Now at 33
Alexandrea Owens-Sarno played the brief but memorable role of Jack's "best girl" 25 years ago.
Titanic is a movie that can easily be described as "romantic," "harrowing," or both, but the adjective "cute" doesn't usually come up in conversations about it. There is one moment from the film that fits that bill, however. During the scene in Titanic in which Rose (Kate Winslet) joins Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) for a party in the lower part of the ship, Jack dances with a little girl named Cora, who was played by seven-year-old Alexandrea Owens-Sarno. When Jack moves on to dance with Rose during the next song, he tells her, "You're still my best girl, Cora," as she gazes up at him with a big smile.
Of course, the movie takes a major turn from there, and we never see Cora again. But that wasn't the original plan. Owens-Sarno filmed more scenes as her character, but they didn't make the final cut of Titanic.
But, even with her limited screentime, Owens-Sarno is a memorable presence in the movie and continues to be remembered for the role. Read on to find out more about the former child actor's life today.
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She quit acting for a while, not long after Titanic.
Titanic was Owens-Sarno's first acting role. As she has explained in interviews, her mother took her and her younger sister to a casting call for the movie, and she ended up being chosen for the role of Cora. "I remember crying, screaming, running around the house like a little maniac," Owens-Sarno told Cosmopolitan in 2017 of getting the news.
The young actor was going to continue to go after roles post-Titanic, but the process proved to be too intense.
"Well, right after Titanic, I got an agent. I was auditioning for movies, but it was a really hard time for me," she told Cosmopolitan. "People were recognizing me on the street all the time; it was really overwhelming and difficult. And people would ask for my autograph, but when you're 8, 9 years old, it's just like, 'Ugh, who are you, I shouldn't talk to strangers!' I actually stopped pursuing the professional side of acting—but I'm living in Los Angeles now, doing the L.A. thing."
She started acting again as an adult.
Owens-Sarno returned to performing after having a normal childhood, mostly off-screen. She's been in several short films and independent movies and also does improv and sketch comedy, according to an interview with Vanity Fair. "I can't imagine doing anything else," she told the publication. "It's what I've loved my whole life."
The 33-year-old is a writer and producer, as well, and is currently producing a short film titled Lanes, according to her social media.
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She has fond memories from the set of the blockbuster.
Owens-Sarno had a great time on the Titanic set, which included hanging out with DiCaprio and Winslet.
In her interview with Vanity Fair, she called DiCaprio "the sweetest" and explained, "I was really nervous. But he made being on set so comfortable. We did a few scenes together. All I really remember was that he was so nice … Between takes, I would sit on his lap and he would order peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He would chase my sister around and try to tickle her; big brother stuff."
She shared another memory with Cosmopolitan, saying, "In between scenes, we would hang out, and Kate would come up and talk to us too—she was obsessed with my sister's hair, so she was always playing with it."
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Being "Titanic girl" was her claim to fame among her peers.
"I've always been 'the Titanic girl' in school," Owens-Sarno told Cosmopolitan. She said that classmates would call her "Cora" or tell her they saw her on TV. "Sometimes they would ask me to bring in the DVD so we could watch the parts I'm in in class," she said. "One time, my friends asked me to stand next to the television while we were watching it so that they could compare how I look now as opposed to then."
As much as the role followed her around, Owens-Sarno was proud of it, too—especially when it came to her knowing DiCaprio. In a 2020 interview with Access Hollywood, she was asked if she felt smug going back to school knowing she befriended a heartthrob. "It was a little bit of that," she said. "Me just kind of being like, 'Oh, he's on your J-14 magazine? He kissed me on the cheek.'"