James Cameron Cried The First Time He Heard James Horner's 'Titanic' Theme

06/23/2015 05:46 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2015
Arnold Turner/Invision/AP

Legendary film composer James Horner died in a plane crash on Monday, but he will always be remembered for his music.

Horner was best known for his two-time Oscar-winning score to James Cameron's "Titanic," as well as his scores to "Braveheart," "Apollo 13," "Avatar," "Field of Dreams" and "A Beautiful Mind." The 61-year-old, who has composed music for over 100 films, was also an avid pilot. The two-seater single-engine S312 Tucano he was flying on Monday crashed in Santa Barbara, California.

While many celebrities, collaborators and fellow musicians have remembered Horner on Twitter, Cameron paid tribute to the composer on The Hollywood Reporter's site on Tuesday. The "Titanic" director looked back on working with Horner on everything from the first project they both worked on, "Battle Beyond the Stars," up to "Avatar." Although the two got off to a rough start while working on "Aliens" together because of timing issues, the filmmaker said that he knew he had to work with Horner again on "Titanic," telling THR, "I thought, 'I don’t care what happened, I want to work with James.'"

Cameron remembered the first time he heard Horner's concept for the "Titanic" theme. "I drove over to his house," Cameron said of Horner, "and he sat at the piano and said, 'I see this as the main theme for the ship.' He played it once through and I was crying." When the director heard Horner play his idea for "Rose's Theme," he said he knew the musician had "cracked the heart and soul" of the movie.

The filmmaker told Entertainment Weekly that he cried during every song Horner played that day in his studio. "I said to him, 'You’ve done it,'" Cameron told EW. "He said, 'I haven’t done anything yet.' And I said, 'James, you’ve done it.'"

For the full tribute, head to The Hollywood Reporter.

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