What The Little Girl From Titanic Looks Like Now

1997 saw the release of James Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic." Inspired by the true story of the infamous "unsinkable" ship, Cameron teamed up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet — who played fictional lovers Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater — and created silver screen magic. The movie received a number of awards, raked in serious cash, and became an instant classic that raised the bar for historical epics to come. What's more, "Titanic" gave us memorable characters such as bitter antagonist Cal Hockley, the good-hearted Molly Brown, and, of course, the protagonist's original "best girl," Cora Cartmell.

San Diego native Alexandrea Owens-Sarno played Cora, the little girl who danced with Jack at a party thrown by the passengers staying in third class. Owens-Sarno was just 8 years old when she first auditioned for the gig at an open casting call for extras. As she told Vice, her mom and little sister were offered background roles in "Titanic," while Owens-Sarno was invited to take on a more prominent part. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Wondering what Owens-Sarno has been up to since "Titanic"? Look no further.

Alexandrea Owens-Sarno had 'a really hard time' after Titanic

So, how did Alexandrea Owens-Sarno, an aspiring actor with limited experience, go from extra to featured actor in "Titanic"? Evidently, it all fell into place after her little sister got upset at the open audition. As Owens-Sarnow recounted to Vice, when her younger sibling began crying in line at the casting call, the family caught the attention of the casting director. At that moment, the casting director saw Owens-Sarno and thought she might be just right for the role of Cora. "I think it was probably just my giant eyes, honestly," she told the publication. "I have these big eyes that people are like, 'Oh my gosh, they're so emotive.' I can't really hide things."

While one might assume getting your start in a record-breaking movie like "Titanic" would set the stage for a breezy career in Hollywood, that wasn't totally the case for Owens-Sarno. "Well, right after 'Titanic,' I got an agent," she told Cosmopolitan. "I was auditioning for movies, but it was a really hard time for me." Aside from dealing with massive public attention at a very young age, Owens-Sarno also faced a lot of rejection. "I actually stopped pursuing the professional side of acting — but I'm living in Los Angeles now, doing the L.A. thing," she shared.

She landed back in the public eye in 2015 thanks to BuzzFeed

Since 1997, a lot has happened in the life of Jack Dawson's "best girl." For starters, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno went to California State University, Long Beach. Once she was done with college, she headed a few miles north and settled in Los Angeles, where she dove into improv and sketch comedy. Strangers will still recognize her as Cora from "Titanic" every now and again, but all in all, she's been able to lead a relatively normal life.

In 2015, Owens-Sarno was highlighted in a BuzzFeed "Where Are They Now?" feature that detailed her life since "Titanic." Sure enough, this put her back in the public eye. In the aforementioned interview with Cosmopolitan, Owens-Sarno shared that the outlet contacted her before the piece went live. "I woke up to a message [from BuzzFeed] on Facebook asking if I would want to comment because they were writing an article on me and I was like, 'What do you mean you're doing a BuzzFeed article on me? That doesn't make sense!'" she stated. "I didn't realize how fast [the turnaround] was going to be — they had the post pretty much already done. I went to my acting class, and when I got out of class, it was already up. It got a little wild; my friends went crazy."

She has fond memories of filming with Leonardo DiCaprio

In her aforementioned chat with Cosmopolitan, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno looked back on her experience filming "Titanic." In addition to expressing how much she loved working with James Cameron and his production crew, Owens-Sarno told the outlet about the first scene she ever shot. "My very first scene that we filmed was one where I'm sitting with Leonardo DiCaprio, and we were drawing in his sketchbook. ... It got cut — it's in the deleted scenes — but it was three hours [of takes] and, in between, just hanging out and drawing pictures with Leo," she revealed.

Leonardo DiCaprio had already established himself an A-list star by then, thanks to his work in films like "Romeo + Juliet," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?", and "The Quick and the Dead." Funny enough, he was not on Owens-Sarno's radar before she worked with him. As she told Access Hollywood, "My mom was like, 'Do you know who that is?' I'm like, 'That's my friend Leo.'" Owens-Sarno remembers the teenage heartthrob being exceptionally nice to her on set, which was something she held over her friends at school for years to come — hey, who wouldn't? "He was the sweetest guy ever," she said. "He would order me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between takes. I'd sit on his little lap and just be like, 'Hi, this is my friend.'" 

She's happy to mail out autographs to nostalgic Titanic fans

Years after "Titanic" first set sail on the silver screen, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno took to social media to share memories from her time making the movie. Unsurprisingly, fans have enjoyed this nostalgic content. In 2015, for example, Owens-Sarno shared a photo of an old essay she wrote about the movie that changed her life. "On the Oscars there was a clip for Titanic and I, Alexandrea Kathryn Owens-Sarno, was in the clip," she wrote. "I was so proud of myself. I couldn't believe it." 

The fan service didn't end there. Around that same time, Owens-Sarno invited IG followers to send her memorabilia and other photos to sign. "I am absolutely baffled by the amount of love and support I'm getting from the amazing #titanic fans!" Owens-Sarno wrote on Instagram in November 2015. "I'm working out a way for anyone who wants an autographed picture to be able to get one. ... In the meantime, thank you all so much for being the best fans!"

One thing she won't ever be able to share on IG? A picture of a Jack Dawson drawing that DiCaprio gave to Owens-Sarno. "Leo signed that sketch for me, and it was [being kept] safe in a trailer, and someone went in and stole it. I was so upset," she told Cosmopolitan.

Live comedy shows keep Alexandrea Owens-Sarno busy

After university, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno decided to move to Los Angeles to chase her dreams of breaking into the acting world. Turns out, she has a knack for comedy, and she's taken her talents to the stage. According to her Instagram, she regularly participates in live comedy shows. Whether it be her theatrical play, "An Excuse To Behave Badly" — which received positive reviews from the Hollywood Fringe audience — or her improv shows with acting groups Abstracto and Ugly As Sin, she has kept herself busy. 

In 2016, Owens-Sarno shared footage of one of her shows with her Instagram followers. Alongside a video featuring her and fellow actor Chance Denman hilariously arguing about murder, Owens-Sarno penned a lengthy caption promoting the show and the fellow actor she was on stage with. "Such a fun scene where I just get to scream at this handsome devil @chancepants7," she wrote. Though Owens-Sarno hasn't promoted any shows since 2019, it's apparent that this artistic side of her hasn't left as she's been focusing on other aspects of her acting career.

She's found success in short films

Though Alexandrea Owens-Sarno faced the highs and lows of show business after "Titanic," she didn't let that stop her from acting altogether.  "I kept doing plays, and I did drama in high school," she told Vice in 2020. "But it just wasn't on the same scale."

After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, and partaking in live improv shows, Owens-Sarno landed the part of Bianca in the homoerotic horror film "A Closer Walk with Thee," as well as the role of Georgina in the short drama "Enjoy the View." From there, she picked up more gigs throughout 2019 to 2020, including the short comedy sketch "Con Actors." In it, Owens-Sarno played Tara, a woman using acting classes to find her future soulmate. 

Starring alongside Mackenzie Ogden, Owens-Sarno took to Instagram to praise the production crew and reveal her acting chops. "We did a thing," she wrote. "With an all-female crew. The men were there for eye candy purposes. And you should go watch it." As a working actor, Owens-Sarno continued to star in several short films such as "The Haunting of Grady Farm," "Red Flags," "Let's Get Physical," "Soldier and Death 2," "Ghostbusters of Casablanca," and "Maya."

Alexandrea Owens-Sarno started her own production company

In addition to acting, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno is interested in other creative avenues. As she told BuzzFeed in 2017, "I've been writing sketch comedy that I'll start producing very soon. And I'm also in the process of writing a novel." Needless to say, she's putting that writing degree she earned at CSULB to good use. 

This passion ultimately led to her starting a production company in 2017 called Jerk Buddies, which later became Sundae Knight Productions. The group is made up of Owens-Sarno and her friend, comedian Zack Hillman. After meeting in college, the two went on to not only perform improv shows together but write and star in their own comedy sketches online. According to their YouTube channel, their comedy sketches range from oddly humorous scenarios like "Super Dupes: Sizzle Reel" to fake advertisements playing off of adult innuendos like "Nut Buster." Despite their creative talents, the two appeared to have taken a break from uploading skits, as their last video was released in 2019. Nonetheless, their channel is still up for their fans to consume.

She regularly shares her self-tapes on Instagram

Alexandrea Owens-Sarno's career as a child actor pretty much began and ended with "Titanic," but she eventually jumped back into the fray to give it another go. And yes, that means she is auditioning again — a process that she found to be rather difficult when she was a little kid. However, now that she is older and more comfortable in her career, she is able to find humor in the process when things don't go as planned.

Alongside quirky captions, comedy show advertisements, and photos of her time as Cora Cartmell, Owens-Sarno likes to share several outtakes from her self-taped auditions with her 19,000-plus followers. Whether it be her performing eye-high kicks in her kitchen, seductively gazing into the camera before letting off a self-assured wink, or even talking to her misbehaving cat, Owens-Sarno doesn't shy away from giving her fans insight into her acting career — even if it appears less "professional" than it should be. 

Alexandrea Owens-Sarno partnered with Nolan Lewis on a short film

In 2022, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno and writer Nolan Lewis came together to make the short film "Lanes." To get the project off the ground, the two launched an Indiegogo link where fans of their work can contribute to the film. As an avid cyclist, Nolan Lewis appeared alongside Alexandrea in a YouTube video to pitch the short film online. "Lanes" is about three friends searching for the driver responsible for their friend's death in a hit-and-run accident. "'Lanes' will not only highlight the bicycle community," Alexandrea stated. "But will also peel back the layers of humanity of the four people that are dealing with a mutual tragedy."

In addition to their Indiegogo link, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno used her Instagram to keep fans updated on the production of the film. Adorably enough, Alexandrea even got her sister, Rachel Owens-Sarno — the same one who cried at the "Titanic" auditions — to take part in the film as well. As of this writing, the most recent update about "Lanes" was posted on Instagram in May 2022.

She starred in a short web series in 2022

Following her partnership with Nolan Lewis, Alexandrea Owens-Sarno stayed relatively busy throughout 2022. For starters, the Los Angeles-based actor starred in the short film "Maya," which garnered a nomination for Best Student Film at the San Diego Film Awards. From there, Owens-Sarno would star in another project that received critical acclaim, and follow that up with the web series "Mister Harmac." The comedic production earned five official selections and three nominations at Seoul's WebFest. 

The series follows a character called Mister Harmac and his outrageous journeys that result from his "mansplaining" antics. Played by Jaret Sacrey — who starred in numerous series ranging from "Criminal Minds" to "Jane the Virgin" — the web series only has four episodes. In the episode titled "Mister Harmac and Misses Harmac," Owens-Sarno plays a film producer named Vanessa Michaels, who reluctantly entertains Mister Harmac's horrible idea for a movie. 

After the episode's release, Oaktown Island took to Instagram to announce Owens-Sarno's involvement in the series. "If she looks familiar to you that's because you saw her in 'Titanic' (yes, that Titanic) as the little girl who dances with Leo in steerage and gives him that adorable smile when he says, 'You're still my best girl, Cora,'" they wrote. "Well she's all grown up now and she has brought that adorable smile and her variety of talents to Mister Harmac!"