Arnold sat down for an IN DEPTH chat with Graham Bensinger about his life and also talked about The Terminator while in Hong Kong; we presume Arnold was there promoting T2: 3D and global warming initiatives with the Chinese government to get Chinese citizens to quit meat or at least commit to eat less meat. Arnold has stated he isn’t able to fully give up meat but instead chooses to eat less meat in his diet and hopes China will do the same to help the environment; as China, Arnold and Jim Cameron explain that a large percentage of pollution stems from animal agriculture and the green house gases that are omitted in the process.
Arnold discusses how O.J. Simpson was in place for The Terminator role while he was trying for the heroic role of Kyle Reese, as we know this evolved into talking about Arnold playing The Terminator role but Jim Cameron needed to convince Arnold to play the villain- also a character of little spoken dialogue which Arnold feared would be a step backward in his acting career.
Chief of Orion Pictures Mike Medavoy apparently had his heart set on O.J. Simpson playing The Terminator (with athletic capabilities) and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the role of Kyle Reese. We know this isn’t what Jim had in mind after all Mike Medavoy may also be the same executive who denied Jim’s first choice to play The Terminator;- Lance Henriksen because the executive couldn’t stand the sight of him.
Jim Cameron did not want to cast O.J. as The Terminator as he thought ‘The Juice’ was too nice to play a killer cyborg. Obviously Jim would later not be able to comprehend the controversy that would later surround the star.
Schwarzenegger goes on to talk about Westworld being a point of discussion between him and Jim Cameron. This talk brought Jim’s mind around and in focus to Arnold playing TERMINATOR as Jim felt Arnold understood the T-800 character completely after Arnold talked about Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger performance,- notably his movements and portrayal of a machine in the 1973 Sci-Fi Film, any hardcore Terminator Fan who has seen Westworld will already know of the similarity, Yul was a fantastic Terminator in the movie!
Also before Arnold became “The Governator” he was set to play the Gunslinger role in a Hollywood remake of Westworld in between making the sequel to T3: Rise of the Machines but obviously once Arnold became Governor all planned movie projects went on hold indefinitely/were cancelled. Westworld however is back in the form of a TV series and is experiencing large success, especially in its R Rated format.
Initially Jim Cameron had turned up to lunch to turn Arnold down for the role of Kyle Reese (well, that was Mr. Cameron’s intended plan) but Arnold and Jim’s discussion turned towards The Terminator character and what could have been an incredibly awkward situation turned into the meeting of two minds. Jim Cameron assured Arnold that if he played the title character of THE TERMINATOR right it would be the most memorable character in the movie. A comparison was drawn on how Cameron said he would film the picture in such a way that the villain of the movie would also be like the hero, something proven before with other various horror icons and horror franchises. Many Terminator Fans are pretty annoyed that Arnold has never portrayed THE TERMINATOR again and the franchise has transformed now into something that fans of the horror sci-fi original can no longer connect with.
Arnold goes into more detail about how he wanted THE TERMINATOR character to get smashed on alcohol, something Arnold thought would be great for the movie after watching E.T. The Extraterrestrial. Probably explains the continual smiling in Terminator Genisys, Jim isn’t there to say no.
Arnold said Jim Cameron said the following to him discreetly on the set of The Terminator:
Arnold, first of all you are a machine and machines don’t get drunk ok and number two don’t tell me how to write my script ok? I don’t tell you how to act and you don’t tell me how to write.
Arnold also gets asked to re-tell the I’ll be back story from his bio AGAIN about how he said a machine would say “I will be back”, Arnold elaborates describing it as a public argument on set between him and Jim on how a machine would not say “I’ll” be back; which in theory is totally correct (we agree with Arnold on that subject) but Jim Cameron wanted it to play a certain way and Jim got his way (it was the more commercially viable option but it worked). Arnold then agreed if he could choose his take out of 10 different takes and variations of the line he would agree to say “I’ll be back” and the rest is cinema history.