When he read the script for “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” for the first time, Arnold Schwarzenegger had serious doubts about the quality of the project. Between misunderstandings and credibility issues, the actor expressed his reluctance to James Cameron, who was able to be convincing.
Terminator 2: new era, a new threat
For his fifth feature film as a director, James Cameron decides to offer a sequel to the terminator. Released seven years after the first opus, Terminator 2: Judgment Day manages in 1991 to thwart the expectations of the spectators, in addition to being a true technical revolution still as impressive awarded four Oscars: Best Sound, Best Special Effects, Best Sound Effects, Best Makeup.
In this second installment, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the shoes of the legendary T-800. Nevertheless, the cyborg got an update. This time, his mission is not to counter the advent of John Connor (Edward Furlong) as a leader of the resistance against the machines, but to protect the young man.
To prevent the Last Judgment and the takeover of Skynet, they must free Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), interned in a psychiatric hospital. Facing them stands the formidable T-1000 (Robert Patrick), an android capable of regenerating, liquefying, reforming, and above all taking on any appearance.
The Misunderstanding of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Taking up cult sequences from its predecessor, Terminator 2: Judgment Day begins like the first part, with the arrival of cyborgs in our time. During this introduction, there is nothing to suggest that the T-800 is intended to defend John Connor and not eliminate him. We have to wait for the first confrontation between the robot and the teenager to find out.
When he read the script for the first time on a plane to Cannes, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not expect his character to be the good guy in the story. Worse, the actor does not understand all the elements of the plot, as he confides to The Ringer for the thirtieth anniversary of the film:
Several times, I read things without having the slightest fucking idea what he (James Cameron, editor’s note) was talking about. I said to him, “What is polyalloy?”
“I don’t kill anyone”
After they arrived in Cannes, the actor expressed his doubts to James Cameron during a breakfast. The director remembers:
We were already friends at that time. After terminator, we rode motorcycles together. He said to me: “Jim, I have a big problem with the script”. I said, “Well, what is it?” And he said to me: “I don’t kill anyone”. I said, “I know, right? They’ll never see it coming. No one can guess.”
Words that have trouble convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger. The star wonders how to make such a reversal credible. The filmmaker then asks him to trust him. What the actor does. And on the screen, the rocker works great since James Cameron plays with the expectations of the spectators and imposes the T-800 as an unexpected savior, before developing a particularly touching relationship between the cyborg and John, which becomes one of the main emotional springs of the feature film.