As the father of modern acting, Constantin Stanislavski once said, “Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.” It seems true when we get to know the truth about Arnold Schwarzenegger and how he didn’t want to be a part of the career-defining film of his life, The Terminator. Did you know Arnold didn’t want to be the title character? Yet, how did he become one? What changed and why didn’t he want to be the lead?
Before you know all these answers, those who don’t know about The Terminator, here is a brief about it. The film is one of the few sci-fi action films which got 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, along with the stars like Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor and Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese. And you would be surprised to know that Arnold wanted to be the another character in the movie and not the lead.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became The Terminator against his wishes at first
It sounds bizarre to know that any actor would deny this iconic part. But it is true that he didn’t want to be the lead because Arnold wanted to play the other character. In a Reddit AMA session, one Reddit user asked Arnold about his lunch with James Cameron. The user asked the actor how did he convince James to give him the role of Terminator. And he revealed the true story of the lunch and their conversation.
Arnie revealed he wanted to play the character of Kyle Reese and not the Terminator when they went for lunch. “I didn’t think I had established myself yet enough as a hero to be a villain,” admitted Arnie. He revealed when he first arrived to be an actor in Hollywood, he mostly got the role of villain because of his strong physique.
He wanted to establish himself first before jumping into these kinds of roles. However, at the lunch, Arnie shared his idea about the title character, about how he should be, and how his portrayal should be and James was impressed.
The first choice for the title role was O. J. Simpson. But because of his deep and dedicated understanding of the character, James decided to make Arnie the Terminator instead of Kyle. And he got the part not because of his mere physique, but because of his passionate involvement in the character. James instantly imagined Arnie in the character and he knew it would work. The rest was history.
If you still haven’t, stream the film here and tell us if you like the movie. Now, we can believe the statement that Stanislavski gave about the part and the actor mentioned above. Arnie proved to be the bigger actor as he accurately and effectively justified the character. He took the character to another level of excellence.
Can you imagine any other actor pulling off this ironic character other than Arnold Schwarzenegger? If you could choose any other actor for this role, who do you think would it be?