The T-1000 in ‘Terminator 2’ Was Almost Played By Billy Idol (And Other Things Robert Patrick Revealed)

The Terminator franchise may continue making sequels that can’t live up to the first two, but not even Terminator Genisys can make us like Terminator 2: Judgment Day any less. As we look back on the second Terminator movie’s 25th anniversary (jeez), others are also getting nostalgic. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the T-1000 himself, Robert Patrick, about the experience as he made the rounds to promote his next movie (Last Rampage) and the 3D rerelease of Terminator 2 in theaters August 25th.

The interview starts with a reveal of who was originally cast to play the T-1000 before Robert Patrick nailed the role. “Billy Idol was set to do the role of the T-1000, as I understand,” Patrick said. “I can tell you that I saw Billy’s image when I went to Stan Winston after I got the role. Unfortunately, he got into a motorcycle accident and busted up his leg, so he wasn’t able to physically do what the role demanded.”

It would have been a completely different vibe with Idol in that role. I think I would have been laughing in the theater the whole time, instead of being intimidated by a then-unknown actor’s thousand-yard stare and seeming invincibility.

Why would they have even cast Idol in the first place? According to Patrick, the character was originally envisioned as “a cross between David Bowie and James Dean.” Fortunately, Cameron liked Patrick’s intimidating take on the character in his audition and cast him as the T-1000.

Patrick said he started training so he could sprint long distances without needing to breath heavily or otherwise break his stoic demeanor on camera. It paid off, and it also ruined a take when Patrick easily caught up with Edward Furlong’s character during the chase sequence where John Conner is on a dirtbike and the T-1000 is pursuing him on foot:

“The first big chase sequence we did at the mall before I take the semi, I caught John!” Patrick said. “And I was like, ‘What the f*ck do I do now?’ And Jim was like, ‘Jesus Christ! How fast can you run?!’ And I said I didn’t know. So they had to crank up the speed of John’s dirt bike.”

Patrick also pointed out something subtle that made the character more creepy. He taught himself how to shoot a Beretta 92FS lightning fast, then reload quickly without looking, all the while staring directly at his target and never blinking. Have you ever tried to shoot a gun without blinking? It’s not easy. But neither is wiping out humanity in a robopocalypse, we suppose.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)