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Robert Patrick says Billy Idol was originally set to play the T-1000 in T2

08.17.2017

Robert Patrick Terminator 2 Billy Idol

One of cinema's greatest villains was unnervingly brought to life in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY by Robert Patrick, but according to the actor while he spoke with THR, he wasn't the first choice for the role of the T-1000, instead, that honour almost went to punk rock legend Billy Idol. This isn't exactly a new revelation, but it's new to me so I'd imagine that it may be new for some of you as well. TERMINATOR 2 director James Cameron originally had Billy Idol in mind for the shape-shifting assassin, and the storyboards for the film showed the robot resembling him, but a serious motorcycle accident wound up taking him out of the running.

Billy Idol was set to do the role of the T-1000, as I understand. 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. My agent sold me to the T2 casting director (Mali Finn) as a cross between David Bowie and James Dean. So, I was trying to create an intense presence while I was sitting with Mali. I had this intense stare, which she liked.

Although James Cameron seemed set on Billy Idol, I can only consider his unfortunate accident a blessing in disguise for movie fans. Not only did Robert Patrick wind up delivering an intense, intimidating performance, but his relatively unknown status at the time almost certainly added to the effectiveness of the character. It wasn't always easy for Patrick, as he had to train multiple times a day so that he would be able to break into a full sprint effortlessly without showing any signs of exertion.

I did it like a sprinter would: I locked eyes on a target and focused so there was no wasted energy. When done, I would clench my jaw, no mouth breathing, only through the nose and no expression because the character would not be straining. The first big chase sequence we did at the mall before I take the semi, I caught John! And I was like, 'What the fuck do I do know?' 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.

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY will be re-released to theaters on August 25th in 3D, and Robert Patrick believes that fans will be quite impressed with the result. "I got to see it in 3D in Jim's screening room," he said. "I got immersed in the movie because I have only seen it a few times. I sent Jim an email and told him of all the films to make 3D, this was a great example of taking an almost perfect film and making it even better. It is really cool, done in a great way."

Source: THR

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