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Billy Idol was supposed to play the T-1000 in Terminator 2

(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

One of the greatest action classics of the 1990s almost had a very different, ”Rebel Yell”-y sort of vibe. That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which recently talked to Terminator 2 star Robert Patrick about the film’s upcoming re-release, and who revealed that his star-making turn as the icily lethal T-1000 almost went to singer Billy Idol instead. “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.”

Speaking of those demands: Patrick—whose agent apparently sold him to the movie’s casting directors as a steely hybrid of “David Bowie and James Dean”—talked about how extensively he had to train in order to create the T-1000’s “I can run for a thousand miles without getting tired” look. That extensive exercise had knock-on effects during filming, too; in an early take of the scene where Edward Furlong’s John Connor is supposed to escape from the T-1000 on a dirtbike, Patrick apparently ran so fast that he caught up with his quarry. “The first big chase sequence we did at the mall before I take the semi, I caught John!” he said. “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.”


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