Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t initially a big fan of one of his most iconic career moments.
The big-screen icon and former California governor, 75, recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the insanely memorable line from 1984’s “The Terminator” was an “accident.”
“[James] Cameron and I were debating how to say the line because I was not comfortable with saying ‘I’ll,’ ” Schwarzenegger explained of his time on set with the heavyweight director. “I said, ‘I think it’s stronger to say, ‘I will be back.’”
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The two engaged in a brief scuffle regarding their tense disagreement over the line, with the Cameron telling the Hollywood icon: “Are you the scriptwriter now? It’s just one word. Don’t tell me how to write. I don’t tell you how to act.”
Schwarzenegger immediately rebutted the director’s comments, exclaiming he tells him how to act “every f***ing minute!”
Cameron, 68, who went on to direct “Titanic” and “Avatar”, alleviated the situation by explaining different methods Schwarzenegger could approach the line.
“Arnold, you think it sounds weird. It doesn’t. What makes it great is that you sound different than me or Charlie over there. That’s what makes it work.”
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He told the actor to “just say it 10 times. Say it different ways. I’ll keep rolling the camera. Then we’ll choose one.”
“So they set it up, and I say: ‘(Flatly) I’ll be back … (cheerful) I’ll be back! … (guttural) I’ll beeee baaaack …’ ” Schwarzenegger recalled. “It sounded stupid.”
Despite his hesitation, the line immediately cemented itself into pop culture history, with the actor even repeating it in “Terminator” sequels.
The line’s immense popularity was nearly instantaneous, with Schwarzenegger recounting to THR: “The movies comes out. I’m in Central Park. This guy comes up and says, ‘Say the line!’”
The megastar will be back in his upcoming Netflix action-comedy series, “FUBAR”, streaming on May 25.