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Billy Idol Was Originally Cast as the T-1000 in ‘Terminator 2’?!

James Cameron‘s Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one of the greatest films ever made. It’s perfection. It’s hard to pinpoint any single thing that could have been changed to make it better, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to think about what could have been done differently. Imagine if rock legend Billy Idol played the T-1000 instead of Robert Patrick? That was a real thing, Patrick reveals, explaining that Idol was actually Cameron’s first choice for the role. In fact, he says he was already cast!

“Billy Idol was set to do the role of the T-1000, as I understand,” Patrick told Heat Vision. “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.”

After Idol was out, word got around that director James Cameron was looking for a villain for his follow-up to the popular 1984 film The Terminator.

“My agent sold me to the T2 casting director (Mali Finn) as a cross between David Bowie and James Dean,” Patrick said, laughing, “So, I was trying to create an intense presence while I was sitting with Mali. I had this intense stare, which she liked.”

After working with the casting crew on some movements, which Patrick described as “insect-like,” he got a call from Cameron to come in and do a screen test. The rest is history.

“It was just one of those moments when everything came together at the right time,” Patrick said.

The rest was history. The 1991 film that also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Edward Furlong went on to gross over $500 million worldwide, which adjusted is over $1 billion.



  • Jay Brezzy

    I appreciate a nice rebel yell like the next fellow, however…I’m feeling Robert was the better choice here.

  • Tony Torres

    it could have had ministry instead of guns and roses… then it would be perfect

  • Necro

    Sorry Billy I gotta go with Robert! Love your music though!

  • Daniel Anderson

    one of those moments where you think astrology worked. The stars aligned and the perfect fit was found.

  • JackJonston24

    Seriously,ugh there is nothing more that i hate than when people say things like x is the most perfect thing in whole of existence,i mean Holy Hyperbole Batman,don’t get me wrong T2 is a great movie,but one of the best movies ever,uhhhh,no ? I mean yu could make the case for it being one of the best action movies ever but let’s not get too hasty .

    • Sherv Gordji

      Not one of the best movies ever but THE best movie ever!!

  • Elizabeth

    God, now I’m not going to be able to watch it without picturing T-1000 with a permanent lip curl.

  • RJ MacReady

    Big Billy Idol fan, but there is no way I could’ve taken him seriously as the T-1000…Robert Patrick nailed that role.

    • Leo

      I’m convinced that, when it comes to the seven arts, everything is a mix of the right people in the right place at the right time. That’s how certain masterpieces came to be.
      The right director, the right killer robot, the right Robert Patrick in the right year: there you go, dystopian action at its finest.

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