Of the many spandex-clad bands who proliferated the hair metal scene of the 1980s, W.A.S.P. were one of the more metal, and much of that came from frontman Blackie Lawless. From singing satanic sex ballads to cutting shit in half with a buzzsaw codpiece, Lawless was always down to push buttons and scandalize dowagers with his sleaze metal persona. Now, the singer has revealed that he apparently missed a big cinematic opportunity: he claims he was the original choice to play the T-1000 in Terminator 2.
For those you haven’t seen James Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day — and if you haven’t, honestly, just drop everything right now and watch it — the film’s villain is a time-traveling cyborg called the T-1000, whose liquid metal body allows it to shapeshift and turn into various sharp objects. The T-1000 comes back in time to kill then-child revolutionary John Connor, and takes the form of a cop to gain access to him; Cameron’s use of a police officer underscored feelings in the ’90s that the police were less our protectors and more a violent gang with their own ulterior motives (as you can see, not much has changed).
“We had just started recording [1992’s] The Crimson Idol,” Blackie told Classic Rock. “I got a call on a Friday afternoon. It was my agent, and she said they [James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger] wanted to talk to me. We think Arnold had seen the ‘Scream Until You Like It’ video, and I’m doing a little bit of acting in that.
“Apparently, they thought I would be right for the part of the T-1000 Terminator. I saw the first Terminator movie and didn’t really care for it, so I said: ‘Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.’ I thought about it for about 30 minutes and decided: ‘Hey, dummy. What are you doing? That movie was huge whether you liked it or not. Maybe this is something I should think about doing.’
“I had been around Arnold a couple of times before, at parties, and knew he was kind of sensitive about his height. I’m about four or five inches taller than he is. So I said to his casting director: ‘Do you know how tall I am?’ I told them I was six-four. The casting director said: ‘There’s no need for you to come down for the reading.'”
Obviously, things didn’t pan out, though Lawless doesn’t explain how, only that Robert Patrick, the actor who finally took the role, confirmed it had originally been designed for Lawless.
“About a year after the movie comes out, I run into Robert Patrick, who ended up with the part,” Lawless continues. “I told him that they originally wanted to cast me for the part, and he gets this funny look on his face and replies: ‘Holy cow. You do look like him.’ The original character was supposed to be this wrestling type character, a long-haired barbarian. He saw the original art script and said that I looked just like that character.”
Words by Chris Krovatin