Arnold Schwarzenegger attends an event marking the completion of a 4-acre solar rooftop constructed atop AltaSea's research and development facility at the Port of Los Angeles, in the San Pedro neighborhood, on April 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. The installation will supply enough energy to power AltaSea’s 35-acre campus, the country’s biggest 'blue economy' tech hub, which is focused on clean oceans, climate resiliency, and clean energy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most iconic “I’ll be back” line almost didn’t happen, the actor revealed in a new interview. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday (May 16), the Terminator star recalled how the line from the 1984 sci-fi flick “was an accident.”

The former California governor told the publication that he and director James Cameron were debating how to say the line because “I was not comfortable with saying ‘I’ll be back.'” He added that he thought it was “stronger” to say: “I will be back.” The Avatar director replied back to him, “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, 75, said he shot back, saying how he told him how to act “every f—— minute!”

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According to the former bodybuilder, who is making his TV series debut in the upcoming action-comedy FUBAR, Cameron tried to calm the situation down and explain himself. “‘Arnold, you think it sounds weird. It doesn’t,'” the actor recalled Cameron say. “What makes it great is that you sound different than me or Charlie over there. That’s what makes it work.” Cameron then told him to “just say it ten times. Say it in different ways. I’ll keep rolling the camera. Then we’ll choose one.” After doing the line flatly, cheerfully, and guttural, Schwarzenegger recounted, “It sounded stupid.”

Obviously, the final product worked out, and the line became iconic. He told the publication, “The movie comes out. I’m in Central Park. This guy comes up and says, ‘Say the line!'” Just a few days before this interview was published, Arnold said a concierge in Aspen came up to him to ask him to say the line. “So that’s where it started and where it ended up,” Schwarzenegger said. “It’s wild.”

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