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James Cameron Once Caught Arnold Schwarzenegger Off Guard After Using His Iconic Line Against Him on Set 

Published 11/15/2022, 6:20 AM EST

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Hollywood action hero and bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger is renowned for his classic one-liners. Audiences have seen them in The Terminator (“I’ll be back”), Eraser, (“You’re luggage”), and many more films. While many of these catchphrases have gone down in cinema history, they have also provided people with material to use against ‘Austrian Oak’. James Cameron did just that with his close friend during one of their three collaborations. 

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The Academy Award-winning director and the seven-time Mr. Olympia winner have collaborated on three feature films, i.e. The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and True Lies. It was while filming the last title that Arnold Schwarzenegger was caught off guard. 


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James Cameron used Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop line on him during True Lies shoot

True Lies saw Arnold Schwarzenegger play the role of a spy named Harry Tasker. Under the cover of a salesperson, he actually engaged in top-secret missions. One of these endangered his family and saw him need to fly a plane to save his daughter. Filming that scene tested the actor’s limits, and he spilled the beans on the same in a 1994 chat. 

On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “The most difficult moment was when I had to sit in this cockpit of this Harrier jet hanging over a twenty-three-story building, hanging off a crane. And I was doing three hours of filming and doing all the knobs and the attacking and shooting the guns.” 


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“Finally, I had to go to the bathroom and I’m hanging up there. So I didn’t know what to do. So I waited another few minutes.” 

“Then I finally radioed down to the director, to Jim Cameron, and said, ‘Listen, I have to go to the bathroom’, and this guy starts screaming at me. Aren’t you in character? This is a military mission… You’re supposed to save your daughter. There is no bathroom…”

Arnold Schwarzenegger used the words “There is no bathroom” when he played John Kimble in Kindergarten Cop (1991). It was in a scene where he used his partner’s advice to handle the situation (out-of-control kindergarteners) as he would do in any other police situation and not walk into the classroom showing fear. 

“I Didn’t Even Have to Read”: 46 Years Later Arnold Schwarzenegger Opened Up on His Unexpected Maiden Hollywood Audition During 2015 Interview

Seeing his own reel lines used against him in real life in such a situation may have helped the actor channel rage into his performance. In True Lies, this particular scene culminated with Arnold Schwarzenegger having yet another iconic line, i.e. “You’re fired.” 

Cameron’s screaming may have worked for the film, but Arnold Schwarzenegger may not have minded it one bit. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger praised James Cameron’s “demanding” nature 

James Cameron, one for perfection and research, has earned the actor’s appreciation for the same. The 1977 Golden Globe winner for New Star of the Year-Actor once enlightened listeners about how his relationship with Cameron has evolved since The Terminator

In another old interview, Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I know that he’s a very demanding man. I like that when someone is demanding. Because I know from an athletic background having been involved in bodybuilding for so many years that if you have a good coach, a tough coach that pushes you to the limit, that is when you can achieve the ultimate off of height. Therefore, I look forward to something like that. I look forward to when a director pushes you and lets you do things.”

via Getty

As the bodybuilding legend is no stranger to pushing the limits, working with Cameron may have fit in with his mindset for his tasks. The quest for perfection may have been reciprocated as the Oscar-winning director is not one to only push others. 


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“We Even Hired Ballet Teachers”: 6 Years Ago Arnold Schwarzenegger Revealed Unusual Techniques for His Bodybuilding Success

The Avatar: The Way of Water director strives for perfectionism and has wholly dedicated himself to his craft. Right from visiting the wreck of the RMS Titanic to developing underwater motion capture technology, the Canadian auteur has ensured to place the highest demands upon himself. 


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While doing so, he may have taken time out, watched Kindergarten Cop, and come across this reel life line. Do you think James Cameron planned to use that line on Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or was it just a coincidence? 

Watch this story: From Total Recall to Terminator 2: Here are the top five best Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes

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Written by:

Reubyn Coutinho


One take at a time

Reubyn Coutinho is a Senior Editor, Writer, and Content Quality Associate at EssentiallySports. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from St.Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Reubyn Coutinho