Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals What Finally Convinced Him to Take on the Iconic 'Terminator' Role

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's role in 1984's The Terminator instantly cemented him as a film icon, but he told ET that taking the part required some convincing.

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"[Director James Cameron] just kept telling me that he was going to shoot it very heroic and it's going to be not the villain but a heroic character and all this stuff," Arnold said. "So he actually talked me into it."

Thirty-one years later, Arnold is starring in the fifth Terminator film, Terminator Genisys.

In the movie, a fractured timeline is created when the leader of the human resistance, John Connor (Jason Clarke), sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future. This causes Sgt. Kyle Reese to find himself in an alternate version of the past with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Schwarzenegger), dangerous enemies and a new mission to reset the future.

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"The beauty of Terminator Genisys is that Kyle finds a very different Sarah Connor," Emilia said. "It's interesting for Sarah because she maintains traits we saw in Terminator 2, but she's discovered them at a much younger age. She was brought up by a Terminator, so she's grown up as a warrior."

While joining The Terminator franchise may have been intimidating (the franchise has made more than $1 billion worldwide), Emilia told ET that the most daunting part was meeting her legendary co-star.

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"Obviously, before you meet Arnold, you're going to be nervous because you're not going to know what to expect," Emilia said. "And then it was just wonderful and continued to be wonderful. He was unexpectedly relaxed and funny and brilliant."

Terminator Genisys opens July 1.

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