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HomeMoviesArnold Schwarzenegger Reflects on His Most Famous Catchphrase: ‘It Sounded Stupid'

Arnold Schwarzenegger Reflects on His Most Famous Catchphrase: ‘It Sounded Stupid’

Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger has discussed the origin and the legacy of his most famous catchphrase, “I’ll be back,” revealing that he thought it “sounded stupid.” Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Schwarzenegger explains how he fought against the line while filming the first The Terminator back in 1984, arguing with director James Cameron over how it should be delivered.

“I think about how it was an accident. [Terminator director] Jim Cameron and I were debating how to say the line because I was not comfortable with saying “I’ll.” I said, “I think it’s stronger to say, ‘I will be back.’ ” Cameron said, “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.” I said, “You tell me how to act every fucking minute! What are you talking about?!” So he says, “Arnold, you think it sounds weird. It doesn’t. What makes it great is that you sound different than me or Charlie over there. That’s what makes it work. So just say it 10 times. Say it different ways. I’ll keep rolling the camera. Then we’ll choose one.” So they set it up, and I say: “(Flatly) I’ll be back … (cheerful) I’ll be back! … (guttural) I’ll beeee baaaack …” It sounded stupid.”

Of course, while Schwarzenegger may have made something of a mockery of the line at the time, it quickly helped cement his own legacy as an action movie star. Continuing, Schwarzenegger revealed that “I’ll be back” is still the line that fans ask him to say.


“The movie comes out. I’m in Central Park. This guy comes up and says, “Say the line!” … Now, a few days ago, I was skiing in Aspen, and the concierge comes up asking me to say the line. So that’s where it started and where it ended up. It’s wild. I’m the last one to get complicated and say, “I don’t want to compare myself to my movies or use a line from my movies.” Hell, Clint Eastwood takes the clothes from his movies and that’s all he wears. So why would I be worried about using a line?”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Says He Will Not Be Back for Any More Terminator Movies

Paramount Pictures

Sadly, Arnold Schwarzenegger has now revealed that he will not be back for any more movies in the Terminator franchise. Though he does think there will be further installments made without him. “The franchise is not done. I’m done,” he said. “I got the message loud and clear that the world wants to move on with a different theme when it comes to The Terminator. Someone has to come up with a great idea.”

But fear not, as Schwarzenegger has plenty of projects in the pipeline. Audiences will get a detailed look behind the curtain in the Netflix three-part docuseries, Arnold, which will explore his multifaceted life and career, from his days of lifting weights to his successes in Hollywood, his time serving as governor of California, and both the joys and volatility of his family life. Schwarzenegger is also set to join forces with Netflix again in the action-comedy series, FUBAR, which is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2023.

The action superstar will also make his triumphant return to the big screen in Breakout, which finds Arnie daring a jailbreak to save his framed stepson.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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