Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals O.J. Simpson could have been picked to play 'The Terminator' originally
Arnold Schwarzenegger and 'The Terminator' are synonymous but it could have been O.J. Simpson to hold that title, if things had worked out differently. That is what the former Governor of California revealed on the Rich Eisen Show.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said that the producers initially wanted O.J. Simpson to play the role of 'The Terminator'. But they went with him because he looked more like a 'killing machine', and they finalized him. He remarked,
"The producers went with me because they believed that 'this guy would look better as the Terminator because he looks like a 'killing machine' and O.J., they thought that O.J. didn't look like a killing machine and so they passed on him and asked me to play the Terminator."
However, Arnold Schwarzenegger clarified that if people were to ask for corroborating evidence they might not get it because people are loathe to admit that O.J. Simpson might have been part of the initial consideration. However, he did say that James Cameron, the director of the film, also knows this piece of information. He commented,
"Now in the studio system, everyone denies that ever happened, they say, "I never wanted OJ, there was no discussion about it" but Jim Cameron and I, we both know that it is a fact."
Arnold Schwarzenegger and O.J. Simpson have gone down different paths since 'The Terminator'
Having retired from the NFL in 1979, O.J. Simpson had already built up his acting resume by 1984, when 'The Terminator' was released. He had his own production company called "Orenthal Productions" and had starred in the made-for-TV film 'Goldie and the Boxer'.
In the meantime, Arnold Schwarzenegger had not broken through in the film industry yet. Ultimately, though, this is the movie that would give him his big break in Hollywood.
For O.J. Simpson, the life after the 1980s has not been too happy. In 1994, he was charged with the murder of former wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. His acquittal in the criminal case was seen as largely controversial, even by those close to him, and he was found guilty in the civil trial.
The former running back would eventually be arrested for a case of robbery in Las Vegas in 2007 and was sentenced to prison in 2008. He was released on parole in 2017 with allied conditions finally dropped in 2021.
'The Terminator', meanwhile, went on to have a successful acting career and became the Governor of California. The two men could have scarcely taken more wildely divergent paths.