The 1980s and early 1990s was a good time for action movie lovers. There is a nearly endless list of classics from that era, running the gamut from morbidly serious dramas like First Blood, to ridiculous self parodies like Commando. One series birthed during this period that stands unique from all the rest is Terminator. The franchise's first two movies, which were released in 1984 and 1991, are highly influential works that will forever stand the test of time. From there, the quality of the series has varied, but each entry at least manages to be fun, if nothing else.
With a new entry in the works that will see the return of the legendary Linda Hamilton, we saw it fit to look back on the rest of the series. More specifically, this list will be showcasing photos that completely alter one's perception of the movies and the people who worked on them. The five movies are usually intensely dramatic due to their world ending stakes, but these snapshots will prove there were laughs to be had outside the camera frame. Hopefully it will also give an appreciation of the hard work and dedication poured into making this awesome series.
So come with us if you want to live, because here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Terminator That Change Everything.
25 Lee Byung-hun
Before Terminator: Genisys, Lee Byung-hun graced theaters in the unexpectedly exciting G.I. Joe films, two movies that were better than they had any right to be. With this movie, he was yet again becoming a part of beloved eighties pop culture.
While Genisys may not have lived up to the series' standards, it was still an entertaining romp, and Byung-hun looks stoked to be involved. He looks great in this picture and he knows it, glamorously posing as everybody else stops and admires how handsome the actor and singer is.
24 Linda Is Back!
Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey are both superb actresses, but there is only one Sarah Connor, and she is finally making a glorious return to the big screen. The movie is currently slated for a November 2019 release, and that date cannot come soon enough.
With Deadpool director Tim Miller behind the wheel and James Cameron producing, this entry already looks promising. Linda Hamilton is sixty years old and has not portrayed the iconic character since 1991, so fans are eagerly awaiting her return to the role that made her an action movie legend.
23 Makeup Chair
Making someone look beat up is hard work that requires specific training to accomplish. Sure, people could do it the easy way and actually harm people, but actors probably wouldn't stand for that.
In the makeup chair for this photo is Summer Glau, getting ready to shoot something for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Given that her character was a terminator, Glau presumably found herself in this chair a lot, having cuts applied to her face. The show itself only lasted two seasons, but Glau was a memorable part of the cast.
22 Stan's The Man
It is hard to imagine that a man with such a nice smile and friendly demeanor could have an imagination dark enough to conceptualize those machines of destruction. Stan Winston's genius extends far beyond the Terminator franchise, though.
Name a movie with groundbreaking visual effects from after the 1980's, and there is a chance Winston worked on it. The Thing, Aliens, Predator, and Jurassic Park are a just a few of the dozens of movies he helped bring to life. He is no longer with us, but his genius will live on forever through these movies.
21 Double Vision
Whoever made this fake head sure did an amazing job, as it is difficult to tell the real from the fake. Hopefully no one will ever use it as a mask to commit a terrible crime. Then, when it comes time to arrest the culprit, both of them can claim to be the genuine actor and innocent.
Fortunately, that is unlikely to occur unless someone really has it out for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Until then, the lifeless copy can enjoy its time in the spotlight during Terminator 2, assuming it survived the production unscathed.
20 Is That... A Smile?
This is a truly surprising site to behold. Not only is Arnold Schwarzenegger bursting out a fully uncontrolled smile, but he is doing it in his iconic character's garb. The android only ever cracks a grin once, and it is for comedic effect. All other times his face is stone cold serious.
James Cameron must be regaling the actor with some pretty entertaining stories. Unlike many of his characters, Schwarzenegger is said to be jovial and all around pleasurable presence. Once the director yells action, that smile is wiped away from his face.
19 Monsters Roaming Around Los Angeles
This seems like a great idea for a movie on its own. Giant people roaming around a major city, destroying everything in their path, would make for an excellent summer blockbuster.
In this case, though, these people are not laying waste to a city, and are instead carefully putting everything in a particular place to get the next shot ready. These people are working on the miniature copy of Los Angeles, which gets vaporized in one of Sarah Connor's dreams. It's a powerful moment and still looks better than most contemporary computer generated destruction scenes.
Apparently, the famed vigilante Zorro was set to show up in T2, as evidenced by this photo. His scenes must have all ended up on the cutting room floor, unfortunately. Of course, the previous sentence was not true in the slightest, and instead this is a shot from when John Connor's adopted parents are slain by the T-1000.
It must have been difficult to take the scene seriously while filming, with there being a man draped in a black cloak holding a blade. Even a simple special effect like this probably took meticulous planning to pull off.
17 Genisys Final Fight
It is somewhat ironic for Arnold to be covered with green while working. The man started his career over forty years ago, so he is anything but green around the collar. Mismatching symbolism aside, the green is necessary to pull off certain effects.
In Terminator: Genisys' final battle, the skin around his character's arm gets disintegrated, leaving nothing but the metallic skeleton exposed. Fortunately, despite his compromised state, the T-800 is still able to save the day and prevent Genisys from launching and destroying civilization -- at least for that day.
16 Stunt Double
This photo from the set of the first movie shows Arnold Schwarzenegger side by side with his trusty stunt double, Peter Kent. The Terminator was Kent's first job in the field, as he kind of stumbled into it by accident.
The movie had a surprisingly low budget, and Kent enthusiastically jumped into danger's way when they needed a stunt man to stand in for Schwarzenegger. He would later go on to formally train in the profession and double for Schwarzenegger through many years and movies, but he has since hung up his boots.
15 It Was Thought They Could Not Get Any Scarier
The terminators' skeletons are a truly frightening design. Everything about it, from the teeth, red eyes, and shiny silver color, strikes fear into the hearts of its enemies, and how unfortunate that its main goal is eliminating the human race. This picture has just made them even more horrifying.
There is something deeply unsettling about seeing the prop mounted on top of someone's head. This picture should probably be deleted from the internet, lest it give Skynet any ideas for future robot designs. The last thing John Connor and the resistance need are a terminators stacked on top of terminators.
Pictured here is the iconic robot in a less menacing context. Everything looks cuter when smaller, even these cold hearted machines. Miniatures were heavily utilized during the first two movies in order to pull off impressive effects shots.
They are still used in film making, but not to the extent that they once were. It is unfortunate too, as a well done miniature can really look great when filmed right, fooling the audience into believing no tricks were used at all, and lack of miniatures also robs the world of great photos like this one.
13 Green Gun
That's true acting right there. Here, Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking like a convincing tough guy while holding a green shotgun prop and surrounded by blank space. Being able to act off of a green screen is a tough thing to do, and this may have been Schwarzenegger's first crack at it, since he took a hiatus from the big screen to reside as the governor of California.
After leaving office, the movies he did were not as heavy on digital effects, even if they were high octane action flicks like The Expendables 2 and The Last Stand.
12 The End?
It is believable to think that the only thing strong enough to choke Arnold Schwarzenegger is a robot's bare hand. Thankfully Schwarzenegger is just fooling around here.
If it was actually dangerous to stand next to the prop, then he probably would have sent in his stunt double instead. That wasn't a slight at Schwarzenegger, though, as he is a beloved actor and most fans would be devastated is anything maladies were to befall on him. There is little chance of that happening, though, since the actor can take care of himself.
11 In The Makeup Chair
Acting is all about patience, and this does not exclusively mean the patience to learn lines or wait for one's scenes to be rehearsed. Sometimes this includes being able to sit for hours in a chair while artists carefully apply makeup, slowly transforming the actor into their character.
This process can take several hours, and can take just as long to remove. Sometimes actors are unable to eat or go to the restroom after the transformation is complete. It is all worth it to bring the movie to life, however.
10 Jason Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger's face says everything about the ridiculousness of this image. He and Jason Clarke are in unconventional attire and hooked up to strings, about to send each other flying. Keeping a straight face when the cameras start rolling must be an arduous task, but nothing two seasoned professionals aren't already used to.
Even though Genisys was less than stellar, it still provided plenty of terminator versus terminator action, which is what some people paid money to see. It gave everything that was expected, but the series is accustomed to giving audiences so much more.
9 Where'd The Legs Go
Hiding just outside the frame are often objects that would immediately give away the fact they are actors on a movie set. For example, that legless dummy being controlled by a crew member is only ever filmed from the top half up, and the man manipulating it is close by, but never shown on camera.
It almost makes one feel bad for the guy who works so hard and closely with the movie, but is ultimately never seen. The crew know the deal, though, and still pour their effort into making the best film possible.
8 Melting Linda
Pictured here is Stan Winston's studio hard at work making a replica of Linda Hamilton. This was most likely used for the scene showcasing nuclear annihilation. In the dreams sequence, audiences see the skin get ripped right off Sarah Connor's bones. It is a gross moment, but necessary to showcase the cold brutality Skynet unleashes upon humanity.
A dummy was needed because they could not just rip the skin off of Hamilton herself, presumably for insurance reasons. The replica does a convincing job of conveying the effect of nuclear explosions.
7 Some Funeral
Having a T-800 pallbearer wielding a minigun would be sweet. It is just too bad, then, that the deceased would be unaware of the situation, unless they had the ability to look in on it from the afterlife.
The actual situation displayed here is from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and it looks like Arnold is about to be swapped out by his stunt double. The coffin itself was supposed to be Sarah Connor's, but it was really a decoy and held a small arsenal, while the real Sarah Connor was cremated.
6 Teddy Bear
The expressions on the actors faces shows the seriousness of the situation. There is a disemboweled teddy bear on the floor, breathing its last, and someone has to pay. From the looks of it, that someone will be Jason Clarke.
This is actually from the scene in Terminator: Genisys where John Connor is revealed to be an advanced model terminator, T-3000. One didn't have to see the movie to figure out that twist, however, as the poster infamously gave away that revelation before the movie even hit theaters. The spoiler was unfortunate, but nothing too devastating.
5 Stan Had Guns
This one would surprise a lot of people. Apparently, the legendary visual effects artist was totally ripped. Of course, his biceps were not as big as Schwarzenegger's, but even side by side, Stan Winston's arms do not look small.
Going off of stereotypes, one would not expect a person of his profession to be in tip top shape, but this is exactly why it is ill advised to make presumptions based off of them. Winston probably worked out so he could fight off all of his creations if they were ever brought to life.
4 Three Men And A Baby
These overprotective parents have simply gone too far. One Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been enough, but they had to get two. It is uncertain what purpose James Cameron serves, though, except maybe to masterfully film the beat down the two strongmen deliver to whoever makes the infant cry.
Peter Kent looks uncomfortable holding the teddy bear, like he has never gripped one with hands before. In fact, it looks like he is about to strangle the stuffed animal. Whatever that baby is doing today, it'll always have this picture to remember the time they met Schwarzenegger.
Terminator: Salvation shook up the typical franchise formula to mixed results. The change of scenery from the present day to the post-apocalyptic future was welcome, but its execution left something to be desired.
This image, showcasing a battered terminator pointing its gun, showcases one of the movie's strong suits. The people who designed and crafted this movie's ruined civilization did an excellent job. The film was meant to kick start a whole new trilogy, but plans ultimately fell through, leading to Terminator: Genisys's creation. Now, Salvation feels more like a spinoff than a part of the canon.
2 Holding A Skull
Arnold Schwarzenegger is known to like his cigars, but he has to watch his consumption when playing the T-800. All that smoke can't be good for the complex wiring. Then again, if the T-800 were to ruin itself with too much smoking, it could probably just transfer its consciousness to a new model. It is a viable solution in the future, but not so much in the past.
As for Arnold himself, we're not going to judge a man who clearly takes care of himself if he wants to enjoy a cigar every now and then.
1 Summer Gl"ow"!
It is not everyday someone sees a person's head put through a windshield, and rarely is that face so nonchalant. On top of all that, the mug belongs to none other than Summer Glau, who had a starring role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The short lived series saw the titular character take on Skynet with her son and a few additional friends, including a terminator played by Glau. Being a terminator, Glau's character, initially dubbed Cameron, could take a lot of damage. This made for some entertaining fights throughout the show's run
What are your favorite moments from the Terminator franchise? Let us know in the comments!