Billy Idol almost played the villainous T-1000 in Terminator 2

Terminator 2 nearly had a very different villain, one who probably would've sneered a lot more.

Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000 in James Cameron's blockbuster 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day, told The Hollywood Reporter that he wasn't the first choice for the part: it was actually an '80s rock star.

"Billy Idol was set to do the role of the T-1000, as I understand," Patrick said. "I can tell you that I saw Billy's image when I went to (special effects creator) Stan Winston after I got the role. Unfortunately, he got into a motorcycle accident and busted up his leg, so he wasn't able to physically do what the role demanded."

Patrick said his agent used a comparison to another rock star to attract the attention of the casting director. "My agent sold me to the T2 casting director (Mali Finn) as a cross between David Bowie and James Dean," Patrick said. "So, I was trying to create an intense presence while I was sitting with Mali. I had this intense stare, which she liked."

He eventually received a call from Cameron and was asked to do a screen test. "It was just one of those moments when everything came together at the right time," Patrick said. 

After that, the hardest part was getting into shape for the physically demanding role of a cyborg. "I trained four times a day and physically got myself into it," Patrick said. "I did it like a sprinter would: I locked eyes on a target and focused so there was no wasted energy. When done, I would clench my jaw, no mouth breathing, only through the nose and no expression because the character would not be straining."

He became so fast that he actually ruined a take when the T-1000 caught John Conner (Edward Furlong). "The first big chase sequence we did at the mall before I take the semi, I caught John!" Patrick said. "And I was like, 'What the f*** do I do know?'… So they had to crank up the speed of John's dirt bike."

Meanwhile, T2 will hit theaters again in 3D later this month and Arnold Schwarzenegger said he's definitely on board for Terminator 6.