Expendables 2 stars pick their best one-liners
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and The Stath pick their best - and worst- one liners...
Press conferences can be a mixed blessing. On one hand you can choose to sit back, listen and let everyone else ask the questions, or you can bid to ask your own question and risk saying something stupid in front of a room full of journalists and a panel of your cinematic heroes. Sadly, for the sake of everyone else’s entertainment, the latter didn’t happen. While I did put in for a question, time ran out and my turn never came, which is something that I’m quietly grateful for.
You see the cast present that day to promote The Expendables 2 consisted of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and Scott Adkins, which was more than a little intimidating. I don’t mean physically either in this context, but mentally it was completely overwhelming to have nearly all of my cinematic action heroes, spanning several decades, sat in one room a few feet away. The sheer adrenaline from the experience has taken days to recover from, especially in the knowledge that it’s never likely to happen again.
Everyone was on great form, talking about raising the bar for EX2, how Stallone defied doctors’ orders to press ahead with making the sequel after having his neck fused when a stunt went wrong in the first and how Schwarzenegger felt supported by everyone when making his return after eight years. "They actually went a little bit overboard, thinking that I don’t know how to hold a gun anymore, or how to throw a punch or anything like that! [laughs]” he said, to which Stallone replied “He didn’t!”
Meanwhile Jean Claude Van Damme thanked Stallone for putting him back on the big screen “because I’ve got those good eyes, good face and do my best with the acting and we don’t see that on DVD, we have to over exaggerate it!” he quipped. Van Damme also made what he called a ‘Belgian joke’ about something under the table touching his leg, which made everyone laugh, even if we had no idea what he was talking about.
Then someone asked a question that I’d thought about asking at a previous press conference, which is essentially a cheeky way of getting actors you love to utter their most famous lines, but it worked a treat. It also provided a nice James Cameron anecdote, which rang so true knowing what we do now about his firm directorial stance. Here’s what they had to say when asked what some of the best and worst one-liners were from their careers.
Well I guess my best is [in Rocky voice] 'Yo, Adrian' [laughs] it’s one thing you just can’t criticise and some of my worst would have to be... perhaps all my dialogue in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot [everybody laughed] - probably every line would be immortally bad.
I think that one-liners are very important. Sometimes you don’t even know when you make that movie that this is going to be a great line. I remember when we did Terminator and we did the line 'I'll be back', I had no idea this is going to be an important line, or something that people will repeat.
As a matter of fact I had an argument with Jim Cameron about saying it 'I will be back' and he said 'No… I wrote it ‘I'll be back'. I said I don’t like the way the ‘l’ in ‘I’ll’ it sounds a little soft, maybe it's more machine-like to say 'I will be back' and he says ‘No. I wrote it ‘I'll be back. Do me a favour and just say it.’ [laughs] And this scene, we shoot it ten times, ten different versions! So I did say the line 'I'll be back' and sure enough when the movie came out I had people come up to me and say [excitedly] 'Oh! Say the line, say the line!’ I'd say 'What line?' and they'd say 'I'll be back' and I'd say [normally] 'I'll be back'. They'd say 'No, no, no the way you said it in the movie!' and so I'd say 'I'll be back' [in proper Terminator voice, well enough to make a grown man wobble].
So I realised that that line clicked with people and it was a big line, but I did not know when I shot it. Then sometimes you do know, like on Commando when I held the guy by his feet and I said ‘I lied’ and then I dropped him, I knew this was going to be a funny line and going to get a big laugh, so sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t know.
The panel was then asked if they had nominations for best/worst lines...
Schwarzenegger (quick as anything):
“I've never had a bad line!”
I've never had a good line! Except for the 'I must break you!’ [laughs] And Sly – I didn’t argue with him at that point, as I was a kid, so he said ‘say it that way’ and I did.
Stallone: [in Lundgren voice]
I must break you!
Jason Statham was then asked if he had one. "You’ve got to have a movie people have seen and I don’t think I have! Apart from this one!", our hero replied.
The Expendables 2 is out now.
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