James Cameron Says He Came Up With 'Terminator 2' Character John Connor During Ecstasy Trip

Director James Cameron said he was high on ecstasy while writing notes for "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," which helped to define the sequel's story.

James Cameron

Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

James Cameron

James Cameron revealed he was high on ecstasy when he conceived a key character for Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

In an oral history of Terminator 2 published by The Ringer, Cameron talked about coming up with the idea of having a 10-year-old John Connor in the movie while he was on an ecstasy trip. 

“I remember sitting there once, high on E, writing notes for ‘Terminator,’ and I was struck by Sting’s song, that ‘I hope the Russians love their children too,’” Cameron said. “And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.’ That’s where the kid came from.”

The kid, of course, was Edward Furlong’s character, John Connor. In the movie,  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cybernetic android character is tasked with protecting the 10-year-old Connor from the T-1000. Meanwhile, the song Cameron was referring to was “Russians”, from Sting’s 1985 debut album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles.

Released on July 3, 1991, T2 brought in more than $520 million at the worldwide box office, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1991 and of Schwarzenegger’s career.

The last movie in the Terminator series to be directed Cameron, Judgement Day remains relevant as ever. 

I have been surprised at how well it holds up,” Cameron told The Ringer. “Even if we win the fight for our existence against the rise of machines, how do we define ourselves? Now it’s a real thing and a real concern and a real philosophical, existential question for the human race.”

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