SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 09: Director James Cameron attends the press conference for "Avatar: The Way Of The Water" on December 09, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Directing The Comedy In True Lies Was A Learning Curve For James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger brought the French spy comedy "La Totale!" to director James Cameron's attention in the early '90s. As Cameron told Yahoo in 2019, it was outside the director's wheelhouse at the time, but he "got it." Schwarzenegger’s basic premise was: “What if James Bond had to return home to his wife and family?” — and Cameron was all about it.
While the action was perfectly aligned with Cameron's specialty as a director with “The Terminator” and “Aliens” under his belt, the comedy was a completely different story. The result is that, alongside the quintessential action movie stunts, Cameron really pushed himself to inject the comedy element that the remake called for, including one of the “most dangerous” in the film.
As he explained, "I'd never done a comedy! So I came up with crazy stuff like him doing the tango with this exotic girl he meets at this mansion party.” He then sent Schwarzenegger the script, and in the margin put an arrow next to the tango and wrote, “This is your most dangerous stunt,” which the action star apparently took to heart, as he learned how to dance the tango.