Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast. My name is Sam.
And today we’re asking what’s the craic about…
Arnold Schwarzenegger. To the choppa!
That’s so good! I’m so proud of myself!
And today we’re asking this Iron Man – we’re gonna find out where he came from, half of his career, how did he get into bodybuilding then into movies, then into politics. Were there any scandals? Yes there were, we’re gonna talk about those.
And what he does now, what he should do now maybe as well. So we’re gonna dig into that. But first, we want to know more about Ian.
Oh, okay. Hey, guys, my name is Ian as Sam said. I’m from the US, I’m from the state called Kentucky. Кентуки in Russian, you might be familiar with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yeah! I’m from there!
I’m joking, it’s everywhere.
You can’t walk down the street without seeing it.
Yeah it was the same in the US, but KFC is actually a lot better in Russia than it is in the US. KFC is better everywhere than it is in the US. It’s complete trash, I just gave up.
Yeah, it’s going downhill. The stores are dirty, the chicken is greasy and terrible, it’s bad. It’s a bad situation.
Is it because they’re from Kentucky? Is it the problem?
I don’t know. That’s sad. The colonel needs to sort himself out.
I think he might have some difficulty doing that, cause he’s 10 feet under ground.
Fair enough. Only 10, not 6.
So tell us about Arnie. Where is he from?
Alright, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most people think he’s from Germany, but it’s not true. Arnold Schwarzenegger is from a super small little village, barely even a town called Thal, Austria. So it’s a very small small small town.
He was born to a police officer, his father was a police officer. And he was very very strict. And his mother, for most of her life, stayed at home with him, so…
So he was raised by his mom.
Raised by his mom, yes. His father was extremely strict.
Okay. And how did he get from there to being this, you know, super jacked bodybuilder?
Well, it actually started with him – he played soccer, and of course in your country you call it football. He played sport where he kicked the ball, anyway…
Well, let me stop you, I got a little divergent there. Because strangely enough in Northern Ireland there are people who call it soccer as well.
Because we have in Ireland, we have Gaelic football, so some people call it football in Northern Ireland, and others will call it soccer because they have Gaelic football and they call that football. So, a bit confusing.
But if you go to England or to the rest of the UK, it’s football for sure. You’re absolutely right.
No no no, I just wanted to give you some extra negative information.
Chicken McNuggets, you know.
You know how I feel about chicken McNuggets? They’re trash.
That was… He got jacked up playing football, yeah?
Yeah, playing the sport where you kick the ball. He wanted to better himself, so his team had a small little crappy gym that they would go to. And he quickly became addicted to working out, because he realized that his strength improved greatly really quickly.
And some people had this ability just genetically that they can get a lot more mass a lot faster, and he was one of those people very obviously. And one day he even broke into this gym on a day when the staff wasn’t working, so he worked out.
He was addicted and by the time…
This isn’t normal to be so addicted.
Some people can get… I kinda used to be into a bodybuilding thing, which is why I always kinda looked up Arnold Schwarzenegger back when I wasn’t, you know, fat as hell, but you know, back in the day when I used to body build I really liked Arnold. He really inspired me.
By the way, do you know YouTuber, what’s his name, John Flickinger?
He loves films, if you’re interested in hearing a YouTuber. He’s from America. If you’re interested in hearing a YouTuber talk about films – he has his own channel and talks about films, but he’s also big into bodybuilding.
Not Arnold style or anything, but he loves bodybuilding, he loves Arnold. He’s also kinda great for me, cause he also loves Batman. I love Arnold, or Arnie as I call him, and I love Batman. And he’s kinda similar to me in that way for sure.
Okay. So, tell me – how did he get from… So we got in to his bodybuilding and how he got in to that and got addicted and stuff, but how did he get from a little town in Austria all the way to the big US of the A?
Well, a lot of people tend to skip over this part of his life. But a big part of it was – he was in the Austrian army, he joined the army when he was, I think, 16. He lied on his paperwork.
So he joined the army, and they were really interested in him, because he was like 16 years old and he had a 17 inch bicep. So the army was very…
Something like that, yeah. 16-17. So he joins the army, and it’s kind of a funny story. He and his friends decided to raise their tanks, they were both tank drivers, and they end up gong down the hill and they end up completely destroying these tanks.
So they’re getting into a bunch of trouble, and I don’t think he got discharged at this point. He got very shortly after.
I would love to see that film.
Me too! I would love to see little Arnold raising his tank down the hill. But because he was discharged from the army he decided to go with the next best thing in his life, which was bodybuilding.
And he would see in magazines about all these American bodybuilders, because the American bodybuilding scene was blowing up. So because of this he decided ‘I wanna go there! I wanna go to the United states!’
Yeah, it was the place to be for bodybuilding.
It was very natural for him to, eventually, get there. And after some trouble he ended up getting into bodybuilding.
Should I ask? Did he come illegally to the United states? Or am I allowed to know that?
I believe he came legally and stayed illegally. If I am correct. I forget, but I believe there was some treachery there, but really…
We don’t condone that or recommend that.
Nobody here does that. But anyway. So he made it to California, where, you know, the bodybuilding scene was, you know, at Venice beach and all these places. And he met a founder of Gold’s gym, which is one of the biggest, well it used to be the biggest and the most successful gym in the United states.
They were a huge chain and he was his mentor, and he met another game named Franko Colombo, who was also a bodybuilder. They ended up going into bodybuilding together, and they helped each other stay on track.
And eventually after a lot of work and a lot of marketing he finally made his way into professional bodybuilding. Which in it itself was a bit controversial.
Okay. Are you gonna tell us more? I’m intrigued.
I mean, I’m impressed so far by his determination, cause it sounds like he had a tough time, you know getting to America, staying in America, achieving his goals. He seemed to have a real, just a single focus, the goal to do that, and he didn’t give up.
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, he’s one of the most successful immigrants who ever came to the US. Maybe THE most successful.
Yeah. I mean, he certainly was the most famous.
Probably the most famous American immigrant, yeah.
I mean, I’m from the Northern Ireland, quite different from the states, although we do have a lot of American culture of course. But my friend and I, my best friends back in Northern Ireland are big big fans, and we call him Arnie as I said.
We’re big big fans of him, and we quote his lines, even the terrible ones like from, you know, from ‘Batman and Robin’ for example. It was ‘Would you the dinosaurs?’
Which is false by the way.
<…> Do you remember that one?
Every single one. Okay, I wanna pause here. Every single line form that crappy movie, I think it’s crappy, I didn’t like it. Every single line from that movie is a pun, is a joke, ice or cold or freezing every one of his lines – I couldn’t believe it. How corny!
It’s amazing how corny it is!
It’s… Yeah, I’m not a fan. I told you Ian that I love Batman, it’s true, but Batman and Robin – no!
I didn’t wanna step on your toes, I don’t like that.
I have watched it several times, but I’m definitely not a fan of it. I enjoyed it from the prospective like ‘this was in the 1960s’ and if I have that frame in mind, I can watch it.
I thought that was an 80s film.
It’s from, no, it’s from 1997 in fact.
Oh, it’s even later than I thought, I made it even worse.
But I think what Joel Schumacher was trying to do was trying to link it to the 60s.
Oh, I see what you’re saying.
And if you kinda look at it from that point of view, it doesn’t seem as terrible. Like they did that on purpose.
Maybe he was going for that kind of like nostalgic…
Maybe. I mean, it doesn’t work for me…
It doesn’t work for anyone.
I kinda tried to look at it from that point of view. So we’ve eluded to the fact, and I’m sure it’s not secret, that he got into films. And he got into acting and yeah, he’s got a strong accent, or he did.
What else did he achieve outside of acting?
Well when he first came to America, he always wanted to be an actor deep down, but his number one goal was to be rich. He wanted to make a million dollars.
So he wanted to make money. He wanted to make that paper.
that was his goal. Well you know, back in the 60s when he came to the US, 1 million dollars was worth maybe 1.6 million dollars today. It’s because of inflation. It was a lot more money back then. I mean, millions is millions.
It’s still a lot I guess.
Okay, so he wanted to make money. And how did that lead him to acting? He just saw that there was more money than in bodybuilding?
Well, actually, in bodybuilding he was very successful. Because of that partnership he had with the founder of Gold’s Gym and with Franko Colombo and with others who were in the scene.
But he really did get into acting because he was tired of the alkaloids, you know, he was tired of, you know, ‘I did that, I accomplished that’. He was Mister Universe a million times, he was mister Olympia a million times.
So now he wanted to move on and broaden his horizons, you’re right, another goal. And at the time, and still today, the big money in the US is in the feature films. And his goal was to make it big as an actor and everyone told him ‘You’ll never do it! Your accent is trash! You look awkward!
They can’t even fit you on the screen’. So they were tearing him down, but you know I gotta give him credit, he did it! He did it.
What’s wrong with my accent?
He actually went into training to get rid of it.
And it caused a lot of problems with his acting, actually. You know that famous line from the terminator ‘I’ll be back!’ He had such a hard time pronouncing that, and in his book about himself, in his autobiography, he says that the director of that film kept saying ‘do it again, do it again, do it again’.
And then he said ‘maybe it can be like a joke? Maybe we can…?’, and he said ‘No, you’re gonna do it again with a proper accent’. So that accent in line that we still joke about, that was him watered down.
Wow. What would that be like, wow. Poor guy.
Yeah, He went to acting classes, he went into accent reduction classes, so he really did put in that time and that money.
It wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t have the accent. Cause that’s what we know him at, actually.
I think that’s why he hasn’t collected to get rid of it. You know, he’s been living in America for 50 years.
He realizes that people… Maybe it’s not.
Maybe he goes onto his wife and he’s like ‘Oh honey, another day being Arnold Schwarzenegger’.
He’s got like the voice bugs, an implant or something.
Maybe, something like that.
We’re gonna come to my favorite part.
I guesses this is where my friend and I back in Northern Ireland – I just light this up - your favorite Arnie films. And I’ll talk about mine and you can talk about yours. So what your favorite Arnie films or Arnold Schwarzenegger films?
That’s a very difficult question. You know he’s made a lot of great movies and a lot of completely trash movies. I think that his best movie would have to – honestly, I know everyone says this ‘Total Recall’, everyone always says ‘Total Recall’ or ‘Terminator’, but I have to join them.
‘Total Recall’ is a phenomenal film and it has this great sort of atmosphere about it. It’s kind of funny seeing what people back then would future would look like.
I love it. I love Total Recall.
I like T2, Terminator 2. I think it’s really unusual that the sequel is better than original. I like Terminator, Terminator is good, but Terminator 2 for me is the best. Better than the original Terminator. My favorite is probably Predator.
Predator! Ooooh! That’s a good one, that’s true!
Really really good. I like that line ‘Get to the choppa!’ I always…
The one you did at the beginning, yeah.
Exactly, yeah. And I also have some guilty pleasures like I like Conan the Barbarian. How do you feel about that?
I think that movie is super cheesy. I think it’s very corny and terrible.
I can’t disagree, but there is something about it, I don’t know. I enjoy it. I mean, there are bits of it that are questionable, but I don’t know, maybe it’s the imagitiveness of it, fantasy world and stuff.
Well, you know, that movie has a cult following. There’s a lot of people who are very dedicated to that movie and be like ‘Oh you can’t talk trash about Conan the Barbarian!’
Yeah. What do you think of his original film? Hercules, 1970.
Hercules in New York – that has to be one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life, if I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m a huge Arnold fan, but, you know, I have some self-respect for what I watch, and I would never watch that movie again. I’ve seen it once, it won’t be twice- that movie is absolute garbage.
I think my experience is only a few clips, I haven’t watched the whole thing. I guess probably – I probably looked at the ratings and I thought ‘it’s not for me’.
It’s got a mixture of use, a mixture of use, but they can’t be totally negative.
Red Heat – oh we should talk about Red Heat!
His accent is used – maybe it’s a bit more extreme to make him sound Russian. He’s like a Russian General or something, isn’t he?
Yeah, he’s like a Russian FBI agent or something like that. Honestly, I forget.
Yeah, maybe KGB. That movie was so weird. It’s funny cause I actually showed my wife that movie, you know, in the movie he says ‘кокаином’, he’s talking about cocaine and my wife, who’s Russian, told me that’s not the Russian word for cocaine.
And he did the same thing, he went ‘Хулиганы’ and this really… It’s weird, I don’t think we should talk about it.
Yeah, maybe we shouldn’t talk about it. Actually, it’s funny, cause when I watched some very stereotypical Russian films like that, it annoys me, cause I know that’s completely wrong, that’s not the way.
Okay, some of the stereotypes have some truth, but the films are taking it to the extreme, it just seems so ridiculous.
That’s true. Especially in the American films, cause if you go back to like the 1970s and 80s, and even somewhen into the 90s, you’ll see a pattern all of the bad guys, who have no good qualities about them, always talk with a Russian accent.
Even if they’re not from Russia! They talk with a Russian accent.
All kind of films. Yeah, I remember old James Bond films and there’s a Russian villain or someone like that with a strong accent, absolutely.
That’s not so much the case anymore. You know, I think that they got old, the people. ‘Oh, another Russian supervillain!’
And the world maybe opened up a little bit more too, I hope.
With the Internet, you know, I think that the world is much more open to ideas and people from other places.
That movie is 9 out of 10.
Yeah, 9/10. What is it? I called to my friend and I said – if my friends were maybe a little bit of a wuss, Andrew, if you’re listening, you’re a bit of a wuss, back in Northern Ireland. I mean, I remember doing this in Australia and he was like ‘There is no toilet’.
Oh he says there’s no bathroom.
Bathroom, right. And I sometimes quote that to my friend just to remind him of that, because he was… Do you remember in the film where he says that to the children, like, 4 or 5 year old or less, and he says that and they start crying, ‘there’s no bathroom’.
He takes the tantrum on the children, it’s quite funny. But it’s actually quite well-written, and it’s, I think, because you see this macho guy in another environment – it just works somehow.
I wasn’t a lover of ‘Junior’ or Twins, which is kinda the same thing.
His comedy roles are very much the mess. But you know? There’s actually one really good comedy he was in, and it’s actually one where he is playing a joke on himself mostly. That’s most of the plot, it’s called ‘Last action hero’.
And in this film he is at the premiere of his own film and he says ‘you know, we’re making a huge effort to make the movies less violent. In my last movie we killed 168 people, in this movie we only killed 120 people, so we’re making it really more sanitized for the families’. So funny!
I like the ‘Last action hero’ actually. Little bit like late 90s, early 2000s he made ‘End of days’.
Terrible, terrible. Most of them are trash.
I was surprised, I did like ‘End of days’ and ‘The sixth day’. Maybe…
Yeah, maybe I have bad taste…
They did have Morgan Freeman in it.
I like it, I like the plot, I like the tone, the feel of it. Maybe I’m a sucker, I don’t know. To use an American expression right.
Isn’t that an American expression?
A sucker is somebody who is like dumb, you know.
I mean like a sucker for a bad film? No?
No, you’re like super naïve.
I’m not using it correctly.
Okay, why don’t you let me use your phone today and I’ll bring it back to you later – said a total stranger, right? That person is a sucker, they’re naïve, they really think they’re gonna bring the phone back.
I liked them. I remember watching them and being quite surprised – these older films of Arnie that came after Batman and Robin are actually kinda good. I kinda… I mean, I wouldn’t compare it to Terminator or Predator, but I liked them. Whereas some of the more recent, like the last 5-6 years…
I have liked almost all of them.
Yeah, we had… This is one thing I guess we disagree on.
I love the recent Arnold films.
Expendables 1 and 2 – I watched them and enjoyed them, but not loved them.
That’s because it feels like an 80s film, it’s almost like a throwback to how they used to be in the movies.
Yeah I guess they were trying to relight the fire or something.
I think I watched the last one with – he’s a policeman. To be honest, I think it’s kinda forgettable.
I would have to agree, it’s a very generic film. But one that isn’t generic, this recent, was ‘Escape’ or ‘Escape Art’ I believe it’s called.
Escape Plan! That’s it, yes! That one is great.
I watched it, it’s got Stallone in it.
Yeah, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold. And, you know, I think they had a great friendship, cause they’re in a lot of movies together. In recent, like the last decade or so.
For me… I’m not a fan of it. I liked it, I enjoyed it, I watched it with Andrew, my friend, actually, who’s big into Arnie too. But… Yeah, it was okay. It was entertaining. But for me – it was not my favorite.
It was not a masterpiece, but I would watch it again.
Yeah. I would with my mate.
Only with your mates, I see.
Arnold movies are best shared with company.
So, we talked a lot about his films. What we like. What about – kinda took a break from the films and went into politics. What happened there? Why did he do that?
I think again it was a new horizons sort of thing. Arnold became the governor of California in 2003 and it’s very strange that he did, or maybe someone would argue he’s not, of course. Everything has an explanation.
But Arnold Schwarzenegger is a republican, and California is a very anti-republicans state. Arnold Schwarzenegger had tough immigration policy, things like this.
That’s kinda ironic though.
Yeah, I know, but, you know, actually, Arnold was saying this in the US and of course it’s controversial. He asked different Americans about this, popping up to get different opinions. Arnold’s opinion was that too many illegal immigrants were coming to America from Mexico.
And they were really kinda ruining manual labor jobs and a lot of republicans agree with him and I think that’s why he got elected. Because the regular people in California were tired of being replaced by illegal immigrants, you know, because it’s such a huge issue in that state. So I think that’s why he came to be… But people tried to get in his way.
He did. There was even a scandal. There was..
Okay. When he was running in 2003, his opposition found a bunch of women who had worked with him in the past, or had had contact with him of some sort. And they got them to say that he groped them, he touched them inappropriately or without consent.
Do you think it was fabricated?
You know, it’s always hard to tell, which is why it’s one of the worst things that can happen to you as a man. It’s always hard to tell, because, you know, could he have done it? Yeah.
But should I assume he did? No. They didn’t really have any proof. But I don’t really wanna be the guy who says ‘Oh they’re a bunch of liars!’ cause I don’t know. I don’t know.
It’s not fair to do that either.
Exactly. But that didn’t stop him, he still won. He still won.
Do you think… This is interesting to me, cause I didn’t know this story, but do you think that it was part of the fact that he was so famous, maybe respect or loved as an actor for his films, especially the Terminator, the Predator, et cetera. Do you think that helped him win?
That, I think, had a lot to do with it.
California after all, Hollywood’s there…
Exactly, And I think that Arnold Schwarzenegger had a lot of connections in the right places, you know. There’s a saying that media is downstream from politics, so the way that the political landscape is in a society shapes the way its media looks and operates.
And Arnold knew a lot of people in the right places I believe. And I think that his likeability, and I think that people were already familiar with him, and being so familiar with someone makes someone much more likeable, and it makes you more likely to trust them.
So a lot of people say that he was a great governor and in my opinion, I agree. He did a lot to help people in California which they have already reversed.
Should he be the governor of Kentucky?
I would… Actually, we have a guy who’s pretty good in Kentucky, but after he retires, yeah, we can walk him over.
Do you think that he can fix the KFC?
Maybe! Maybe, that would be his first agenda! His first agenda.
It’s important, right? It’s important!
Yeah, I think so. It’s part of our culture identity. We need KFC back, Arnold!
This is going off… but we know KFC came from Kentucky, where did McDonalds come from?
I have no idea to be honest. Actually, I do know a little bit about McDonalds, you know. As a fat American, I have to know this stuff… McDonalds was started as a little mom and pop shop, and the way that they met, the people from McDonalds is…
McDonalds used to sell milkshake making machines in the late 50s, early 60s. So they ordered like 3 of these machines, and they got talking about this place, and it looked really nice. And the people from this company really liked the food, they liked it there.
So the people from this company made them an offer and the McDonalds people accepted. I think that was his name – McDonald was his last name, which is why it’s called McDonalds. So they bought the place, and it became a hit.
They started expanding, made some good investments, made some good decisions. And now it’s a multibillion dollar maybe, tens of billions of dollars corporation.
I worked in McDonalds by the way.
In a smaller town. I lived in Belfast, but my hometown is like 22 thousand people. And it’s got like two McDonalds.
Really? Did you enjoy your job in McDonalds?
I don’t think anybody enjoys their job at McDonalds.
I mean, it was an experience worthwhile for me, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it particularly, no.
Well, you know, I think that food servers jobs are not very desirable, but I will say this – in the United States, if you make your way up in McDonalds, you can have a very successful career that pays very well, They pay their managers like 75 thousand dollars a month, which is quite nice.
So it can be beneficial. Maybe I could’ve went that road.
We used to have a word about McDonalds, and the word was McJob. So any job that was undesirable or any job… They always put Mc – like chicken McNuggets, McFlurry ice cream, so we called this a McJob.
And McDonalds got so mad, they tried to sue this dictionary that published it – it was really funny.
Interesting. We can talk more about that, but let’s…
What do you think… Were there any other scandals to hold him back? Or anything that created a problem for him in his life?
I think there were… Well, he’s not foreign to scandals. He has always been subject to some scandals, just because of this man’s popularity, and maybe he has some sort of… huge… But anyway he had a huge scandal,
because it turns out that his son is not his wife’s and it turns out that he had an affair with the cleaning lady and the public found out about this. He had an affair with his maid, who I believe, ironically, was from Mexico or Venezuela, from one of these countries – Guatemala.
So yeah, that wasn’t good for him when the public found out about this.
Do you think this reduced his popularity? His popularity dipped and hasn’t come back?
That’s not the way that America works. It increased his popularity.
Okay. The more people know about you…
Well when you’re like Arnold it’s hard for people to know more about you, it’s like everyone in the US knows who Donald Trump is. It’s the same with Arnold – everyone in the US, even still today, like kids, they know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is. So it’s hard to get more recognition.
Okay, we can get back to that.
What should he do now? Should he get to the choppa?
I think he should come and fix KFC first, but after that – perhaps.
What about his acting career? Do you think he’s making mistakes or is he just not being lucky and not getting into the right films? I’m not loving the more recent films. Maybe you disagree, but…
I do disagree. I think what happening is Arnold is.. He’s old! He’s an old guy, he’s like 60-something or 70-something now! He has to slow down. So I think that right now Arnold Schwarzenegger is still very active – on the Internet and things like this.
But I think that when it comes to his films, he’s kind of shying away from Hollywood, you know, I bet it’s a lot of stress for him in his old age. So, I think he needs to take care of himself, cause actually recently he had an emergency heart surgery.
Yeah. So I think he’s just trying to take care of himself, so Arnold, if you’re listening, which you’re probably not, but if you are – good! Take care of yourself first, before your career!
So maybe he doesn’t need to act anymore. Maybe we need someone else to take his place. Do we need an iconic actor again? Maybe someone listening here that has a really good accent, unique accent.
You! Maybe you can be next American action star!
Do I need to be more into bodybuilding than I had been?
You gotta start now if you want to be as big as Arnold.
Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m just the right guy for that. But I was told when I was a boy I could be an actor, but I think that was just because I was a clown.
Don’t say that, don’t say that!
What do you think Arnie would think if he heard this podcast?
He’d probably think – good I’m glad they like my movies, everybody does.
Maybe he would be just ‘Oh, another fan’.
Probably, yeah. I think he’s so used to being ogled and agled, people asking a lot of these questions. Can you give an autograph? Can you make a video for my cousin, he loves you! You know, I’m sure he gets used to this.
Yeah, definitely. Arnold, if you are watching this, hit me up on my cell, I would love to do some work with you some day, you know. Maybe collaborate, maybe we can fix KFC together.
Yeah! He just needs to gain like 50 pounds of fat and it’ll be perfect.
So, let’s summarize what we talked about. So we talked a little bit about where Arnie came from, his origin story if you like. How he got jacked up, what films he got into, his acting career, his success.
His politics and scandals connected with him. And what we think maybe he should do or maybe shouldn’t do now, and the future for Arnie. And I think he’s had a great career. Maybe it’s time just let’s relax a bit, sit back and enjoy the life. So that was the craic about…