Arnold Schwarzenegger, an embodiment of the American Dream and an emblem of versatility, is more than just a superstar. As intriguing as his multifaceted life is, here are six captivating facts about the Austrian Oak that go beyond the silver screen.
1. From AWOL to America: In 1965, young Arnold daringly defied the mandatory year of military service in Austria to pursue his passion for bodybuilding. This bold decision landed him in military prison for a week, but it also paved his path to success. He won the bodybuilding contest he had deserted the army to participate in, which propelled him towards larger contests and ultimately a one-way ticket to America. Displaying a hint of nostalgia, Schwarzenegger even purchased the tank he had driven during his military service.
2. Self-Made Millionaire before Stardom: Schwarzenegger’s entrepreneurial spirit shone early on. Upon his arrival in America, he founded a bricklaying business. His acumen did not stop there; he invested wisely in real estate and a mail-order bodybuilding equipment company. By the age of 22, before he had even made his first movie, Schwarzenegger had become a self-made millionaire.
3. A Difficult Childhood: Arnold’s childhood was marred by the harsh realities of his father’s Nazi affiliations during World War II. A misunderstanding about his passion for bodybuilding led his parents to mistakenly believe he was gay, which resulted in mistreatment at home. Schwarzenegger chose to prioritize his career over personal relationships, a choice starkly highlighted when he skipped his father’s funeral due to a bodybuilding competition scheduled two months later.
4. A Real-Life Terminator Moment: On an amusing afternoon during the filming of The Terminator, Arnold stepped into a downtown L.A. restaurant for lunch, still wearing his gory Terminator makeup. Oblivious to his transformation, he requested a table in character. The unsuspecting host and restaurant patrons were sent into a frenzy at the sight of the terrifying figure from an as-yet-unknown movie.
5. The Voice That Wasn’t Enough: Despite his recognizable voice, Schwarzenegger was denied the opportunity to voice his character in the German dub of “The Terminator”. The producers felt his Austrian accent lacked the toughness befitting the Terminator, leading to an odd fact: Schwarzenegger has never dubbed his own voice in any of his movies.
6. Catchphrase King: Schwarzenegger’s iconic line “I’ll be back” from the Terminator series isn’t restricted to the dystopian franchise. This catchphrase has made its way into 11 other movies, including Commando, The Running Man, and Total Recall, establishing Arnold’s knack for leaving a memorable impression on his audience.