“I have to rely 50% on my body”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Got Bored of Killing Bad Guys and Ripping His Shirt Off to Prove He is an Action Hero

Arnold Schwarzenegger Got Bored of Killing Bad Guys and Ripping His Shirt Off to Prove He is an Action Hero
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Action films have carried a lot of weight in Hollywood, especially in the ’80s, the infamous era of greed marked by a bout of vehement preoccupation with aesthetics. While science fiction and horror films found an especially colossal market during this time, action ventures like The Terminator, Die Hard, and Top Gun too, ruled the theatres.


Enter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the big cheese of action movies.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger – When Hollywood’s Action Icon Felt Jaded

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been hailed as one of the most legendary action stars in the film industry. In his lengthy career spanning more than five decades, Schwarzenegger has starred in film after hit film with some of his most notable works including Predator, The Terminator, Total Recall, and True Lies.

Even at the age of 75, the Commando star’s penchant for the genre of action hasn’t diminished. However, for all his devotion to it, there came a time when the retired professional bodybuilder got sick of doing the same old dance of thrashing the bad guys and showing off his immaculate Herculean build on the big screens. Sure, he had a strong penchant for partaking in action sequences, but Schwarzenegger soon found himself itching to explore something different.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Terminator (1984)

“It was very clear that I’ve arrived in a movie where I have to rely 50% on my body and 50% on my acting,” the Primetime Emmy Award winner told Howard Stern in an old interview. “The trick really was how do I slowly switch to 60/40, 70/30.” While James Cameron’s The Terminator felt like a reprieve from the stereotypical action movies that he’d been leading, Schwarzenegger was still getting toppled by a horde of projects with the same themes, the monotony of which started to get to him.


“Action, heroic, kick-as*s – one script would be 78 kills and the other would be maybe 54 kills, but it was all the same kind of thing. It was often ripping off the shirt and showing the muscles to make sure that they understand that yeah, I am the real true action hero.”

This is when the genre of comedy first showed up in Schwarzenegger’s career.

See also: “Don’t tell me how to write. I don’t tell you how to act”: James Cameron Was Furious after Arnold Schwarzenegger Tried Changing Iconic $78M Movie Line

Twins (1988) – How It Came to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Rescue

After an insightful conversation with the late filmmaker Ivan Reitman, the former governor of California got encouraged to dip his toes in the vast ocean of comedies and light-hearted films. This change of scenery, Schwarzenegger felt, was especially necessary to bring to light the humorous, more “innocent” side of him that got overshadowed owing to gritty and violent scripts that he generally partook in.


See also: “I wanted to do it really badly”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Blames Director for Killing His $216M Sequel Dream With Danny DeVito After Tragic Incident

Twins (1988)

“I have a funny side of me, and also this innocent side,” he remarked. “I was not able to show on a screen because of the way action movies are written, t’s much more one-dimensional. The rhythm of a comedy is quite different; the way you talk is different than in an action movie.”

Thanks to Reitman’s words of wisdom, Schwarzenegger then decided to star in Twins, a comedy wherein he worked with Danny DeVito and one that helped him discover his love for the genre.


Twins can be streamed on Netflix.

Source: The Howard Stern Show 


Written by Khushi Shah

Articles Published: 715

With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 600 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an avid reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.