20 Things You Never Knew About Arnold Schwarzenegger
1. He knew from a young after he wanted to be a bodybuilder
It will come as no surprise to learn that Arnold knew he wanted to be a bodybuilder from a young age. He was 13 years old when he first picked up a barbell and decided this would be his ambition to pursue a career in it by the time he turned 14 years old.
His commitment was unlike anything you see normally, which is probably why he became so successful with what he was doing. In fact, he would often bream into his local gym on weekends in order to train, because it was closed on weekends and he wanted to be consistent with his training.
2. He went AWOL from the army in order to pursue his dream
His passion was never in the army, but during a year of national service with the Austrian army Arnold decided to pack up and leave just so he could participate in a bodybuilding competition. His heart was never with the army, but this defiance led to some penalties.
He was ordered to spend a full week in an army jail because of his disobedience and leaving without any notice. This just showed the people around him that he was willing to do anything that it was going to take in order to follow his dreams of being a bodybuilder.
3. He picked up English in the East End of London
At this point in his life, he was living with his coach Charles Bennett. The pair met when he was one of the judges of a 1966 competition that Schwarzenegger was participating in. He decided that he wanted to coach him and offered him a place to stay whilst they trained together.
They lived together in Forest Gate in his crowded family home that was actually above one of the trainer’s gyms in London. It was at this point in his life where he learned his English London’s East End. He also explained that being able to stay with Bennett changed his life completely.
4. Was he an illegal immigrant?
Arnold was only 21 years old when he made the big move over to the United States of America, but there has been speculation about how accurate his visa was at the time and whether he violated the rules, so he might have been classed as an illegal immigrant into the USA.
Obviously, there hasn’t been any resounding evidence to prove the authenticity of his visa at the time when he was just 21 years old. So, this is something that cannot be condoned. But this just goes to show how much he wanted to pursue his dreams and is consistent with his rule breaking to do so.
5. He could have been the Hulk
Back in the 70s, the show ‘The Incredible Hulk’ was released and shown on screens everywhere. But, did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally considered to be cast as the Hulk himself? Sadly, he lost out to Lou Ferrigno because apparently he wasn’t tall enough for the role.
However, later that decade he did make an appearance in the 1979 comedy The Villain. He starred alongside Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret. This was the decade when he began making a name for himself in the world of television and film. It was the 80s where he became the superstar we all know him as today.
6. He was credited with an alternative name on his first film
The first film that Arnie appeared in was ‘Hercules in New York’ which was released in 1970. Instead of his original name, they put his name on the credits as “Arnold Strong”. It isn’t clear who made the decision to give a completely new name to this iconic actor.
Luckily, this didn’t stick. From then on, he was known as the one and the only Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite this being a lengthy name, his actual birth name suits him so much better than Arnold Strong. It also gives an insight into his heritage and its great he has stuck with this.
7. “I’ll be back” nearly wasn’t in the film
We can’t hear about Arnold Schwarzenegger without wanting to quote one of the most famous lines in any movie ever. Yes, we are talking about the line ‘I’ll Be Back’ which featured in ‘The Terminator’. This line has made history and will continue to be quoted by anyone who has seen the film.
But, what if you were to know that this line wasn’t going to be featured in the film originally. Instead, the script was originally written as “I’ll Come Back”. This is one of those times when incredibly minor tweaks have a huge impact on the entire move. “I’ll come back” doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it?
8. He could have starred in Die Hard
One of the most iconic films of all time had originally had the plan to offer the role of John McClane to Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, he decided that this wasn’t the role for him and made the decision to turn down the offer. Instead, Bruce Willis took up this role.
Now we’ve seen the film, it’s hard to picture anyone but Bruce Willis playing this role. There was, however, a reference to Arnold in the actual film. At one point during the film Bruce Willis has a line where he says that the terrorists: “have enough explosives to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger”.
9. He had the best body in the history of the world
Due to being a body builder, there’s no denying that his whole career was around how he looked and based around the shape of his body. Now, this statement of him having the ‘best body in the history of the world’ isn’t just an observation that people make about his body.
No, this is actually something that has been confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records. That is some achievement and just goes to show that hard work pay off. The commitment and training that he put into his passion has proved worthwhile for everything he’s achieved.
10. His dollar to word ratio in the Terminator 2 was astonishing
The Terminator really doesn’t have much to say throughout the films – that is the mysterious essence that helps build this fascinating character. But, have you ever been curious to work out how much he actually earned based on a word for word basis?
Well, this is an eye watering amount that we could only dream of. In fact, he got paid an astonishing $21,429 for every single world that he had to say in the Terminator 2. Maybe he should have requested a few extra lines to bump up his pay for the film!
11. He liked to stay in style when he was filming
When the filming for ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’ was being filmed, he was paid an eye watering $30 million. But, what people don’t realise is that during the filming Arnold Schwarzenegger also demanded that there be a budget set aside for him whilst he was filming.
In fact, it was written in his contract that $1.5 million was set aside for private jets, gym use, nice hotel suites, limousines and also personal bodyguards (not that he couldn’t fight anyone off himself), for him to use at any point during the filming.
12. He saved someone’s life
This wasn’t something that was hugely publicised, but among all of his other achievements Arnold Schwarzenegger actually had the fact he saved a man’s life to add to the list of things he was good at. This incident happened when he was on holiday in Hawaii.
He spotted a man that was struggling in the sea. Apparently, he was suffering from multiple cramps when Arnold saw him and he immediately recognised that this man needed help as he was struggling in the water. He swam out and helped him get back to shore safely.
13. He works out a lot
Do you ever wonder what kind of commitment it takes to sculpt a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger and be strong enough to win the title of the best body in the history of the world? Well, it’s going to take a lot of time and commitment to achieve a title like that.
In fact, to put a number on it, he spent the six months leading up to ‘Terminator Genisys’ to get his body to perfection. Every single day he spent three hours in the gym, perfecting his physique. The body of young Arnie was actually actor Brett Azar as he had the most similar physique to Arnold.
14. He has accomplished every single one of his life goals
Arnold Schwarzenegger has shown that you can’t let anything get in the way of you achieving your goals. What he did when he was younger was outline three goals for himself to achieve and then did everything in his power to achieve them. Firstly, he wanted to move to America which he did at 21.
Then, he wanted to become an actor – which he clearly had no trouble doing. His acting career started back in the 70s and spanned decades. Finally, he wanted to marry a Kennedy. He married Maria Shriver who was a niece of John F Kennedy, back in 1986.
15. He fathered someone else’s child
Arnold was married to President John F. Kennedy’s niece, Maria Shriver. The pair tied the knot in 1986, but sadly they separated in 2011. Sadly, their divorce was fully finalised in 2021. But, the reason behind their divorce will definitely shock you.
In 2011 he admitted that he had fathered a child with one of their housemaids that was looking after the house. This was back in 1997 that this happened and was the reason for their divorce in 2011. He did wait some time before telling her and it took a while for the divorce to go through fully.
16. His brother passed away when they were younger
In 1971 his older brother Meinhard sadly passed away. After having multiple drinks and then getting behind the wheel, he lost control of the car and ended up crashing it. Sadly, he died instantly. Naturally, the loss of his brother rocked Arnold completely.
He didn’t have a great relationship with his brother when he was growing up, and this had a lot to do with how differently his father treated them both. As a result of this, he didn’t end up attending the funeral of his brother which is heartbreaking.
17. His father treated him badly when he was growing up
Back in 2004, he finally opened up and began describing the most dark days of his childhood in vivid detail: “My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was.” But he did say that he got the beatings worse than any other kid.
Because he wanted to get out of there he thought to himself: “This is not going to be for much longer, because I’m going to move out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be somebody.” Good for him, this is exactly what he needed to do and he did it.
18. He used performance enhancing drugs
If an actor gets caught these days using steroids or any performance enhancing drugs, then it is a fact that their whole sporting career will likely come to end. But, it wasn’t the same back in the 70s. So much so, that Arnold never hid anything behind anyone’s back.
Back in the 70s he openly admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and was very matter of fact about the whole thing. He said that these drugs helped him to maintain his huge muscle size. For him, these weren’t anything to be ashamed of and instead just helped him on his way to perfecting his body.
19. He had a feud with Stallone
Arnold Schwarzenegger had plenty of rivals, but the biggest one of all time way Sylvester Stallone. Both of these two men rose to fame and it wasn’t long before they were making headlines with their feud. With both of them name dropping the other in interviews.
They both bad mouthed each other and then tried to make every movie following their feud bigger and better than the last. There was no denying that there was bad blood between the two action heroes, but this is something that audiences just couldn’t get enough of.
20. Fame wasn’t enough, he wanted more
He was a big dreamer, and him achieving all his goals just proved this. But, it was back in 2003 when he stunned everyone when he made a big announcement on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He announced that was going to run for Governor of California.
People were confused, not knowing whether to laugh or take this statement truthfully. His campaign was by no means traditional, he never held public office once and refused to appear in any debates – apart from one. He was elected with 48.6% of the votes.