It's been a busy week for Arnold Schwarzenegger. First, he starred in a brilliant Bjorn Borg-inspired Bud Light Super Bowl teaser ad, and then he topped that with a hilarious "undercover" turn as Howard the trainer at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach to promote his charity After-School All-Stars.
In the middle of all that, the longtime Reddit fan took to the site to do another "AMA" (Ask Me Anything) session. Not one to do something halfway, he was surprisingly open to fans who asked him questions about all aspects of his life. From subjects like near death experiences on set, Andre the Giant and working out, to more personal questions, here are some highlights from the Q&A session (Arnold's Reddit username is GovSchwarzenegger).
On almost getting passed up for his most iconic role:
I remember hearing that James Cameron did not originally want you for the role of the Terminator. But then you guys went for lunch and he changed his mind. If this is true what did you say or do to convince him you were right for the role? Huge fan by the way!
Actually, the story is a little different. I wanted the role of Kyle Reese when we went to lunch. I did not want to be the Terminator. I didn't think I had established myself yet enough as a hero to be a villain. When I started in Hollywood, all they offered was villains. So I wanted to really establish myself first.
But I told Jim some of my ideas about how the Terminator should train (not looking while loading weapons, not blinking, no emotions. I said the guy had to train blindfolded.) The Terminator, by the way, at that time, was O.J. Simpson.
Jim told me I had to do it. He was right.
On near-death experiences:
What is nearest you have ever been to death?
I have two from movies.
On The 6th Day, there was a scene where I hide underwater behind embryos. I did a rehearsal with goggles and everything went fine. But when we actually shot, I couldn't see because the water was milky. So I ran out of air and went to the top and realized I didn't know where to get out. I was trapped. Then a hand grabbed me and pulled me out. It was my stunt double, Billy Lucas. He'd been watching from below with a tank and goggles and realized I was in big, big trouble.
On True Lies, you probably remember the horse scene. There was a shot where the horse had to stop at the edge of a building. They built a little ramp to give the horse longer to stop. But when they were measuring the new distance from the ramp to the camera, they dropped the arm of the camera on the horse's nose, and it went crazy, spinning and rearing. There was no rail, and the ramp was only 4 feet wide. I realized it was a bad situation and I slid off the horse right away and a stunt man grabbed me. That one was really scary. If the horse stepped a foot the wrong way, we would have fallen 90 feet to a cement floor.
These stories are why I will always love stunt people.
On his favorite cheat meals:
What do you usually eat on your "cheat day"?
Schnitzel, Kaiserschmarrn, ice cream. You really can't go wrong with Austrian food when you want to indulge.
On the highlights and lowlights of his career:
Of all the things you are famous for, which are you most proud of? Which are you least proud of?
I'm most proud that I was smart enough to immigrate to the greatest country in the world where I could accomplish all of my dreams.
I'm least proud of the mistakes I made that caused my family pain and split us up.
On getting into fights:
So, you're a big guy and an action movie star, but when was the last time you were in an actual physical confrontation? Not that you would promote violence or anything, but s--t happens, right? Did you win the fight?
A few months ago, I got rear-ended by this guy. He took off, and I chased him. I will admit I drove at a slightly excessive speed. I cut him off, and two guys jumped out of the car looking tough.
But when they saw me, they just said, "Oh s--t! The Terminator!" They were nice, and gave me their information.
On getting in touch with his feminine side:
You're Conan the Barbarian, Mr. Olympia, the f--king Terminator. But I want to know: what is the most feminine part of you?
Besides Junior? I like to paint. I paint all of my Christmas cards.
I also drew a cat for my Reddit secret santa, but I can't find the link quickly.
On his best training and supplement advice:
Hey Arnold, long time fan. Couple of questions:
1) How do you like having your own range of supplements? Have you been using them? If I take them will I be able to kill Predator?
2) I feel like my deltoids are really lacking. Any particular dumbbell exercises you feel really work for you on the deltoids? (I only have access to dumbbells)
EDIT: You guys think I should try Arnold press. Don't steal Arnold's thunder.
EDIT 2: Arnold responded to me. I will now die a happy man.
1. It is fantastic to have my own line. It's something I waited a long time to do and I'm happy to have them formulated with what I consider the best ingredients to recover and rest. I don't know if you could beat the predator, but you could set a few new records for yourself. And yes, I take them.
2. Perfect. Dumbbells are better than barbells for your delts. First, the Arnold Press. Start with a weight you can do 6 times. After 6, pick the next weight down. Work down the rack and do at least five sets. No rest, because picking up the lighter weight should be easy. Once you finish that, do lateral raises the same way. When I did this, I couldn't move my arms after, but it works.
On getting the runs on the run:
Did the Predator ever make you s--t yourself? It did for me when I was younger
Not because of the predator. But during the shooting of the movie, I got really sick in Puerto Vallerta.
I will spare you the details, but while I was on a run, the runs hit. I ran to the side of the road and some cars driving by got quite the show.
After the AMA, Arnold posted a video on his YouTube account thanking his fans: