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Monday, 3 December 2012

#26: Arnie the Reinventinator

I'm reading Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography Total Recall at the moment. Now there's a guy who’s made some sh*t happen in his life.

Mr. Universe at 20; The Terminator at 37; and Kindergarten Cop at 43. And that was just for starters. He also auditioned and got the role of The Governator; a 2003 movie – something to do with politics – which critics hailed a success, if a little long, at just over seven years.

Madonna gets many plaudits for her powers of reinvention; but Arnie surely takes the prize. The: How Many Kickass Careers Can You Fit Into One Lifetime? award. To go with his five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia crowns.

Apparently the latter was more prized than the former; though surely Universe should be bigger than Olympia? Having said that, Arnie (and I’m going to keep referring to him as just Arnie, as his last name’s too hard to keep spelling error-free) was also a six-time winner of the Mr. Galaxy title. Which, far from being the biggest of the lot (as logic would dictate), was actually a gong given to those who could blitz through 10 boxes of a certain brand of chocolate bar the quickest. Who knew those bulging biceps were made of chocolate?

Having left Austria at around 19, following a year causing chaos driving a tank around in the Austrian army (it was either a year of service or a year spent lodging with the Von Trapp family; and Arnie admitted the Sound of his Music just wasn’t up to scratch – even if he quite fancied Mary Poppins…); then cementing his legacy as one of the finest exponents of a Heman lookalike posing well in a skimpy thong, Arnie made good on his promise to become one of the world’s finest wooden actors with a dodgy-but-endearing ‘English’ accent. Not least as James Cameron’s epic Terminator.

An incredible chest. Taut muscles. Insatiable energy. And a never-say-die attitude. Linda Hamilton was a star in The Terminator. All flustered femininity and cowgirl chutzpah. And then there was Arnie...

To read the rest of this column, check out BC Johnny's upcoming book: Chilled Almonds.  

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