"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California. There's a perfectly ordinary English sentence."
Austrian-born actor (born in 1947, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1983), former bodybuilder, and Governator
of the state of California
from 2003 to 2011, a fact that a lot of people in general find to be very funny. He broke into acting with an unfortunate Hercules
movie, which he then followed with Conan the Barbarian
. He is now most famous for his roles in action films such as the Terminator
series and Predator
, with characters that always have a thick Austrian accent
(it has, in fact, become so iconic of him that he has a speech coach to help him maintain the accent after years in America). His comedies (and even his later action films) vary. He was also a lifelong friend of Stan Winston
, the master-puppeteer who quite literally made The Terminator
out of him.
Also famous for his many Bond
and Pre Mortem
one liners; some of the cornier ones end up getting oft repeated for the sake of their corniness
Note also he is not
as dumb as he looks, as he was smart enough to graduate with a University Degree in Business and Economics. When he made his breakthrough as an action star with Conan the Barbarian
, he had already been a self-made milionaire for years, due to a number of smart business decisions. The acting was more of a hobby, and you could call him a Genius Bruiser
in Real Life
. Indeed, if you watch the documentary Pumping Iron
, we see a young Arnold talking about his use of psychological warfare against his fellow body builders, meaning he was trying to outsmart his competitors
in what just about everyone else would consider a purely physical activity.
As governor of California, was a real-life case of Asskicking Equals Authority
. If his political and business career are anything to judge him by, he's much smarter than people
give him credit for. You know that vast fortune he has? Most of it didn't come from acting. He's also the biggest JFK
fan known to man, being the man who paid thousands for a set of golf clubs used by JFK as well as marrying into the family... and yet, somewhat oddly, he's a Republican. A rather liberal Republican (especially in an era where Glenn Beck
and Bill O'Reilly
are major opinion leaders), but a Republican nonetheless. Also, he credits his loyalty to the Republican Party to a speech by an American President while he was still in Austria. The president? Richard Nixon
. Chew on that for a while.
Went on record saying that when his gubernatorial term expired in January 2011, he will not seek another term, nor will he run for a House or Senate seat. Most likely because the harsh realities of Politics
have been less than kind to him due to him being too far to the left of his own party and too far to the right for the Democrats. The sex scandal didn't help either. He has since confirmed that he will be returning to films. Unless the Constitution is amended to allow foreign-born citizens to run for President...
Also of note being a real life Determinator
, claiming that choosing it as a life philosophy was the key to his success.
Not to be confused with The Ahnold
, though he's the Trope Namer
Tropes associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Abusive Parents / “Well Done Son” Guy: Arnold disclosed in 2004 that he was abused by his father as a child which led to an emotional gap between the two men that was never reconciled. Arnold was the Un Favorite, (wrongly) suspected by his father of being the product of an affair by his mother. No wonder his Papa Wolf scenes play so well!
- The Ahnold: The Trope Codifier and Trope Namer.
- Badass / One-Man Army: A common theme of his characters, and a key part of his image.
- Bond One-Liner: Arnold has always been great at these (especially in Commando). Say what you will about his acting, it's impossible to deny that he has a good sense of comedic timing.
- Cigar Chomper
- Defeat Means Friendship: Arnold engaged in fierce rivalries with Sergio Oliva (bodybuilding), Sylvester Stallone (acting) and Gray Davis (for the governorship of California), but became friends with all of them, one he has defeated each of them.
- (Whether Arnold really "defeated" Stallone would be a matter of movie fan opinion, though.)
- The Stallone rivalry may have been more tabloid hype than anything else. During that same period, the two were not only friends but business partners (in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain).
- The Determinator: A real-life example. When Arnold decided he wanted to become the world's best bodybuilder, he did it. Then he decided he wanted to become the biggest movie star on the planet, he did that also. Then he decided to become the Governor of California and pulled that off as well. When Arnold decides he wants to do something, it's wise not to bet against him.
- His action film roles are the epitome of this trope. If Schwarzenegger's bent on protecting someone, taking someone down, or fulfilling some other goal, it doesn't matter what stands in his way.
- Dull Surprise: His most notable roles are an emotionless robot, an emotionless soldier, an emotionless ex-soldier and an emotionless barbarian warrior. Really, Schwarzenegger is the best when he can play a killing machine (either literally or figuratively). Honestly, you do not want to see him try to act emotions. It can alternate between bad acting (Jingle All The Way), weird facial expressions (Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall (1990)), overacting for the sake of it (Batman & Robin) or for fun (True Lies). His best performance ironically came in a parody film: Last Action Hero. He actually shows some emotional depth in the film.
- Genius Bruiser: His muscles may have made him a household name, but his brains are what made his fortune via success in business (most of his money comes from investments, real estate, and ownership of several companies) and politics.
- Handsome Lech: In Real Life, he's known to be a bit...touchy with the ladies, and has boundary issues. Supposedly, his father thought he might be gay so he often tried to encourage little Arnie to chase skirts as much as he can, so this is likely a result of that up bringing.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: To the point that whole films have been made specifically to be Arnold does X: "Ahnold gets pregnant," "Ahnold shops for Christmas toys," etc.
- Large Ham: When the role allows him to definitely not take it serious, Arnold will overact as much as possible.
- Missed Moment of Awesome: Arnold has expressed regrets that he was never able to do a movie with Eddie Murphy.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Arnold ALWAYS talks in his well-known accent. No matter what part he's playing. In most cases, this can be excused because his characters are rarely, if ever, claimed to be native born, so there's nothing stopping the character from being an Austrian immigrant. Still, one has to wonder why the T-800 has an accent that will make him stick out almost as much as his horrifying metal skeleton.
- This gets Lampshaded every now and then. For instance, a deleted scene in Terminator 3 shows him as the human the T-800 was modeled on, speaking with a silly and whimsical Southern accent. When someone comments on the voice, a scientist, speaking in Arnold's actual voice, responds "We can fix it."
- James Cameron has said that he liked the thick accent because it made it seem like Skynet hadn't finished development on the Terminators. The T-1000 would correct this issue.
- Old Shame: Arnold's father was a member of the Nazi Party in Austria before and during World War II and Arnold has spent much of his career battling accusations that he is a fascist sympathizer because of this.note
- Arnold has also expressed regret over appearing in the Red Sonja film (flat-out stating on a few occasions that it's the worst movie he ever appeared in), and has joked that he used to punish his children's bad behavior by making them watch it from start to finish.
- He also disliked Hercules in New York.
- His recent sex scandal could probably become this in the next years, although he may have averted it in this case by 1) having been discovered to have actually financially supported his mistress and illegitimate son (which is how the story came out in the first place) and 2) reconciling with his wife (though they eventually divorced in 2011).
- Papa Wolf: As shown by Commando, Kindergarten Cop and even Terminator 2: Judgment Day, hurt a child or a teenager near to him and Arnie WILL fuck you up so bad that you'll need more than one coffin to be buried in.