Given his resume, it’s understandable that Arnold Schwarzenegger would think he knew all there was to know about action movies. So naturally when “Sabotage” director David Ayer suggested the former California governor sign up for some weapons training prior to filming, he balked. “Why do I need weapons training? I mean, I’ve shot more guns than anyone in movie history and killed more people than anyone, so why do we need to go through weapons training?” he remembers thinking.
But Schwarzenegger was actually impressed by Ayer’s push for realism and technical accuracy — and with just the fact that the “End of Watch” director had work for the “Terminator” star to do at all. “I love that he pushed me,” he says. “Sometimes directors get intimidated when they meet someone like me. They say, ‘I’m looking forward to working with you’ and ‘Let’s just figure out how we’re going to get ready for the movie’ and those kinds of things. But David came in and was very clear with the set of things that needed to be done.”
He also knows that the filmmaking world has changed a great deal since his action heyday, and because of that a decent amount of preparation goes a long way. “When you get to the set, the day is not anymore like in the ’80s and ’90s, where a studio would raise $100 million and you would have a great action movie. Those were the old days,” Schwarzenegger says. “The budgets are half of what they used to be because the rest of the money is being used for the franchise movies and the big sequels and stuff like that. It’s a different world, but you have to adjust to that.”
Making “Sabotage” didn’t just present Schwarzenegger with a new kind of filmmaking experience, but also a new type of character to play. “From an acting point of view, it was the most challenging because I’ve never played a character like this,” he says of his role in the morally murky DEA thriller. “My characters usually play black and white and I’m the good guy and I upset the bad guys, and then with a little bit of humor throughout the movie and that’s it.”
The family business
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the only actor in his family anymore, as 20-year-old son Patrick has already started popping up on screen in “Grown Ups 2” and the upcoming “Dead Eleanor.” So how does his 66-year-old father feel about Patrick getting in on the game?
“My son is heavily into acting but at the same time I have him go to the university and study business. Then after that he really can decide if he wants to be a full-time actor,” Arnold says. “Hopefully he will decide what his passion is. I always try to teach kids to find what your passion is because I despise when kids get out of college and have no idea what they’re going to do. I say to myself, ‘Well, what does that mean? You’re 22 years old and you don’t know what you like in life?’ It’s unacceptable.”
And should Patrick decide his passion really is for acting, Dad is naturally wishing for the best. “I hope that he has a successful career,” he says. “Right now with the way he looks, he should do more love stories. I wish I was as good looking as he is when I was his age.”