In an upcoming interview on The Graham Norton Show, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalls saying no to the naysayers about his dreams of being a world-famous bodybuilder, and then an actor.
“You can imagine when you have big dreams, people say, ‘This guy is crazy.’ Even my parents thought that I was kind of out of my mind, right?” the Terminator icon says.
He continues, “When I said I wanted to be a bodybuilding champion, they said, ‘Well, we understand if you want to be a ski champion, we’re in Austria. … bodybuilding is an American sport,'” Arnold said, cracking up the studio audience and his fellow guests, including Judi Dench.
He added, “Then when I wanted to go into acting, it was the same thing. They said, ‘It will never happen.'” He recalled being told no one with a German accent had ever become an international leading man in movies.
Schwarzenegger said he was told, “‘Plus, your body: look at you. You weigh 250 pounds.’ I mean, this is now the ’70s … now it’s Dustin Hofffman, and Al Pacino and Woody Allen: Those are the sex symbols of the ’70s.”
He added, “‘And the name: Shwarzenschnitzel,’ whatever they said to me, ‘that’s too long of a name, no one will be able to pronounce that.'”
“I didn’t listen to the naysayers,” Arnold said, adding he saw himself becoming an action star like Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson. He was told, “‘You will never be able to climb that ladder.'” So, Arnold said, he told them he’d make his own ladder.
The interview airs on BBC America on Thursday, November 2, at 11 p.m. ET; The Graham Norton Show also streams Fridays on AMC+ and Acorn TV.
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