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The World According to Arnold

Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger knows what he wants—and usually gets it.
David Shaw
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 8)

 

"I said to Franco as we walked out of City Hall [with a business license], 'Can you believe this? They didn't ask anything. We didn't put up any money. We didn't have to have any banking proofs or any [college] degrees, any of these complications.' "

 

Schwarzenegger was a natural businessman and promoter--he designed the brochures for the mail-order business--and with the profits from his early endeavors, he invested in a six-unit apartment house and an office building. He also went to school at night--to three different schools--studying marketing, economics, political science, history and art. Cumulatively--and quickly--these early business and academic activities marked the true beginning of Schwarzenegger's love affair with America.

"I could see firsthand," he says, "that if you were willing to work hard, you could really make it. This is the place with the greatest opportunities of anywhere in the world."

 

His boundless ambition and restless energy left him perpetually hungry for new challenges. As a bodybuilder, he had long been a performer--he could often lift 60 more pounds in front of an audience than he could when he was alone in the gym. With Hollywood right down the freeway, his next move was almost predestined.

"I was always fascinated with entertainment, with acting, with performing," Schwarzenegger says. "I think in my blood there's something that makes me want to be a performer. That's the way I was in bodybuilding; the more you showed your personality to the people, the more you expressed [yourself], the more you could entertain the people," the better the audience liked it--"you could tell from the applause. The next natural step for me was to go into acting."

His first movie was Hercules in New York, which was released in the United States only on television (although it did play in theaters in South America). In it, Schwarzenegger's voice was dubbed, and he was billed as "Arnold Strong," his accent at that time being impenetrable and his name having been deemed unpronounceable.

"But deep down inside," he says, "I felt that it was wrong" to change names.


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