Arnold Schwarzenegger was recently at the ESPN portion of the TCA Press Tour, to talk about the 30 for 30 Shorts documentary series which follows his time spent in the Austrian military service and rise to international fame.
Towards the end of the panel, talk turned to his acting career, and why Schwarzenegger took so long to team up with Sylvester Stallone. He explains how he got involved with The Expendables, his larger role in the sequel, as well as teaming up with Stallone again for The Tomb, an action thriller due out in 2013.
Q: Fans have been wanting you to team up with Sylvester Stallone for decades and now you’ve done three movies with him, with Expendables,Expendables 2 and The Tomb. What made now the right time to finally team up?
We’re in love with each other. What’s really weird about it is that, for 20 years, we have been trying to do that and people have looked for scripts, but there was always something off. The script was not right or the studio was not as interested in it as we were, or he was in the middle of shooting or having a commitment for three other movies. So, it just didn’t happen. And then, one day, I was sitting at my hairdresser and Sly [Stallone] came up to me and said, “Oh, man, it would be so great, if you could just do a little something in my Expendables movie.” I said, “The only way I can do anything for you is if I do it on the weekend, and not take away my work for the people. They would get very upset, if they knew I was shooting on Thursday and Friday for The Expendables and not doing the people’s work.” So he said, “We can arrange that. Let me call your agent.” I said, “You don’t have to call my agent. I make the decisions. I’m in. We have to be able to do it on Saturday, for a few hours. Whatever you can write up, I’m in.” He said, “Well, I just want to talk about the fee.” I said, “You don’t have to pay me. I’m in! I’ll do it for you.” That’s what somewhat broke the ice.
And then, after the movie came out and he directed the scene that I did, and people laughed and liked the scene, he asked me, “Can you be a part of the second one, but instead of four hours, can you do four days?,” and I said yes. I said, “Maybe next time, I’ll be there for four weeks, if this movie does well.” I’ll work my way up to four months, which is the amount of time he usually spends on one of those movies.
And then, he had The Tomb, which we did together. Again, he told Mark Canton, the producer, “I don’t want to do the movie without having Arnold as the partner.” So, Mark Canton came to me, but I had another commitment, at that point. I had to undo another commitment. I read the script and it was a really terrific script, so I said, “Okay, I’ll do this.” That’s how it happened. I don’t know if there will be another movie that we do together, or if there will be 10 more. We have no plan. But, the way it looks right now, with the test scores the way that they are, The Expendables 2 is going to be a big hit. It’s going to most likely be a bigger hit than the last one. And then, he will probably come back and ask me again to be in the next movie.