Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new self-help book out called Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, and in it he reveals the lessons he learned while filming and training for his first starring role in a Hollywood movie – Conan the Barbarian. They include horse-riding, jumping, climbing, and….biting a dead vulture. That last one is a pretty weird inclusion in a self-help book, we’ll be honest, Arnie.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was of course a champion body-builder and became Mr. Universe before making the move to Hollywood. He was obviously physically fit, but learning the skills involved in turning himself into Conan sounds quite…challenging, to say the least.
Clearly learning this very particular set of skills worked, because Schwarzenegger became arguably the best action movie star of all time. “I learned to ride horses and camels and elephants. I learned how to jump from large rocks, how to climb and swing from long ropes, how to fall from a height. I basically went to another vocational school, this one for aspiring action heroes,” writes in his new book, via Insider.
Schwarzenegger continues; “Then on top of that, (director John) Milius had me doing all kinds of terrible shit. I crawled through rocks, take after take, until my forearms bled. I ran from wild dogs that managed to catch me and pull me into a thorn bush.”
Schwarzenegger also casually mentions biting a dead vulture which is all part of a day’s work when filming the best fantasy movies. “I bit a real, dead vulture that required I wash my mouth out with alcohol after each take (PETA would have a field day with that one). On one of the first days of filming, I tore a gash on my back that required forty stitches.”
Check out our guides to the best adventure movies and the best fantasy series. For more swords and sandals, find out what we know so far about Gladiator 2. We’re also looking forward to Avatar 3 and House of the Dragon season 2.