He might be a Hollywood icon now, but Arnold Schwarzenegger had his doubters. Early in his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger scored several bit parts, and one of them won’t be making any best movies list for his performance, at least according to critics at the time.
Remembering his first roles in new Netflix series Arnold, the star recounted a particular comment that’s stayed with him. “I did a movie called The Villain, with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margaret,” he recalls. “When the movie came out, one of the reviews said, ‘The horse had better facial expressions than Schwarzenegger’.”
Ooft. At this point, there was a lot of cynicism around the bodybuilder transitioning into filmmaking. Remember, this was the ’70s, when Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were leading a generation of independent production, creating some of the best thriller movies and best drama movies ever made.
Big, muscular performers coming from sports wasn’t quite the norm yet. Even though The Villain regarded closer to being one of the best Westerns now, director Hal Needham casting the future Terminator movie star seemed more leftfield.
Throw in that The Villain satirizes the genre as a comedy movie, and you see why it just mightn’t have worked. Between The Terminator, the Predator movies, many of the best action movies of all time, Arnie’s proven his naysayers wrong at this point, even though it took him a few years to find his niche.
Arnold is available on Netflix now. Check out our new on Netflix guide to see what else the service recently added, and our best Netflix anime list has more perfect picks for you. Our new movies guide’s always worth keeping an eye on as well.