In the latest Netflix docuseries, ‘Arnold’, we are offered an intimate exploration into the dynamic life of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The series encapsulates the relentless spirit of this multi-hyphenate icon who has left an indelible mark as an athlete, actor, and politician over five decades.
Unveiling the credo of Schwarzenegger’s life, he states, “If you’re always hungry, you’re never really satisfied.” This belief is symbolic of Schwarzenegger’s relentless drive, a man who has constantly reinvented himself—from a bodybuilder to a film star, from a business mogul to a politician, all stemming from humble beginnings in a small Austrian town.
What to expect
Part One: “Athlete”
In the opening episode, we are taken back to Schwarzenegger’s post-war Austrian upbringing, his familial circumstances, and his initial foray into fitness and competitive bodybuilding. Schwarzenegger’s reflective musings underscore a “lifelong talent for clearly seeing the path in front of him,” suggesting his formative years laid the foundation for his global fame. This part takes an unflinching look at his childhood, highlighting the disciplinarian role of his father, and his competitive relationship with his brother. It climaxes with his triumph at the 1968 Mr. Universe competition in London and his subsequent defeat in the United States, a setback that Schwarzenegger remembers as humbling but one that he overcame in true Arnold fashion.
Part Two: “Actor”
The second episode delves into Schwarzenegger’s transition from the world of bodybuilding to the silver screen—a change that many in Hollywood initially dismissed due to his hulking physique. Schwarzenegger’s first acting role in the film ‘Stay Hungry’ catapulted him into the public eye, a rise to fame further bolstered by his appearance in ‘Pumping Iron’, the 1977 documentary that popularised the sport of bodybuilding. While 1977 marked the onset of his Hollywood journey, ‘Actor’ delves into the numerous highs and lows of his acting career, including the monumental success of the ‘Terminator’ franchise and other action films.
Part Three: “American”
The final episode of the series is perhaps the most intricate, outlining how Schwarzenegger’s unwavering determination and box office appeal propelled him to run for the governor of California. Schwarzenegger recalls the same skepticism he faced at the start of his acting career as the catalyst for his foray into politics. The episode doesn’t shy away from the darker chapters of his life, including controversies that arose during his gubernatorial run and personal failings in his marriage. “American” also delves into his governing philosophy, touching on political reform, infrastructure investment, and clean energy legislation.
Directed by Lesley Chilcott (‘An Inconvenient Truth’) and executive produced by Allen Hughes (‘The Defiant Ones’), ‘Arnold’ offers a compelling portrait of Schwarzenegger’s extraordinary life, following the May 25 release of ‘FUBAR‘, Schwarzenegger’s new action series where he portrays a CIA operative on the brink of retirement.
Watch: Arnold | Official Trailer | Netflix
Watch now on netflix.com.
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