Back to IndieWire

The Ten Best Sentences From Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Autobiography

The Ten Best Sentences From Arnold Schwarzenegger's Autobiography

The hardcover edition of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” clocks in at a massive 656 pages. This, I suspect, was part of a sneaky plan on Schwarzenegger’s part to get his fans in shape: lug this thing around for a few weeks, and your arms are going to get bigger. Even as an eBook on my wife’s iPad, it runs more than 1,050 pages, and something like 20,000 sentences. That’s a lot.

But not all sentences are created equal. Some are boring; others are purely functional. Sprinkled amongst all those thousands of sentences, though, and in between The Governator’s inspirational slogans (“Whether you’re doing a bicep curl in a chilly gym or talking to world leaders, there are no shortcuts — everything is reps, reps, reps.”), you’ll find powerful statements about love, acting, and why he almost made a movie where he would have played folk hero Paul Bunyan. It’s nothing less than transformative literature.

To honor this great movie star, politician, and fitness guru, it seemed appropriate to honor him as a writer as well, by singling out his finest turns of phrase from “Total Recall.” Criticwire’s research department (i.e. me) poured over Ahnuld’s memoirs, and then relayed their very lengthy shortlist to our senior staff (i.e. me), who finally selected these ten best sentences. So now sit back, relax, put the cookie down, and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Arnold Schwarzenegger:

On the immigrant experience:

“I still needed to work things out with the crocodile wrestler, but America was a great place to be.”

On acting preparations:

“I made a mental note: I would have to take a few fiddle lessons.”

On Andy Warhol:

“I said to myself, ‘This is unbelievable, this guy is turning asses into rolling hills.'”

On censorship:

“So what if the first thing you see is Thulsa Doom raiding Conan’s boyhood village and that his mother’s head goes flying through the air?”

On why he almost made a movie where he would have played Paul Bunyan:

“I liked it that he went around righting wrongs, and I thought that having a blue ox for a sidekick would be funny.”

On love:

“The fling with Brigitte Nielsen underlined what I already knew: I wanted Maria to be my wife.”

On marketing:

“It always blew my mind that some of the greatest artists, from Michelangelo to van Gogh, never sold much because they didn’t know how.”

On why “Last Action Hero” failed at the box office:

“Now was the time for Bill Clinton and Tom Hanks and movies that had meaning.”

On trouble in Sacremento:

“My approval ratings dropped like they’d been tasered, from 60 percent in December to 40 percent in the spring.”

On the hardships of a governor:

“Six years of ups and downs forged me as governor the way Conan was forged by pit fighting and the Wheel of Pain.”

Read more of “Total Recall.”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox