41 Years After the Release of ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls How the Role Made Him an International Star

Published 05/19/2023, 8:30 PM EDT

via Imago

Arnold Schwarzenegger is worth an astonishing 450 million and this net worth does not even take into account the unmeasurable wisdom that he has gathered through his years in the industry. Schwarzenegger provided bodybuilding a golden era. And not even a year after retirement, he moved on to do the same for Hollywood. And it did not take long for him to peak in the world of cinema as he led John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian to success.

The movie was the first of its kind. An enigmatic tale of sword and sorcery that used to its asset both Schwarzenegger’s physique and the popularity he built in the bodybuilding realm. At 75, with a plethora of movies under his belt, the Austrian Oak looks back at the movie that made him an international success.

 Arnold Schwarzenegger looks back at his first internationally successful movie

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Edward Summer and Edward Pressman were in a jiffy as they skimmed through notable names such as Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson to bestow upon the lead role of their $20 million budget film. A budget quite baffling even today. Finally, they decided upon Arnold Schwarzenegger. And to this day, he has not forgotten the leap it provided for him to become an international movie star.

The first role that got me widely recognized was Conan the Barbarian,” Schwarzenegger told The Hollywood Reporter.

In 1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger had yet to convince cinema-goers of his ability to deliver timeless hits. While he was a well-known bodybuilder, he wasn’t all that hyped as a performer.

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The creators, however, used the fact that he looked like an incarnation of Frank Frazetta’s illustrations to their advantage. “They sent me all over the world to promote the movie,” the veteran actor recalls the studio’s brilliant marketing strategy. Not only did Conan the Barbarian did well commercially but also impressed the critics.

How much was the Austrian Oak paid for Conan the Barbarian?

There are a lot of reasons why Schwarzenegger looks back fondly at his 1982 hit and even wishes for a sequel and his paycheck might be among them. He was paid $250,000 to fight against Thulsa Doom and avenge the death of his family. It was huge for someone who was barely a few films old. While the movie may not be on par with the million-dollar paychecks he receives now, it is worth way more to him.

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Did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger bet Sylvester Stallone for the lead role of Conan The Barbarian? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aliza Siddiqui

1413 articles

Meet Aliza Siddiqui, a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. Her love affair with Hollywood began with Anne Hathaway and The Princess Diaries, but it was the thrilling climax of Don’t Look Up that cemented her infatuation with the industry and its filmmaking. Aliza's journey into entertainment reporting began with her time at Otakukart, where she wrote over a thousand articles.

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