“Arnold Schwarzenegger” in “Le Monde”, from Mr. Universe to anti-war herald

American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 1977, to present

“You started this war, you can stop it”, recently pitched Arnold Schwarzenegger to Vladimir Putin, in a video that topped 35 million views on Twitter alone. The Austrian-born American actor recalled his admiration for Yuri Vlassov, the Soviet weightlifter, born in Ukraine, who put the future actor on the path to bodybuilding, before denouncing Putin’s propaganda about the war in Ukraine . It was no longer the Mr. Universe turned movie star who spoke, but the former governor of California.

The political and artistic career of Arnold Schwarzenegger could only attract the attention of the World. It is striking to note that the evening newspaper is very quickly interested in the actor. In its edition of April 8, 1982 is mentioned the first starring role of the former bodybuilder, that of Conan the Barbarian, in the film of the same name by John Milius. The fact that the latter signed the script forApocalypse Now, by Francis Coppola, partly explains the aura enjoyed by Conan the Barbarian, but the Schwarzenegger phenomenon immediately caught the attention of the critic of the World Colette Godard, hit by “the impressive musculature of Mr. Universe”.

This continues to follow the actor and offers, on August 31, 1984, an interview with him on the occasion of the release of the sequel, Conan the Destroyer, by Richard Fleischer. We are at a time when Schwarzenegger is not taken seriously, and testosterone cinema, of which he will become, throughout the 1980s, the emblem with Sylvester Stallone, is mocked and despised.

Surprising hindsight on his adopted country

However, the interview conducted by The world immediately imposes a personality who has a body and a brain, showing an astonishing distance from his adopted country while anticipating his future political career: “There are two areas (…) where nothing can be predicted, explains Schwarzenegger : politics and show business. And it is quite certain that the vogue for positive heroes coincides with that of Reagan. In the 1970s, we destroyed idols, we denounced the weaknesses of politicians. Today, watch the Olympics, nationalist fever, flags and hands on heart. Today, we don’t like losers. And me, I agree. It’s not about political morality, it’s just that role models are needed. Better models of heroes who are brave, strong, acting for a moral purpose. It is important that the man who leads a country is strong. Otherwise, everything goes to shreds like it happened with Jimmy Carter. »

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