Super action movie legend Arnold Schwarzenegger was a huge hit in the 80s, and he managed to keep the fires burning throughout the 1990s before taking a break to become the Governor of California. Though his career never picked back up after his political career came to an end, he’s still one of the most respected and successful actors in Hollywood.
Schwarzenegger wanted to break free from the mold of his action movie roles that defined him in the 1980s with Kindergarten Cop, a straight-up comedy featuring the Austrian Oak coming face-to-face with his most intimidating enemies: a classroom full of kids. Not only was it a smash comedy hit, but it’s also responsible for more famous quotes than most films can hope to achieve. Here are some amazing facts about this all-time classic family comedy that make it worth watching all over again.
10 An Interesting Casting Call
Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t the first choice for the role, but he did end up becoming the funniest by far. A number of high-profile A-list actors were also considered for the role of Detective John Kimble, and they weren’t all cut from the same cloth, either.
According to the production team, Kurt Russell and Robin Williams were once considered for the role, which is interesting given their polar opposite dynamics. The most surprising potential pick, however, was Chuck Norris. As badass as he is, Chuck just seems like a guy the kids would love from the beginning.
9 Arnold’s Adjustments
Before signing on as John Kimble, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a list of demands that he wanted to see in the film. First, he wanted Ivan Reitman to direct it due to their collaboration on Twins in 1988. Second, he was big on promoting physical education awareness, which meant he wanted it to be a key theme in the film.
Finally, Schwarzenegger wanted to touch on broken homes and family abuse that many children suffer through in silence. This injected Kindergarten Cop with important social issues that most mainstream comedies of its type were actively ignoring for the sake of lighthearted laughs.
8 Double Duty
Arnold Schwarzenegger is no slouch when it comes to packing as much into every minute of the day as possible. He frequently worked on multiple projects and had to adjust his schedule to make sure they overlapped without issue. This included some double duty on the set of Kindergarten Cop.
While filming the movie, Schwarzenegger spent a day off, flying to Los Angeles in order to shoot the teaser trailer for James Cameron’s upcoming Terminator 2: Judgment Day. To be yanked out of a comedic role and thrust into an iconic action movie must have been jarring, to say the least.
7 Scared Schwarzenegger
Arnold played cinema’s most terrifying cyborg, faced down the galaxy’s most deadly alien trophy hunter, and single-handedly decimated a small army (somehow), but none of that mattered when he walked onto the set of Kindergarten Cop.
According to Schwarzenegger, it was nerve-wracking to act in front of the children. In fact, he was so intimidated that he began to sweat, later saying that he “felt like the character in the movie,” a reference to John Kimble.
6 The Elijah Audition
Lord of the Rings superstar Elijah Wood initially auditioned for a role in Kindergarten Cop, which was one of his first potential childhood roles. He ended up not getting the part, but he did have a breakout role two years later in the classic drama Radio Flyer.
According to Wood, the audition was the worst of his career, which is understandable given his young age and lack of experience. He ended up doing just fine with a lucrative career.
5 Odette Annable’s First Film Role
Many fans don’t realize that Kindergarten Cop was actress Odette Annable’s very first film role at the tender age of just five years old. Her career would be put on ice for many years until she experienced a massive film and TV resurgence thanks to her work on Cloverfield.
Since then, Annable has starred in a number of TV comedy and drama series including Supergirl, where she played Samantha Arias and her evil Kryptonian counterpart Reign.
4 Arnold Goes German
Schwarzenegger fans know Arnold best as the Austrian Oak who speaks English with a signature foreign accent. Indeed, Arnold has made light of his own accent for many years, turning what was once thought of as a handicap into a major strength.
In Kindergarten Cop, he speaks German during the scene when he carries Phoebe into a motel room with the quote “das macht mich stocksauer, jetzt bin ich sauer!” When translated, it means “That makes me really angry! Now I am angry!”
3 Pamela Reed’s Summary
It’s obvious that Kindergarten Cop was never going to win any Oscar awards for its subject matter or performances, and actress Pamela Reed took it in stride. She seemed to enjoy her role as Kimble’s level-headed partner Phoebe and had no regrets about the film.
“I shoot, I save Arnold’s life, kids cheer. It’s not a gold statue, but it’s not a bad feeling,” said Reed. A candid but altogether admirable way to view a role, and one that more actors should emulate.
2 Arnold’s Birthday
Arnold took the role of John Kimble because he loved the idea of shedding his action movie typecasting in favor of something more dynamic. He’d wanted to work in comedy for many years, and the opportunity to star in one with children seemed too good to pass up.
He must have been thankful for that decision on his birthday when the cast and crew of the film surprised him with a surprise party. Even the kids joined in on the fun by singing Happy Birthday to Schwarzenegger, which must have lit up the actor’s day like nothing else.
1 An Iconic Role
Schwarzenegger knocked the role of John Kimble out of the park by taking his own stereotype and evolving it right there on the spot, in front of the camera. The result was an action superhero hobbled at the knees by a bunch of kindergarten kids in the most comedic manner possible.
Audiences continue to love the film, and so does Schwarzenegger, who still says it’s his favorite role. He may have earned a name for himself as Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator, but he was most happy working with kids in a comedy film that is still great fun for the entire family, even 30 years later.
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