Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger told he couldn't be leading man
Arnold Schwarzenegger was told he couldn't be a leading man in movies because of his Austrian accent.
The 'Terminator' actor was presented with the Adweek 2016 Brand Visionary Award at a ceremony at the Rainbow Room in New York on Tuesday night (25.10.16) and on accepting the honour he spoke of his aspirations as young man to become a Hollywood star.
He recalled how he was told he'd never make it in Tinseltown because he looked like a "monster" due to the incredible physique he attained for his competitive bodybuilding career, and his strong accent was also identified as a stumbling block on the road he wanted to follow.
During his acceptance speech, Schwarzenegger - who was born in Thal, Styria - said: "I had this vision of becoming a leading man like Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson or Warren Beatty and I wanted to get into movies. So I started looking for agents and producers an studio executives and they all laughed at me. They said, Are you crazy? This is the 70s, Dustin Hoffman is the star, Al Pacino is the star, Woody Allen. They are the sex symbols of the 70s. Look at you, you have a 250 pound body, you look like a monster compared to those guys. Plus your accent."
The 69-year-old star - who served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011 - wanted to be a bodybuilder from the age of 15 and would frantically lift weights to turn his dream into a reality, eventually becoming a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion.
He explained: "I saw myself very clearly, and I was so convinced that if I started training up to five hours a day like a fanatic, believing, that one day I will get there.
"When people saw me working out five hours a day, smiling, having a great time they all thought this guy must be crazy ... but I couldn't wait to lift another 500 pounds, I couldn't wait to do 100 chin ups, I couldn't wait to do another 1,000 sit ups because every day, every step of the way, every weight I lifted was taking me one step closer to turning this vision into a reality."