The Worst Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger of All Time (courtesy of yours truly)

In honor of the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show that just took place in Columbus, Ohio, I thought I’d take a moment to revisit what should have been a career highlight: my on-camera interview with the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The interview took place at the 60th anniversary photo shoot for the cover of Muscle & Fitness a few years ago. If you had any doubt that it was a big day, those doubts will instantly vanish because I’m 1) wearing a button down shirt, and 2) it’s tucked in. If you know me at all, you know those are two of my least favorite things.

At the time, Arnold was the Governor of California, so a veritable S.W.A.T. team showed up about an hour before his arrival to sweep the studio for bombs. I don’t have Total Recall of the morning (nice, right?) but I’m pretty sure Arnold was running very late, and since he was, and my interview was the last thing scheduled, I was confident that his staff would Terminate it (sorry, couldn’t resist).

As the shoot dragged on, the only thing I paid attention to was the clock. I know this was a big deal for the magazine, but it was a HUGE deal for me. I was going to get to interview the greatest action hero of all time. One on one. On camera. Sadly, time seemed to fly by and eventually I had resigned myself to the fact that there was no way we were going to have time for our interview. Important looking men in suits who spoke into microphones attached to their cuff links seemed to want to yank Arnold out of there the moment the last shot was taken.

Then, all of a sudden, something happened to the main camera before the final series of shots and it was going to take about 15 minutes to fix. I saw my window. I asked Arnold if he could use the break for our interview and he was very cool and agreed. This was excellent news. The bad news was that the nice, air conditioned, studio set that we had inside for the interview was now filled with craft service food, equipment and various other obstacles (including my printed out list of questions, which was now unreachable). This meant we’d have to do the interview outside, in a crappy neighborhood, in 90-degree heat. But if Arnold was game, so was I.

The first few seconds of the interview were okay, but it took a disastrous turn after that. Yes, that’s graffiti on the dumpster behind us. Yes, a car broke down in the background. Yes, that’s a FedEx delivery truck driver doing a 19-point K turn directly next to us, beeping and honking at us the whole time, not realizing that he was beeping and honking at the most powerful man in the state of California at the time. And yes, Arnold and I could barely hear each other over the noise, but even though we weren’t Twins, and there was a lot of Collateral Damage, we soldiered on.

The interview got cut down to 1 minute and it starts at the 3:55 second mark of the video below. Enjoy:

Written by