Running time: 10m 01s
Source film: color; sound
Interviewer: Roy Faires
Three decades ago today, John McTiernan’s 1987 science-fiction-horror-action film Predator was released. The ensemble cast featured seasoned “tough guy” actors, a screenwriter, three future politicians, and in his seventh leading role, Arnold Schwarzenegger. During its theatrical run, Predator generated more than $59 million at the American box office and nearly $100 million worldwide, the most of any Schwarzenegger film up to that point. This sit-down interview with Austin, TX entertainment reporter, Roy Faires occurred during the sixth stop in the film’s publicity tour. While the KVUE-TV production set where the interview was situated is surprisingly dull, Arnie’s loud cardigan and side-part hair style is my new favorite measuring stick for awkward 1980s celebrity fashion.
During a lively discussion of about ten minutes, Faires leads the actor through a compelling set of questions that reveal a confident personality who was aware of the growing power of his brand, but also a need to develop as a performer for continued success. Schwarzenegger speaks most excitedly about his new film’s guerrilla camp invasion sequence — Faires remarks that it “has the greatest body count I have ever seen in a movie” — which was shot over a noisy and explosive period of three weeks, led by 2nd unit director and stunt coordinator, Craig Baxley. He pivots to discuss some of the similarities and differences between his former career as a bodybuilder and his current passion for acting, including the reliance on other parties for the overall success of a film, such as the studio’s ability to properly market it to the right audience. Despite the tendency for film fans to view other action stars of the 1980s era as natural competitors locked in friendly rivalries scored by box office receipts, Schwarzenegger dismisses this mindset and remarks that he only competes against his past performances (other than his work in 1970’s Hercules in New York, which most of us should probably pretend never happened).
This is one of many interviews Faires conducted with figures in the film industry during the 1980s, available in The Roy Faires Collection hosted at Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
- Roy Faires Papers and Video Collection (Austin History Center, University of Texas)
- TAMI Flashback: The Roy Faires Collection (Don Clinchy, Slackerwood)
- Guns and (Shea) Butter: An Oral History of ‘Predator’ (Pete Keeley, Hollywood Reporter)