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Arnold Schwarzenegger Visits the Robert Frost to Promote His New Book


Arnold Schwarzenegger, known for his world-renowned success as a Hollywood movie star, award-winning bodybuilder, and former governor of California, spoke at the Robert Frost Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 13 to give a talk about his new book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life.

In the one-hour talk highlighted by Schwarzenegger’s keys to a successful career as outlined in his book and a discussion of the challenges he faced throughout his multifaceted careers, he also cracked jokes and shared in vulnerable conversations with moderator Jamie Lee Curtis, an Oscar-winning actress and author best known for her roles in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” “True Lies,” and “Halloween.”

In reference to his book, Schwarzenegger emphasized to the packed audience that his success can be derived from one key adage repeated by his father growing up: be useful. His father, who Schwarzenegger has publicly been outspoken about as a tyrant, Nazi father that abused his family, often forced Schwarzenegger and his brother to work like doing “200 pushups, 200 knee bends,” and certain chores first before eating breakfast. Schwarzenegger said these childhood events, while abusive, played an important role in shaping his life. 

“He was the one who actually gave us the dues to be useful,” he said. “It really helped me to make my entire life not shy away from working.” 

Later in the talk, Schwarzenegger also attributed his success to his beginnings as a student in career technical education where he learned how to be a salesperson, an experience that helped him learn another important adage: work like hell and advertise. He opened his talk praising Culver City High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways for preparing students for the future in various fields, just like he was.

“No matter what it is, you gotta communicate what you want to do and what direction you want to go,” Schwarzenegger said. “You have to let the world know.”

Schwarzenegger also discussed the challenges and responsibility he felt as governor of California, a career even he was not certain of until he made the split-second decision to announce his campaign while on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2003, a decision he called the “biggest hinging moment” of his life. He said that facing the new responsibility of helping the 40 million people in the state was one he grappled with, yet was a responsibility he also desired because of all the help he had received throughout his life. 

“Everything that I’ve done as governor, bodybuilding, or acting is because I got help,” he said. “There’s no such thing as a self-made man.”

During the talk, Schwarzenegger and Curtis praised each other for their acting work including their roles as co stars of the 1994 action comedy “True Lies.” Schwarzenegger highlighted Curtis’s iconic striptease scene in the film, prompting a discussion about the ways that both of them — who have been celebrated for their physical appearances during their careers —  have grappled with their changing bodies amid aging. 

Schwarzenegger, now 76 and arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all time as a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner and five-time Mr. Universe winner, calls seeing his body change a “very punishing experience,” an experience he believes is made worse because of how celebrated he was earlier in his career. 

Curtis, now 64 and also recognized during her career as a sex symbol, calls the experience rather a “process of self love.” 

“When you’re looking in the mirror, you’re looking at the problem but you’re also looking for the solution,” Curtis said. “I am learning to accept it.” 

Schwarzenegger concluded by expressing his gratitude to everyone who helped him in his career journey, including the opportunities immigrating to the United States at the age of 21 and now living in the country have offered him, which is something he hopes to pass on. 

“Without America, this would not have happened,” Schwarzenegger said. “When you recognize you got help, it’s your job to help other people.”  

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Kim
Jonathan Kim, Co-President & Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hi, I'm Jonathan, a senior at CCHS and the Co-President and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Centaurian. As a student journalist, I hope to inform the community of students' unique stories and local events and issues in an accurate manner. Other than journalism, I'm passionate about the environment and when I'm not writing articles, you'll likely find me hiking, running, or following the latest Dodgers game.

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