A Predator, Thulsa Doom, and a T-1000 pose no danger to a class of four to seven year olds. When he met his young partners from “Kindergarten Cop”, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not serene, but knew how to find a technique to put them in his pocket.
Kindergarten cop : Schwarzy in the playground
At the height of his glory at the end of the 80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to develop his comic spirit. After Terminator, Commando or Predator, the actor tries a foray into the genre with Twins, under the leadership of Ivan Reitman, director of Blues and Ghostbusters.
The actor and the filmmaker then meet on Kindergarten cop and Junior. Released in 1991 in France, the first presents the star in the skin of Richard Kimble, an unshaven, rude police officer used to operating in the slums of Los Angeles. As he finally manages to stop drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) after a relentless hunt, Kimble learns that Rachel, the criminal’s ex-wife, has allegedly fled with their son Cullen Jr. and millions of millions. of dollars.
In order to convince her to testify against Crisp, the cop is sent to Astoria, Oregon, where she is said to have settled. And in order not to get spotted and put Rachel in danger, Kimble must pretend to be a teacher kindergarten. An environment far more violent than the one he is used to …
Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt and Carroll Baker complete the cast of this feature film shot in Astoria, a few years later The Goonies. A film that allows Arnold Schwarzenegger to play with his badass image, as he will in True Lies and Last Action Hero, and in which he showsa tenderness hitherto unsuspected.
An actor in panic
If the chemistry between the actor and the children – who are mostly non-professional actors – works on screen, it’s because it is real. Arnold schwarzenegger really attaches their, and reciprocally. However, the game is far from won when filming begins.
Asked by the Los Angeles Times for the release of the feature film in the United States in December 1990, the star admits that his meeting with his class has somewhat makes you sweat. The actor has several points in common with his character. Like Kimble, he is Austrian and his father is a police officer. And like him, at the time he was absolutely not used to interacting with such young interlocutors. Reason why he is not really serene during this first contact, as he explains:
Everyone tells you to never work with children or animals. (…) But Ivan felt at ease with children. He is a family man himself and took his children to kindergarten. (…) I felt he knew exactly how to handle them. (…) When I arrived, I was sweating. I felt like the character in the movie.
But rather than howling like this cop propelled into a hostile environment, where paint spurts and snacks are stolen, Arnold Schwarzenegger has an idea. To bond with them, he begins to make them do physical exercises, and the ploy works. Another point in common that he shares with Richard Kimble.
Ivan Reitman’s Rules
Contrary to what Arnold Schwarzenegger suggests, Kindergarten cop was not all fun for Ivan Reitman. Indeed, the director realizes very quickly that leading children between four and seven years is complicated. He claims to have been a little too confident, always with the Los Angeles Times :
I had worked with 12 and 13 year old children on Stop rowing, you’re on the sand, and it had gone well.
But after the first day of shooting, the filmmaker is also “sweaty”. So he puts rules in place, about which he adds:
I developed the Reitman filming rules: listen, act naturally, know your character, don’t look at the camera and be disciplined.
The best job in the world
Finally, Arnold Schwarzenegger has fond memories ofKindergarten cop. In 2015, the star even goes so far as to say that it is his favorite movie in which he played. He says on this subject:
At the time, I was never offered to do comedies because the studios made a lot more money when I was in action movies. And when I met Ivan Reitman on Twins, I was in heaven. He’s a brilliant director and being with all these kids was a …