Arnold Schwarzenegger Rejected Mark Hamill’s Career Advice

August 14, 2018

Star Wars star Mark Hamill recently humbly confessed via Twitter that, several years ago, he gave some bad advice to an up-and-coming Austrian actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hamill wrote: “Arnold Schwarzenegger asked me for advice when he was just starting out. I told him to lose his accent for a wider range of roles & to change his last name since no one could pronounce it. He did the opposite & became one of the biggest stars EVER #TrueStory.”

At the time, Hamill had garnered wide fame for playing Luke Skywalker in the first three Star Wars films. So it makes sense that newbie Arnold would ask him for industry advice.

When the Terminator star heard the news of Hamill’s tweet, he kindly absolved him, tweeting: “Your advice was absolutely correct under any normal circumstances, and those were the rules back then. I just happen to be a rule-breaker.”

Schwarzenegger was from a small European village, but he felt certain that one day he’d become famous in the United States. Sure enough, Arnold went on to become a multi-award-winning bodybuilder, and later, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He’s famous for his muscular physique, his tricky-to-spell surname, and for delivering his often-quoted movie lines with his trademark thick Austrian accent such as “I’ll be back!” And later, Schwarzenegger became the Governor of California.

We’ll never really know what would have happened with Arnold’s career had he followed Hamill’s advice. But it’s safe to say that the Commando star would certainly have taken on a different feel if his stage name was, let’s say, Arnold Schwartz, and he had no trace of an accent.

But Hamill’s advice to create a different stage name is pretty standard in the industry. Many actors choose to alter their names for all sorts of reasons. For example, actor Michael J. Fox was born “Michael Andrew Fox.” When it came time to find a stage name, he discovered that a “Michael Fox” was already registered with the Screen Actors Guild, so he chose “Michael J. Fox” because he didn’t want to be known as “Michael A. Fox.” Other actors have long, complicated names and wish to simplify them; some prefer their names to sound less ethnic or more intriguing; and some simply prefer to use their middle names or their nicknames.

Here is a list of actors who opted modify their names for the sake of their careers.

Casey Affleck:   Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt

Alan Alda:     Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo

Mahershala Ali:    Mahershalalhashbaz Ali Gilmore

Woody Allen:    Allan Stewart Konigsberg

Ann-Margret:    Ann-Margret Olsson

Skylar Astin:    Skylar Astin Lipstein

Anne Bancroft:    Anna Maria Louisa Italiano

Demian Bichir:    Demian Bichir Najera

Nicolas Cage:    Nicolas Kim Coppola

Michael Caine:    Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr.

Dove Cameron:    Chloe Celeste Hosterman

Miley Cyrus:     Destiny Hope Cyrus

Doris Day:    Doris Mary Kappelhoff

Rock Hudson:    Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.

Theo James:    Theodore Peter James Taptiklis

Madonna:    Madonna Louise Ciccone

Benicio del Toro:    Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sanchez

Kirk Douglas:    Issur Danielovitch

Jamie Foxx:    Eric Marlon Bishop

Clark Gable:    William Clark Gable

Andy Garcia:    Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez

Judy Garland:    Frances Ethel Gumm

Whoopi Goldberg:    Caryn Elaine Johnson

Cary Grant:    Archibald Alec Leach

Woody Harrelson:    Woodrow Tracy Harrelson

Salma Hayek:    Salma Valgarma Hayek Jimenez

Audrey Hepburn:    Audrey Kathleen Ruston

Angelina Jolie:    Angelina Jolie Voight

Michael Keaton:    Michael John Douglas

Piper Laurie:    Rosetta Jacobs

Frances McDormand:    Cynthia Ann Smith

Steve McQueen:    Terence Steven McQueen

Julianne Moore:    Julie Anne Smith

Jack Nicholson:    John Joseph Nicholson

Natalie Portman:    Neta-Lee Hershlag

Mickey Rourke:    Philip Andre Rourke Jr.

Winona Ryder:    Winona Laura Horowitz

Sissy Spacek:    Mary Elizabeth Spacek

Meryl Streep:    Mary Louise Streep

Christopher Walken:    Ronald Walken

Sigourney Weaver:    Susan Alexandra Weaver

Olivia Wilde:   Olivia Jane Cockburn

Gene Wilder:    Jerome Silberman


Snapchat with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jared Leto and Hallie Steinfeld

July 28, 2016

Many famous actors routinely create Snapchat stories to connect with fans, friends, and family, but it’s not always easy to find them. Snapchat requires no identification verification process as usernames are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. This results in numerous people masquerading as celebrities, and makes it hard to find the snaps for particular actors of interest. Indeed, William Shatner was so unimpressed with this aspect of the trendy app, he tweeted, “I actually went and downloaded Snapchat only to discover that someone has my name. I don’t respect platforms that do that.” But this detail of the app hasn’t stopped many Hollywood talents from snapping creative shots, revealing raw snippets of their personal lives, promoting their projects and travels, and giving an overall abbreviated digital collage of what’s important to them. Among those promoting their careers via Snapchat are True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld, Arnold Schwarzenegger aka The Terminator, and Jared Leto.

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld’s Snapchat can be found at haiz. In this Snapchat story posted in June 2016 Hailee gives viewers a glimpse of traveling to Toronto to perform her Haiz album song Rock Bottom featuring her duet partner Shawn Hook at the June 2016 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. She was nominated for Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group a the MMVAs. Hailee debuted her singing skills in the highest-grossing musical comedy of all time, Pitch Perfect 2. In turn, she released a cover version of the song Flashlight which she performed in the film. While Steinfeld is most known for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Mattie Ross opposite Jeff Bridges in True Grit, she likewise works as a model. She is one of the faces of the fashion brand Miu Miu, and doesn’t hesitate to share some glamour snaps in this Snapchat story.

Jared Leto

Access Jared’s Snapchat at jaredleto. Jared Leto won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2014 for the transgender role of Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Also, film critics are already praising his portrayal of The Joker in the antihero action movie DC Comics’ Suicide Squad which will open August fifth. His snaps have included peaks at his deranged Joker character, a playful knack using the app’s drawing tools, and talent in creating psychedelic images, glimpses of his band 30 Seconds to Mars, and then there’s the ever present shoe shots. This summer his Snapchat stories have shown him hiking, camping, and mountain climbing in assorted breathtaking venues. In this story Jared shares his adventures in Spain.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger can be found at arnoldschnitzel. The Hollywood action film icon and and former California governor thrives in social media platforms, and Snapchat is no exception. In his Snapchat stories Arnold introduces us to friends and colleagues, and can be seen pumping iron, traveling to places like Australia or Amsterdam or Tennessee, and bike riding. In this July 2015 Snapchat story, Arnold reminisces about his seventh and last bodybuilding win as Mr. Olympia in 1980 at the Sydney Opera House, Australia while training for his role in Conan.


Visualization to Achieve Your Dreams

September 26, 2013

th-1Visualization is recognized as a powerful tool that has the potential to help you achieve your aspirations and goals. It is the process of imagining events or objects in your mind’s eye with the faithful belief that what you are seeing is actually becoming your desired reality. Some people dabble with the process despite an underlying doubt of its efficacy, in some measure wondering if it’s all just a bunch of superstitious nonsense. Whereas, others passionately practice visualization with an absolute conviction that doing so will enhance their futures, and assist in materializing their dreams. So does it work?

Jim Carrey once told Oprah Winfrey during an interview that as a struggling actor he would use visualization techniques to acquire work. He also said he visualized a $10,000,000 paycheck being given to him for “Acting services rendered.” Three years later, he indeed received a check for his work in Dumb and Dumber…in the amount of $10,000,000. But he doesn’t regard the practice as magic. Carrey said, “I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

Superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger shares similar convictions. He used visualization techniques to fulfill his aspirations of becoming a body builder, imagining he would win the title of Mr. Universe, and following up by behaving as if he had already won it. He indeed manifested his vision, taking the Mr. Universe title just a few years later. As for his fellow gym mates who would say, “I want to train because I think that if I get muscular enough, maybe I can enter a body building competition,” Arnold says, “You can detect right away those that are going to be shaky, and that will fall behind, and those that are very hungry, and that hunger you will have to develop. You gotta create a goal for yourself whatever that may be, a short-term goal and a long-term goal, and you gotta go after that. And if you don’t see it, and if you don’t believe it, who else will? The body is very important, but the mind is more important than the body….So you gotta go to the gym and feel like every rep that you do is getting you one step closer to that goal to make that vision that you have turn into reality.” 

Next, Arnold applied the same mental technique to his goal of becoming an actor. “So now you apply that principle into acting….Let’s visualize what am I shooting for. Okay, I want to be another Clint Eastwood. So that’s what I’m going after. And that same principle works. Even though there are so many people around that would say you will never make it because you have an accent, because your body is too big, and your name is Schwarzschnitzel or whatever–you know, who can pronounce that? But you know it doesn’t matter if anybody else knows, if anybody else believes in it. But all that matters is that you know. And you know that that principle–visualizing yourself as a star–will work and all you have to do now is go towards that vision.” For Arnold, the practical work included going to acting class everyday as well as working on his accent.

Research has shown that creative visualization is most powerful when it’s not pure fantasy, but rather when it focuses on seeing yourself putting in the proper work to achieve your success. Expecting success as a result of persistent effort, and addressing real obstacles, can motivate you to keep moving forward; whereas, putting hope into unfounded fantasy can actually prevent the necessary work from being accomplished. So, while an Olympian swimmer might benefit from envisioning him or herself swimming past the other competitors and tagging the wall first, an amateur swimmer would do well to focus on the fundamentals of each swim stroke. Keeping your visions at your level will help you establish positive behaviors that have a better chance of becoming habits. Positive habits help you overcome many challenges by allowing yourself to make several attempts to get it right.

So, aspiring actors–or I should say wildly successful and highly revered actors who are living the dream–what do you think about visualization? Do you believe these actors’ devotion to the power of mental pictures was actually vital to achieving their goals? And do you make a point to practice creative visualization yourself?