26

I've seen a lot, but not nearly all, Arnold Schwarzenegger films. And he almost always plays an American, who is never referred to as being an immigrant or something like that. Even when playing a machine in the Terminator franchise, there's nothing in-universe about why his terminator has an accent while all other terminators don't.

So has there ever been a movie where his accent is addressed in-universe? Either by his character actually being from Austria, or by some dialogue in the movie referencing the fact that he has an accent?

26
  • 6
    I believe Terminator 3 had a deleted scene where someone involved in the Skynet project had their voice dubbed over with Arnie's, implying that the T-800 had its speech pattern modelled on his, but that's a deleted scene so I don't know if it counts.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 30, 2023 at 15:26
  • 4
    In FUBAR, his name (Brunner) is a German surname. It could explain a European background before being American and working for the Agency. But I can't remember a movie he played in where his accent is "explained". He played a Russian in Red Heat so his accent was logically weird.
    – OldPadawan
    Aug 30, 2023 at 15:40
  • 12
    Wasn't he called Dutch in Predator?
    – Paulie_D
    Aug 30, 2023 at 18:41
  • 22
    Can we do Sean Connery next?
    – Ken Y-N
    Aug 31, 2023 at 0:00
  • 7
    "I wonder who in America (USA) is not an immigrant?" That would be something like 300 million or so people alive today born in the USA, the other 30 million or so alive today in the USA would have immigrated from somewhere. The children of any immigrants are going to develop an American accent, vocabulary, etc. because of how their classmates and neighbors speak, what they hear on TV and radio, and this is often encouraged by the immigrant parents since having a "funny accent" is rarely beneficial socially and professionally. Not never, but rarely.
    – MacGuffin
    Aug 31, 2023 at 16:27

6 Answers 6

32

In Kindergarten Cop Schwarzenegger's character John Kimble is explicitly Austrian, O'Hara asks him directly...

O'Hara: So... where you from?

Kimble: Austria. My father was a cop. My brother was a cop...

Then later in the film another two mentions of Austria...

Kimble: I was born in Austria. My father was a teacher. My mother was a teacher. So is Ursula.

O'Hara (as Ursula): Ja

Kimble: We have a tradition in Austria where we follow the footsteps of our parents.

O'Hara even tried to ape his Austrian accent when she pretends to be his made-up sister Ursula.

O'Hara (as Ursula): My name is Ursula. Wonderful to meet you. I'm visiting here from Austria.

10
  • 5
    How could you forget? With such a classic Austrian name like John Kimble where else could he originate 🤣🤣🤣 Sep 1, 2023 at 8:15
  • 2
    @gingerbreadboy a ni wahr, Johann Kimbel isch so a fesch nahm für ahn Östr'rechschn Bazi. Sep 1, 2023 at 23:16
  • 1
    I believe that's also the movie with the line everyone likes to use in their Schwarzeneger impressions because the accent is so thick: "It's not tumor"
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 2, 2023 at 22:36
  • 1
    I always preferred who is your daddy and what does he do? 😄 Sep 2, 2023 at 23:11
  • 1
    Accepting this one because it's one that most made me realize I should have already known that; having seen it multiple times.
    – GendoIkari
    Sep 7, 2023 at 19:28
28

In Commando, his character (John Matrix) is apparently meant to be from East Germany:

Matrix: [reading one of Jenny's teen magazines] Why can't they just call him "Girl George"? It would get rid of all the confusion.

Jenny: Dad, that is so old.

Matrix: You know, when I was a boy and rock and roll came to East Germany, the Communists said it was subversive... (thinks for a moment) Maybe they were right? Commando: Wikiquote

1
  • A large part of the joy of Commando was how unashamedly bad the writing was.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 5, 2023 at 14:34
28

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an Austrian geneticist in the movie Junior

Austrian research geneticist Dr. Alex Hesse and his OB/GYN colleague Dr. Larry Arbogast invent a fertility drug, "Expectane", designed to reduce the chances of a miscarriage. With the drug unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the colleagues are unable to test the drug and cannot continue their research. Head of the review board Noah Banes informs Larry that while the FDA denied human experimentation, the team has received a donation from geneticist Dr. Diana Reddin from the ovum cryogenics department.

Schwarzenegger's character is Dr. Alex Hesse

8
  • 12
    A doctor having an accent doesn't really need an explanation - at least, not compared to the mystery of why he looks like he spends three hours a day lifting weights... Aug 31, 2023 at 9:42
  • 1
    In cinema, tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenAreStrongWomenArePretty . What would an explanation is the male protagonist not being strong and handsome.
    – Pere
    Aug 31, 2023 at 12:13
  • 4
    @user3153372 - I know more than a few doctors who train hard year round for triathlons, ultramarathons, or cross-Channel swims. 3 hours a day sounds about right for them.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 31, 2023 at 13:11
  • 2
    @user3153372 I've met docs who lifted weights as their primary recreation.
    – Jeffiekins
    Aug 31, 2023 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Pere I'm lookin' at you, Danny DeVito in Twins...
    – Michael
    Aug 31, 2023 at 17:18
11

There is a deleted scene that was filmed for Terminator 3 which addresses his accent in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

A group of military officers are watching a video presentation where a soldier, played by Schwarzenegger but dubbed by a voice actor with a strong Texan accent, introduces himself as the model for future robot soldiers.

Officer A: I don't know about that accent...

Officer B (dubbed by Schwarzenegger with his signature accent): We can fix it!

8

Not a movie, but in the recently released FUBAR series, he plays a CIA operative who's a naturalized US citizen but originally from Austria. Here are a few mentions:

She find out we spying on her boyfriend, I'm selling your Austrian butt downriver. (source)

I have muscles, so that means I know everything. And I'm from Austria, where life is hard and everything costs a nickel. (source)

  • Uh, I can think of 250 Austrian pounds of blame to go around.
  • One, I'm not 250. I'm 220 and all lean. Two, I didn't make you and Carter break up. (source)
0
6

He plays a Soviet officer in the movie Red Heat, which isn't Austrian, but it sounds like him slightly altering his accent to be eastern European (which sounds convincing enough; if he's ever tried to sound like a native english speaker, I haven't heard it work).

2
  • 8
    As far as I know, he hired speech experts back in the day to make sure he doesn't lose his iconic accent :) "It's a feature, not a bug"
    – Luaan
    Aug 31, 2023 at 6:30
  • 1
    Perhaps Schwarzenegger could speak like a native English speaker if he tried, but he would never allow anyone to record that. :)
    – Philipp
    Sep 2, 2023 at 8:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .