Playing a Pregnant Man in $108 Million Film Led Arnold Schwarzenegger to an Eye-Opening Epiphany: “Women Have to Carry This Thing 24 Hours a Day”

Published 10/19/2023, 8:45 AM EDT

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Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped into the film industry after reaching ultimate heights as an athlete in the bodybuilding arena. In the 1980s, Arnie was hailed as an action superstar for his high-voltage sequences in multiple movies. But he proved his acting versatility with Twins and Kindergarten Cop

Schwarzenegger collaborated with Ivan Reitman for the third time in 1994 for Junior. Arnie played the character of a pregnant man for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. But the film which grossed $108 Million was eye-opening for the 76-year-old.

The film Junior has a profound impact on Arnold Schwarzenegger   


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Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to not let his action-hero aura steal his opportunities to portray different characters. So, he teamed up with Ivan Reitman for Twins in 1988, which became a huge success. But in 1994, when he was asked to portray a pregnant man by Reitman, he took up the challenge.

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Speaking about his role in an interview, Arnie revealed how witnessing his wife Maria Shriver go through the pregnancy journey thrice helped him understand the nuances of carrying a child. But the role also increased his respect for women in general. While acting in Junior, Schwarzenegger had to carry a prosthetic stomach to appear like a 9-month pregnant man.

 “At least at lunchtime, I had a chance of taking this thing off, or after an evening when we were finished filming, I had a chance of taking it off, but women have to carry this thing 24 hours a day, they have it on them, ” he said in an interview. The experience made him more appreciative of women’s efforts during pregnancy. Schwarzenegger even took up the mother’s role for his kids during Shriver’s last pregnancy. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger became a mother and father for kids


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During the couple’s fourth pregnancy, Shriver had to get admitted to the hospital due to morning sickness. So, Arnie had to be a mother and father for his kids during that time, and he ensured to keep them happy and content by putting in extra effort. 

Schwarzenegger halted his work-related commitments and “spent a lot of extra hours at home trying to be both mom and dad.” The 76-year-old and the kids got into a routine of picking up the most “elegant flower” from the garden for Shriver and used to visit her at the hospital before and after school.


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Arnold Schwarzenegger continues his daddy duties for his kids and recently got promoted to grandfather’s role to Katherine Schwarzenegger’s kids. But unlike being a strict father, Arnie is a lenient grandfather.   


Written by:

Etha Bindu Rani


One take at a time

Etha Bindu Rani is a Bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. Passionate about words, Bindu has always taken to writing like a fish to water. Being a fitness enthusiast, she considers bodybuilding the best opportunity to depict her writing skills and keep a tab on her inspirations, Ronnie Coleman and Chris Bumstead.
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