Okay, first we gotta explain that biopic isn’t a photo of Arnold’s best arm shot that makes you go, ‘Ohhh!’ (That would be bi-oh-pic.) It’s an actual TV movie about Arnold’s life’bio, as in biography, and pic as in picture, or flick.
Did you get that? It’s more than one picture; it’s an entire movie! Be excited, be very excited. The A&E television network will be airing the two-hour biography in January, so you’ll want to check your local listings, set your VCR and/or program your TiVo. This one’s going to be a keeper.
You may be asking, ‘Who could possibly play Arnold?’ If you’re a bodybuilding fan’or you used to watch ‘Son of a Beach,’ a cable-TV ‘Baywatch’ parody’you know the answer: Roland Kickinger, an Austrian bodybuilder who appears to have been born to play the role. In fact, IRON MAN had him on its cover next to a shot of the Oak way back in May 1994 with the line, ‘Is This the Next Arnold?’ Apparently, the answer is yes. (We IM folk are insightful sons of a gun, aren’t we?)
At 6’4′ Kickinger is two inches taller than Arnold’pretty darn close to Oak height. Other similarities are uncanny’from similar-shaped bodyparts to facial expressions to that thick Deutschland accent. (Next thing you know, he’ll be marrying into the Kennedy family.)
To top it off, like most bodybuilders, Roland has the utmost respect for Arnold and his accomplishments. Heck, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to see that Arnold’s got it going on and then some. He commands respect, remarkable in today’s political arena. Kickinger knows that as well as anyone, so he called up the California governor and asked whether he should accept the part’whether Arnold would give it his blessing. We’re pretty sure Arnold said something like, ‘Yah, jos be sure you git paid lots ov money, because remember, Ah’ll be bock.’ Of course, Roland said he did it to honor the king, not for the cash, of which there probably wasn’t a whole lot, seeing as how it’s cable and all (just in case the IRS is reading).
Former Mr. Olympia Frank Zane got in on the action, playing a TV commentator and advising on the film. He also wrote a song that will be featured. It must’ve been eerie for Frank to revisit that period of his life through the magic of motion pictures’almost like taking a ride in a time machine. Nick Stellate played Zane. (For more on Frank’s perspective of the movie, see page 242 and last month’s Mind/Body section.)
Other actors/bodybuilders in the flick include Bob Cicherillo as Lou Ferrigno, Chris Cook as Dave Draper and Michael Ergas as Franco Columbu. Filming took place in San Diego under the watchful eye of director J.B. Rogers, who also directed ‘American Pie 2.’ (We’re not sure if that means there will be lots of innuendo involving Austrian oaks; however, we’re sure that Stifler isn’t playing Ken Waller.)
Are you excited yet? The behind-the-scenes shots included in this preview should have you more than ready to microwave some popcorn and check out ‘See Arnold Run.’ If you’re an Arnold fan, as we are, you’ll want to visit www.aande.com to find out exactly when it airs. Then be sure to contact A&E afterward to say how much you liked it. While you’re at it, tell the network to produce some spots about abolishing that American-born-president stipulation in the Constitution because a lot of us really do want to see Arnold run’in about four years. Forget that last line. I’m so excited about the flick, I got carried away. IM