As many writers have noted, becoming the world’s greatest bodybuilder was only one part of Arnold’s blueprint for success. The other was becoming an actor and movie star. But even the reigning Mr. Universe had to start small. One of his first nationally broadcast gigs was this Chevy commercial he shot with training partner Ric Drasin and a team of bodybuilders from Venice Beach. His face is briefly visible on the right side of the screen 24 seconds in:
CHEVY CHEVELLE COMMMERCIAL
WATCH THE VIDEO – 0:30
“We had been at the beach one day and we were asked to come in for a Chevy commercial by a representative of an ad agency. When the studios wanted bodybuilders for any films, commercials, print, etc, the first place they came was Venice Beach and Gold’s Gym. I got a lot of jobs just answering the pay phone on the wall.
“Arnold, myself and a slew of bodybuilders shot this commercial for Chevy in one day and had to lift this huge car, which of course was cheated by cables. This was a national spot that paid well and aired later on that year.
“We got the taste of the business and decided to pursue more. Arnold was asked to read for some sort of gladiator movie [“Hercules in New York”] and asked me to come with him on the reading. So I went and we met the producer and writer. He read the script as we sat there and he stumbled on word after word, laughing all the way through it. It was really something.
“As we left and got in the car, he said to me, ‘Maybe there’s a part in here for you too.’ I said, ‘With the way you read that, you’d better forget being an actor!’ Should I shoot myself now? Who ever knew where it would lead?”