Even though Arnold Schwarzenegger retired from his post as Governor of California in 2011, that doesn’t stop the current occupant of the White House from taking shots at his fellow celebrity-turned-politician. President Trump first began insulting Schwarzenegger when the Austrian actor replaced Trump as host on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” renamed “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” The 15th season of the reality competition series, of which Trump was an executive producer, aired during the 2016-2017 TV season and became one of the show’s lowest-rated seasons. In a new interview with Men’s Heh Magazine, Schwarzenegger reflected on his beef with the president.
“I think he really — he's in love with me,” he said. “That's the reality of it. With Trump, he wants to be me.”
Trump began fixating on Schwarzenegger in 2017. Following Schwarzenegger’s announcement that he was leaving the reality show after one season, the president tweeted: “Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad pathetic ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show.”
The actor fired back, calling the president “meshugge” for walking away from the U.N. climate talks, and more recently saying in an interview at the Hollywood Foreign Press dinner that he had “nothing nice to say” about the president.
In the most recent interview, Schwarzenegger offered a more nuanced assessment of the president, drawing on experiences from years ago.
“I don't think he fears me. But I remember that in the old days, when we went to the wrestling matches, the way he admired people with bodies, and the way they would jump around in the ring, and to perform physical stunts and stuff like that — he had great admiration for that. And the showmanship — he had great admiration for that. He asked me, How do you do that, with the movies? I mean, it's so believable. He drilled down to specific questions that fascinated him. It was about How do you sell something? Like, a scene. How do you go and act out a scene so that I get affected emotionally? He was fascinated by that. How do you do this when you do interviews — that you penetrate through it and you then are totally believable?”