9 Ultimate Facts About Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator
Arnold-approved Facts about his greatest role in Predator (1987).
No ultimate action movie has aged as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic Predator (1987). The original has spawned three sequels and two crossover features – counting the 2018 release of The Predator which you can read more about here. Still, Predator stands out as both one of Arnold’s greatest showings and perhaps one of the greatest action movies of all time.
Let’s look at 9 awesome facts and trivia about Arnold’s war-crying ultimate performance in the original Predator action movie.
The UAMC Handshake
Carl Weathers and Arnold actually used their secret real life handshake in the movie. The handshake accomplishes two purposes, it helps both parties both test each other’s strength to make sure they’re both in optimal health, as well as lets both get a full faced sniff of each other’s muscles in full flex mode. Since its release, the Arnold-Weathers handshake has become the official UAMC handshake to share between members of the Ultimate Action Movie Club.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a well-known cigar aficionado insisted on using real cigars while filming, not fake movie ones which don’t look as cool. Always looking to lend a helping hand on set, he would even smoke cigars in scenes he wasn’t even in slightly off camera to add to the smoke-filled mystery for the jungle atmosphere.
Van Damme Cameo
Jean Claude Van Damme wanted to be on set so badly that he disguised himself as the Predator so that he could sneak in some sparring with his idol Arnold Schwarzenegger on camera. He was later replaced by an actual Predator so that the film would look more realistic.
Shane Black Script Notes
Shane Black, who would later go on to ultimate action movie fame by penning Lethal Weapon and several other classics, made his on-screen debut as Hawkins. He also made several uncredited script changes and notes based on his own experiences chasing a small child-friendly alien creature in Vietnam. Those experiences would be further expanded upon in E.T. by Steven Spielberg.
Carl Weather’s Arm
Contrary to popular belief, Carl Weathers didn’t actually lose his arm while battling the Predator as portrayed in the film. He actually lost it on the set of Rocky II as the result of a high five with Sylvester Stallone which was too explosive. To keep his dual armed persona going though, Weathers has used a prosthetic arm ever since, which you can see ripped off in this famous scene.
Like Arnold – who would later become Governor of California – Jesse Ventura actually lost a bet on set to Arnold and swore to one day run for office. Arnold, feeling bad about his friend having to sit in an office all day serving the people instead of bow hunting, decided to make things even by running himself. UAMC has unconfirmed reports that the two plan to run for even higher office next election with Arnold for President as Ventura as his VP.
Sonny Landham as Billy
Fun fact, Bill Duke is in fact not Native American. He was insistent on his non-Native Americanism when he arrived on set and was relieved to find out that he had been cast as Mac and not Billy – who he was also pleased to see played by Sonny Landham who is actually of Native American descent. Both characters ultimately meet the same fate though.
Arnold’s Mud Bath
The idea for Dutch to cover himself in mud to lower his body temperature to trick the Predator was actually a way Arnold used to relax between takes. The practice dates back to Arnold’s central European Austrian roots as a means of relaxed hibernation during the tepid summer months. If the Predator had done its research, he’d have known this and brought something other than thermal recognition technology.
Get to the Choppa
While Predator was a tightly scripted masterpiece, director John McTiernan allowed a certain level of improvisation to the main actors. Written as “Get to the chopper” Arnold’s ad-lib to “get to the choppa” was so powerful on set that the editors decided to leave it in.
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