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Thursday
Oct172013

Escape Plan Set Visit PART 3: Stallone Attacks TheArnoldFans.com!

On this glorious day, while I was on the set of Escape Plan, I spoke with Arnold about several topics including cigars, New Orleans cuisine, his acting and the future of Conan. It was unfortunate that The Oak’s co-star, Stallone, was not going to be on the set this day (so I was told) but this surreal day of speaking with Arnold, dressed as the grey-bearded Emil Rottmayer, was a day I’ll never forget.

But with a heavy dose of bonus luck, I was very happy to hear the rumblings of a possible Stallone quick visit for a wardrobe fitting. Although I had seen Stallone in the past several times at Planet Hollywood openings, I had never met or spoken with the Schwarzenegger’s cinematic rival. Sly’s director’s chair was quickly brought out in case he wanted to sit. Like no other director-style chair I had ever seen, this ergonomic Captain Kirk-worthy chair came complete with wrist-pump grips! A side cigar tray had also been arranged.


Schwarzenegger, very jovial throughout the day, introduced me to several cast and crew key players and introduced me as “my friend, Randy” to “300” producer Mark Canton. The Terminator even brought Rocky Balboa my way! Stallone, wearing a tight blue shirt, was led by Arnold toward me. Again, I could tell an introduction was coming, so I hopped out of my chair. “Sly, this is Randy. He runs my Arnold fan club, TheArnoldFans,” Schwarzenegger proudly declared.

Shaking Stallone’s hand, I added, “Yeah, I’ve been doing it for fifteen years now (*now 16).”

“So, what are you up to, like three or four [fans] now?” Stallone questioned with a great deadpan delivery jab, trying to tease me and insult Arnold standing to his right, as if he only had a few fans.

There was a good laugh with Arnold’s surrounding staff while I expressed to Stallone (and hoping Arnold would hear) how excited I was to see the new Expendables film. Sly, still getting strong, continued laughs from his website joke, decided to leave on a high, so he gave me a nod and slowly turned and dismissed himself.

The insult to TheArnoldFans was epic as it was the butt of a joke at Arnold’s expense. A perfectly timed, perfectly answered, perfectly executed insult. There was something about the way Sly abruptly dismissed himself after his put-down that could have been read as insulting to some but sportive to someone who gets him and his humor. I admired his ball-busting attitude.

Stallone was in and out of the set within ten minutes, talking care of quick business, watching a bit of filming and inviting friends to dinner. He never did sit in his special chair.


In July of this year, at the fan screening of Escape Plan, I interviewed Stallone on the red carpet at Comic Con. This time we had an actual conversation. Maybe since our last encounter, Stallone thinks our numbers have doubled! Maybe now he thinks Arnold has 6 to 8 followers  to his #1 fansite!
Sometime after 2:30 p.m., lunch was officially announced and I was invited by the unit publicist to join him. Arnold’s friends joined our group, including The Oak’s assistant, his dialect coach, and Dieter, Schwarzenegger’s stand-in. We walked across the street from the set to a caterer’s large, white tent. After we all loaded up our plates, we sat two tables over from Arnold, who wore just his tank top as it was devilishly hot on this New Orleans afternoon. The three poor heavily dressed, black-masked guards from the film, sitting a table away from me, did not have enough time to change out of their costumes, so they could only remove their black face masks while they ate. 


Every 30 minutes or so, the Austrian hero would check in on me, making sure I was taken care of with the star treatment and constantly reminding his assistant to be sure to get me a stogie.

Just before I got the boot from the set, Daniel, Arnold’s assistant, asked if I was ready to say goodbye to his boss. Schwarzenegger was walking off the set and heading our way.

“Randy, all right, let’s do a photo,” Arnold said as we took a spot in the dimly lit room. We stood with a shaking-hands pose for the photo op, but Arnold realized the picture would be better lit up on the stage. Creating a much cooler photo memento, Schwarzenegger brought me into the interrogation room, where the crew members were all still scrambling for their next camera angle. We posed again, this time with my T2 thumbs-up pose. 


Schwarzenegger again expressed his gratitude for the years of service that TheArnoldFans has supplied. “Randy, keep up the great work. You’re really doing a fantastic job". Schwarzenegger was sincere, placing his hand on my shoulder, making good eye contact and really making sure that I understood his gratitude. 

“Go get your stogie,” Arnold said with a smile, officially dismissing me from one of my greatest experiences ever. At the end of the day, after a whopping four hours on the set, Daniel, Schwarzenegger’s assistant, led me to his boss’s trailer, where I stepped inside for a brief second and graciously accepted my Arnold Schwarzenegger gift.

I hope you enjoyed my 3-part Escape Plan set report. I sure enjoyed living it. Now IF ONLY Henry Hobson, the director of Maggie, will invite me onto his Schwarzenegger zombie film! ;) 

Be SURE to see Arnold and Stallone kick some prison guard ass this opening weekend! Don’t be a WIMP and wait for DVD and the Blu-ray. Be a hero and support the two greatest icons of action by paying to see Escape Plan on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Be sure to take a picture of yourself at the theater holding your Escape Plan ticket to be eligible for some prizes! We have a bunch and there will be lots of winners! Our Ticket stub photo contest is only open for the next 14 days so get us those pictures ASAP! Stick around for loads of Escape Plan and Arnold Schwarzenegger exclusives. See you at the cinemas! 

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