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Tuesday
Dec162014

Exclusive Interview with Terminator’s T-800 & Arnold Set Stories!

An army of Arnold’s is marching forward to our theaters on July 1st, 2015! As you all know already from the Terminator Genisys trailer, there will be several versions of Schwarzenegger’s T-800 throughout the film. We’ve seen a gray-haired Arnold in a green jacket and a dark-haired Arnie with a leather jacket, and we also get to encounter the original 1984 nude Terminator! But what you don’t know yet are these great behind-the-scenes Arnold stories given to us by none other than the actor playing Schwarzenegger’s 1984 onscreen body!  

Brett Azar tells TheArnoldFans in our exclusive interview that he’s the onscreen body and physical actor portraying the Schwarzenegger physique in his 30s. But we won’t see Brett’s face; we’ll see Arnold’s, thanks to some movie magic. To best reproduce the classic 1984 Terminator, Azar’s body and Arnold’s face will perfectly merge in what promises to be mind-blowing technological special effects.  


Azar gives TheArnoldFans a full interview, complete with information on stunts, his casting, the film’s rating, director praise and sightings of Schwarzenegger pumping up on the set! 

TheArnoldFans: Congratulations on the T-800 role in Terminator Genisys.

Brett Azar: “It was the role of a lifetime.”

TheArnoldFans: How did you get the role, and do you know who else auditioned?

Brett Azar: “There was a nationwide search, and there were a few guys. It took two months of auditioning. First we had to measure everything – not only from bicep to chest, but like elbow to wrist and shoulder to elbow. Just every part of our bodies to see if they would match up to what Arnold looked like in the first Terminator. So once we got past that step, they had us submit a video reenacting that scene where he does the rise and then walks up to the punks. You know, where he’s like, ‘Nice night for a walk’ and ‘Your clothes, give them to me, now.’ So I did that and sent it in and I heard I was considered to be in the top five and then it keep getting narrowed down daily. Then it was between me and another guy who was a national level bodybuilder. Not a pro, but a natural amateur.  So it was between him and me, but Arnold also had his own guy that he brought in, so it was then between the three of us, and finally they gave it to me.” 

TheArnoldFans: How close of a physique do you come to Arnold’s 1984 body? What are your muscular measurements and weight?

Brett Azar: “Well, right now I’m 240 but for filming I got up to 250. I bulked up for it because in Terminator 1, he wasn’t as cut up and he was more big and massive. That was the look they were going for. In Conan (the Destroyer), he was shredded but in Terminator he was just big, which was nice because I got to eat a lot more. When we did screen tests, they had a cast model of his body from when he competed in one of the Mr. Olympias. I had to stand next to this thing and I felt dwarfed. My measurements matched up as far as height and shoulder to elbow and where our shoulders lined up, but his chest stuck out so much further. And the calves on this thing were unbelievable! And he had like 24-inch arms. I’m not near that. I’m at 19. Fortunately, it looks good on camera.”

TheArnoldFans: Did you do any of your own stunts?

Brett Azar: “All my own stunts and all my fight choreography. I can’t wait for that to get released – with the fight scenes I was involved in because it was unreal. I’m obviously naked for that walk scene so my wardrobe is a sock. I’m on the set with like 200 cast members just watching me in only a sock. It’s tied on. It was like a nylon sock that had a drawstring. But this is PG-13 so they’ll make sure the shadows are right and everything is covered, but we’re doing our fight scene and there’s part of a scene where I’m face-to-face with Arnold and the director calls ‘Cut!’ and I’m staring at Arnold Schwarzenegger dead in the face trying to convince him that I’m going to kill him. And then I had that moment where I’m like, wait a minute, and I stopped. I said, wait, I’m staring at Arnold Schwarzenegger in the face, about to kick his ass and now I’m just hanging out.”

TheArnoldFans: You mentioned you thought this will be PG-13. I think it will too. Did you see much gore going on to suggest an R?

Brett Azar: “They were very focused on how much butt-crack was going to show, and they kept saying this wasn’t going to be R.”

This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Genisys would be rated PG-13. Jai Courtney also told TheArnoldFans.com that it will be more action-heavy over strong profanity. 

Jai Courtney: “I would love to see it be rated R, but I don’t think it will. I think in this day and age, it’s much more likely to be PG-13. There were no f-bombs. But there’ll be a healthy amount of movie violence.”

Although most of us hard-core Terminator fans would indeed prefer Genisys to be rated R, we believe there will still be plenty more violence than most PG-13 films since the film rating board is more lenient on cyborg gore and violence. In other words, Terminators can really fuck each other up with maximum violence, but since they’re not human, we’re allowed to see them take on more wounds, bullets to the head and loss of cybernetic limbs. So we will get our violence. A few profanities will also still be flying in the heat of battle. The best silver lining on the PG-13 rating is the fact we don’t have to see a brightly lit, full Jai Courtney ass shot!  

TheArnoldFans: Did you wear a full green screen headpiece to later have an Arnold CG head superimposed onto you in post production? Or how does this work?

Brett Azar: “No, Skydance was the team that was doing it, and they did it with dots. I had stickers all over my face and also to track my motion so there were some on my shoulder, elbow, knee, chest and ankle. Just so they could track everything. And there was no green screen. It was all live film, but they did it where they’d track the dots. My face had a bunch. I was covered in dots. So when I was doing my filming, they called it a sock and dots day.”

TheArnoldFans: What was it like for you to be in that classic Terminator pose, kneeling down? Did you feel like a bad-ass on the set?

Brett Azar: “Oh, for me, I started out as a bodybuilder, but before that I was watching Arnold with my grandfather and doing the Arnold voice since I was like eight years old. And all through college. I mean, I loved Arnold Schwarzenegger and for me to get this role was like cloud nine, and every second just felt like a dream come true. Yeah, when I had to practice that whole position and the walk. When I did the video submission, they didn’t ask for any speaking, but the whole time I did the Arnold voice and they cracked up. They loved it.” 

TheArnoldFans: I saw a picture of you, Arnold and Joe Manganiello. What was Joe doing out there? Just saying hi?

Brett Azar: “Yeah, he was visiting because they did Sabotage. That was one of my last days of filming, and I got to meet Joe and it was awesome. Arnold came out and passed out cigars (London Punch) to everyone and told stories about everything. Hearing those stories was like listening to your hero the whole time. It was incredible.” 

TheArnoldFans: What was it like meeting your idol for the first time?

Brett Azar: “When I met Arnold, working with him was like an out-of-body experience the whole time. It was intimidating and it was like one of those – he’s my idol, he’s my hero, so what do I say? So I didn’t say a damn thing. I just let him talk. But it was cool because we met in the production office and I was wearing an Arnold Venice California T-shirt. I walked up and I introduced myself and Arnold was like, ‘Hey, look at this guy. He’s all pumped up.’ It was unbelievable.” 

TheArnoldFans: What was your favorite moment from Terminator Genisys?

Brett Azar: “It was when Arnold and I were discussing how the Terminator walks. Just working on the project, not discussing bodybuilding or precious roles or stories, but actually collaborating on the film and acting. It was by far my favorite conversation with him.” 

TheArnoldFans: What type of acting work have you done in the past, and what are you working on next?

Brett Azar: “I’ve been doing legitimate acting for three years now. I moved to NYC for that, and I moved from Rhode Island. I’ve been blessed. I’ve gotten lucky and there have been some fun roles. For one of my first gigs I was the Trojan Man for Trojan Condoms. That was cool to say I was the Trojan Man. And then I had a movie role in Jersey Shore Massacre where I played a douche-bag guido.”

Brett is pumped for his future in acting and for the release of Terminator in 2015. He also gives high praise to Emilia Clarke and the director.

Brett Azar: “Alan Taylor nailed it. He was the director and he was awesome! He knew exactly what was going to work and what wasn’t. And having Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor...she kicked ass!”

TheArnoldFans: How big of a Terminator fan are you?

Brett Azar: “Huge! Huge! I’m a big Arnold fan in general.”

Soon our conversation turned to Dieter Rauter, Arnold’s stand-in and large training partner.

Brett Azar: “Dieter was there. He was part of that whole group and he was cool too. Arnold was working out and was doing donkey calf raises, and Dieter was sitting up on Arnold’s back. And that was not like a publicity stunt; it was legitimately part of his workout!”

TheArnoldFans: Did Arnold rough you up during fights? Any bruises?

Brett Azar: “NO, do you know what? There’s a moment when he’s on the ground during the fight choreography, and every time he went to the ground, he fell on the mat. After the shot, I’d offer to pick him up and he’d refuse every time. I mean, we did this so many takes and every time he’d get up on his own. He just kept going. And that’s Arnold.” 

After we saw the film trailer, there was great concern that Arnold might only have a small supporting role in the film, but the REAL Terminator tells TheArnoldFans otherwise.

Schwarzenegger: “I have the starring role and you see me throughout the entire movie.”

Listen to our latest episode of Arnold Radio News and you’ll hear our interview with Brett Azar. There’s even a bonus Brett Terminator clip up on our podcast, so get your ass on over to A.R.N.! 

 

The trailer alone for Terminator Genisys is already better than T3 and T4 combined, and we’ve seen so very little. We can’t wait to see more. In early 2015, Paramount Pictures and Skydance will next release the Schwarzenegger-heavy trailer showing more T-800 awesomeness. But studios, please don’t reveal too much, and save the one-liners for the magic of the movie-going experience. No more plot spoilers, please. I’m very happy with the alteration of the timeline (resetting the rules) to not retell the same old story.  I’m ready to have my mind blown by new Terminator twists. Just please give me those one-liners, twists and the greatest action shots on July 1st, 2015 and not earlier with upcoming trailers.

Watch the epic Terminator Genisys trailer again! Go, now!

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