Lasting Action Hero is our series where we rock out to portraits of our favorite badasses from blockbuster history. We started out with a star who has some killer tattoos of his own, Danny Trejo, but we thought it was about time the we honored the Last Action Hero himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It takes a true action hero to get shitfaced and knock a camel flat on its ass, which is exactly what Arnold Schwarzenegger does in his breakout role in the film Conan the Barbarian. Since gaining popular acclaim as the sword-swinging, mead-guzzling warrior, he’s starred in over 40 films, some of which are the best to ever tear through the silver screen. So it seems only natural that adoring fans have payed tribute to the Austrian Oak by getting tattoos of the badass characters he’s played.
Schwarzenegger wasn’t always the celebrity-turned-politician that we think of him as today. His path to fame began when he entered the world of professional bodybuilding at 15. Because of his immaculate physique, he became the youngest person to win the coveted title of Mr. Universe by 20, and by 23, he became the youngest Mr. Olympia to date. Ultimately, it was these years spent getting insanely ripped that landed him work in Hollywood.
Most Schwarzenegger fans fondly recall his blockbusters from the ‘80s and ‘90s or the video of him smoking weed at a birthday party, but few remember just how awful his earliest films were. The first movie he starred in was Hercules in New York (1970), and his notorious accent was so still strong that the creators opted simply to dub over his voice. It wasn’t until his portrayal of Conan in 1982 that his career skyrocketed, but after that, he quickly entered into superstardom, capturing the hearts of people everywhere with his massive guns, contorted facial expressions, and nearly unintelligible delivery.
While his muscles alone are a wonder to behold and his kill counts are some of the highest in cinematic history (see: Commando), what Schwarzenegger is best remembered for are his characters’ one-liners. No other action star in history — be it Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, or even Steven Seagal — have quite as many quotable lines as good old Arnie. Whether it’s him shouting “It’s not a toomah!” in Kindergarten Cop or “Here’s Subzero … now plain zero” in The Running Man, he’ll likely never be bested, and that alone is worth getting a tattoo of Schwarzenegger as the T-800 or, better yet, Douglas Quaid, aka Carl Hauser.
To see more celebrity portraits, make sure to hit up these artists’ Instagrams. If you want to show your fandom for the Governator, open your mind and get a tattoo of Schwarzenegger from your favorite role, too. Hasta la vista, baby, but don’t worry, we’ll be back.