Arnold Schwarzenegger may have enjoyed his tenure as governor of California, but his children were less enthused.
In an appearance on daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger’s Instagram show, Before, During and After Baby, the actor and former governor explained that his four children with ex-wife Maria Shriver were not pleased about their father’s political career, which required the family to relocate to Sacramento.
“First of all, I think it is very important to let everyone know how much you kids hated my job. It was one of those kind of odd things where I just thought that: ‘Oh, my kids will be so proud of me being governor now,’ and all this stuff, but I don’t think that you guys really kind of connected with that,” said Schwarzenegger, sporting a gray beard and black T-shirt. “I think you were so used to what we were doing when I was on a movie set.”
Schwarzenegger was in office from 2003 to 2011, and said he made the career transition because he “had this fixation about fixing the state and making the state better. And so that’s why I ran from one moment to the other when there was a recall.” However, the kids were not pleased.
“When you went to Sacramento, I remember you saying, ‘Dad, I hate your job,'” Schwarzenegger told his daughter, who laughed in response. “And I said, ‘Why do you hate my job?’ and you said, ‘Everyone around here is running around in a stupid black suit and a tie and you all look so serious. It was much more fun on a movie set… Why did you take us out of this fun? Why did you change?'”
“Yeah,” laughed Katherine. “Valid question!”
Ultimately, Katherine said she felt the family “had a very normal childhood, despite what people may think,” even with the presence of chauffeurs, security guards and a lot of privilege. Schwarzenegger and Shriver made sure all the children had chores and curfews, and believed in maintaining discipline, including hanging their bedsheets from the balcony if they didn’t make their beds.
“We made an unbelievable attempt to make you guys grow up normal,” said Schwarzenegger. “I give your mother the credit for that, because she grew up privileged… She knew how to safeguard and protect you all.”
Schwarzenegger also spoke about the more unexpected lessons of being a father, saying the biggest surprise of parenthood was that “each of you was so different” despite sharing the same upbringing.
“Everyone had their own personalities and their own characteristics,” he shared, adding that they then had to adjust to fit the needs of each specific child.
Still, Schwarzenegger says he gives primary credit to Shriver, since he was so occupied with work most of the time.
“I have to take Father’s Day with a grain of salt, because I think the majority of time, children are spending with their mothers. When I think back on raising you kids, I was on a movie set a lot of the times. I was trying to make a living and make a lot of money for the family,” he explained, saying he was only present “20, 30 percent of the time” during that time.
Schwarzenegger’s children have also had plenty of surprises for their father, as well. Last year, the actor admitted that he never expected Katherine to end up married to an actor. In 2019, Katherine wed Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, with whom she shares a baby girl, Lyla Maria Schwarzenegger Pratt.
“I said to myself, ‘She probably will be sick and tired of being dragged to [movie] sets,’” explained Schwarzenegger, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported. “We were in the middle of shooting Terminator 2, and she saw me with half of my face gone and all this kind of weird makeup,” he remembers. “She started screaming and crying on the set, because she did not understand why Daddy looked like that!”
Luckily, Schwarzenegger has nothing but raves for his son-in-law.
“Chris is a fantastic guy, and so easy to get along with,” he said. “He’s been such a wonderful husband, and a great son-in-law.”
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