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Behind the scenes of Commando: How Arnie brought his iconic character to life

Commando is a classic 1980s action movie that has stood the test of time as a beloved cult favorite. The film follows the story of John Matrix, a retired Special Forces colonel who must rescue his daughter from a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped her in order to force Matrix to carry out a political assassination. The role of John Matrix was famously portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who brought his iconic character to life through his charisma, physicality, and memorable one-liners. In this article, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at how Arnie brought this character to life and made Commando the unforgettable film that it is today.

One of the key aspects of Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of John Matrix in Commando was his physicality. Schwarzenegger was already a well-known bodybuilder before he became an actor, and his impressive physique was a major selling point for many of his early roles. In Commando, Schwarzenegger’s physicality was on full display as he performed many of his own stunts and fight scenes. From the opening scene where Matrix is shown hacking down trees with a chainsaw to the final showdown with the villainous Bennett, Schwarzenegger’s physical presence was a major factor in bringing the character to life.

Another key element of Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of John Matrix in Commando was his charisma. Schwarzenegger has always had a larger-than-life persona, and he brought that to the role of Matrix in spades. Whether he was delivering a cheesy one-liner after dispatching a bad guy or engaging in witty banter with his co-stars, Schwarzenegger’s charisma was a major part of what made the character so memorable. In one iconic scene, after being asked to surrender, Matrix replies simply, “I don’t do requests.” This kind of bravado and confidence helped to make Matrix a character that audiences could root for and admire.

In addition to his physicality and charisma, Schwarzenegger also brought a sense of vulnerability to the character of John Matrix in Commando. Despite his tough exterior and his ability to take down an entire army of bad guys single-handedly, Matrix is ultimately a father who will do anything to protect his daughter. Schwarzenegger’s ability to convey this sense of vulnerability and emotion added depth to the character and helped to make him more relatable to audiences. In one particularly poignant moment in the film, Matrix tells his daughter, “Remember, when I promised to kill you last? I lied.” This line perfectly encapsulates the mix of toughness and tenderness that Schwarzenegger brought to the role.

Overall, Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of John Matrix in Commando was a masterclass in action movie acting. His physicality, charisma, and vulnerability all combined to create a character that has stood the test of time as one of the most iconic in the action movie genre. Commando may be a cheesy 80s action movie at its core, but thanks to Schwarzenegger’s performance, it has transcended its origins to become a beloved classic that is still enjoyed by audiences around the world to this day.


Q: Was Arnold Schwarzenegger always the first choice to play John Matrix in Commando?

A: No, Schwarzenegger was not originally the first choice for the role of John Matrix in Commando. The role was initially offered to actor Mark Harmon, but he turned it down. Once Schwarzenegger was cast, however, it became clear that he was the perfect choice for the role.

Q: Did Arnold Schwarzenegger perform all of his own stunts in Commando?

A: While Schwarzenegger did perform many of his own stunts in Commando, there were also a number of stunt doubles used for more dangerous and complicated sequences. However, Schwarzenegger’s athletic background and willingness to do his own stunts added to the realism of his performance as John Matrix.

Q: What was the budget for Commando, and how did it perform at the box office?

A: The budget for Commando was around $10 million, which was considered relatively low for an action movie of its time. However, the film ended up being a major box office success, grossing over $57 million worldwide. The film’s success helped to solidify Schwarzenegger’s status as a major action star.

Q: Are there any plans for a sequel to Commando?

A: While there have been rumors of a potential sequel or reboot to Commando over the years, as of now, no official plans have been announced. Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed interest in returning to the role of John Matrix, so it is possible that a sequel could happen in the future. For now, fans of the original film can continue to enjoy it as a standalone classic.

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