Video interview: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kai Greene & Doug Mahnke on Frazetta, Conan & creativity

Video interview: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kai Greene & Doug Mahnke on Frazetta, Conan & creativity

We’ve been sitting on this for a bit, but are happy to finally share it. A little over a month ago, I had the honor of being asked to host a very special Q&A panel at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. For those unfamiliar, this event is held once a year featuring bodybuilders from around the world, including competitions and exhibitions on site, and special celebrity guests to boot… it’s enormous too, like San Diego Comic-Con for bodybuilders. This year is also the 30th Anniversary of the Arnold Sports Festival, and the panel I hosted was originally called “Limitless: Fitness Fueling the Creative Spirit”, and was meant to be about the ways bodybuilding and training can help boost a person’s creative side and influence creativity in their work. The panelists scheduled to attend were Arnold Schwarzenegger, IFBB professional bodybuilder Kai Greene (2016 Arnold Classic champion), and DC Comics’ DETECTIVE COMICS artist Doug Mahnke (who is also one of the top Power Lifters in the world). Both Kai and Doug are illustrators, and part of the panel was meant to show them working on art live while we took questions from the audience. Arnold had commented on how this was not unlike his Comic-Con experience (a reference to him attending last year’s Alamo City Comic Con)… so I gave the panel a slightly different nickname… “Arnold Con”, and who knows, I may have started something.

What followed after the introductions on stage was a candid discussion of how each of these men fuels their own creativity through their training, and then some rather awesome discussions from Arnold about legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta and his influence on the CONAN THE BARBARIAN movie and Arnold’s performance and physicality in it, how Arnold worked with director John Milius on that film and how he was cast for it, and even some talk about the long-delayed KING CONAN movie idea that Schwarzenegger continually hopes to do while he’s still acting. He even talked a bit about James Cameron, THE TERMINATOR, you name it… it was like getting to hear Arnold discuss all the things you’ve always wanted to hear him talk about, and in a very honest and open way. And all of this while Kai Green and Doug Mahnke sketched live for the audience. I must say, it was surreal and kind of magical being on that stage with these three, partly because I’m a fan of Arnold’s since childhood, I already knew Doug from having him as a guest at Dallas Comic Show, and meeting Kai the day before and seeing his powerful influence on his fans was quite inspiring. This is one for the record books, I cannot thank Brian with Number 6 Events enough for including me in such an incredible moment. Check out the full Q&A interview below, which is over an hour long. Big thanks to Devin Pike for helping me get this uploaded – used with permission from the event producers.

Find out more information about the Arnold Sports Festival by clicking here.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.