With his smoldering good looks, chiseled jawline and bulging biceps, Joseph Baena is every bit the image of his superstar father.
And the budding actor – son of screen legend Arnold Schwarzenegger – is set to follow in his dad’s footsteps with his first movie role in upcoming sci-fi comedy The Chariot.
But in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV Baena, 23, reveals how he tries to duck the constant comparisons with his famous father, ignores talk of emulating Schwarzenegger’s stratospheric career and opens up about his battle transforming himself from a ‘chubby’ and ‘overweight’ teenager into a muscle-bound hunk.
‘I’m following my father’s footsteps because I’m doing my own thing,’ Baena explained. ‘I’m pursuing acting because I want to pursue acting. So really the pressure is just from myself.’
Baena, 6ft 1in of taut muscle, has a remarkable resemblance to his superstar dad. In fact he’s a dead ringer for Schwarzenegger during his glory days.
But despite revealing his father was a ‘big inspiration’ to him growing up, he prefers to ‘drown’ out all talk of comparisons.
Joseph Baena is following in his dad Arnold Schwarzenegger’s footsteps with his first movie role in upcoming sci-fi comedy The Chariot
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV Baena, 23, reveals how he tries to duck the constant comparisons with his famous father
Baena, 6ft 1in of taut muscle, has a remarkable resemblance to his superstar dad. In fact he’s a dead ringer for Schwarzenegger during his glory days
‘I like to just focus on myself,’ he said. ‘I want to dial in on what I’m doing because there’s no time to focus on these distractions…what is everyone else saying about you? What’s everyone talking about you? There’s no time for that.
‘I don’t really listen to too much of the things that are going on social media and such. I want it to come out of me and it is coming out of me. I put myself under a lot of pressure to be great, to not be lazy in a way.
‘I want to succeed in whatever I do. I want to show myself that I’m putting 100% effort into everything.’
Baena, the product of an affair between Schwarzenegger and his long time housekeeper Mildred Baena in 1996, is close to his dad who has supported him throughout his childhood and paid for his education.
The pair is often photographed together hanging out or pumping iron at the gym.
Baena was born just days after Schwarzenegger’s other son Christopher, one of four children he has with ex wife Maria Shriver.
But his mom Mildred kept the truth about the affair quiet for several years, making out Joseph was the son of her ex husband.
Arnie’s wife Maria became when she noticed her housekeeper’s son strongly resembled her husband as he grew older.
During a therapy session Schwarzenegger confessed to fathering Joseph and the affair eventually became public, sparking a huge scandal.
Mildred worked for the family for nearly 20 years before retiring in 2011, the same year Arnie and Maria divorced.
Baena is the product of an affair between Schwarzenegger and his long time housekeeper Mildred Baena in 1996
Maria Shriver (center)is pictured with her four children (L-R Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher) who she shares with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Baena was born just days after Schwarzenegger’s other son Christopher, one of four children he has with ex wife Maria Shriver
‘The bodybuilding, the fitness, the training, it’s all just a personal preference of mine that I want to look how I want to look,’ he said. ‘And I think that it’s gonna be helpful for the movies’
Fortunately Baena came through the scandal unscathed, but as an adult prefers not to talk about his parents or what happened between them.
After high school Baena graduated from Pepperdine University, a private college in Malibu, after showing an interest in real estate.
But flashing his movie ready pearl white teeth, he says acting has always been his ‘number one’ dream.
Baena opened up about his battle with transforming himself from a ‘chubby’ and ‘overweight’ teenager into a muscle-bound hunk
And the young actor says he has crafted his art by taking intensive classes with renowned acting coach Eric Morris – the man who taught Jack Nicholson.
‘Acting has always been something that I’ve loved,’ he said. ‘And since I’ve joined this acting class almost four years ago… I’ve just fallen in love with reading scripts, doing monologues, doing scenes.
‘So the passion just keeps growing for it. And, you know, I don’t want to stop, I want to keep going.’
Speaking on set while filming The Chariot in Little Rock, Arkansas Baena said it’s a ‘huge honor’ to be working alongside veteran actor John Malkovich, and other stars including Thomas Mann and Rosa Salazar.
‘I’m a Clint Eastwood fan, you know, watching In the Line of Fire, being able to be mentioned with that guy (Malkovich). It’s like, wow, it’s kind of a dream come true in a way,’ he said.
The Chariot is a dark sci-fi comedy about a corporation that erases people’s memories.
Baena plays the husband of a ‘glitch’ in the system.
‘I’m this fun character named Vince, a stallion, a stud if you will,’ he said. ‘So I’m excited to play the classy husband.’
Baena says he’s also bonded with another co-star on set, Vernon Davis, the former NFL superstar turned actor who most recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
He says the pair have been working out together in between filming.
‘I love that guy. And we get a pump in before shooting, so it’s been fun. It’s been exciting,’ he said.
Davis, a former Washington Football team player and Super Bowl winner, joined Baena on camera and joked that despite his co-star’s bulk he could still bench more than him.
Baena is well known on Instagram for regularly showcasing his bulging muscles at Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles.
Baena says he’s also bonded with another co-star on set, Vernon Davis, the former NFL superstar turned actor who most recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars
He and Vernon Davis have been working out together in between filming. ‘I love that guy. And we get a pump in before shooting, so it’s been fun. It’s been exciting,’ he said
He delights his 282,000 followers with shots of his body, often imitating poses his dad once pulled as Mr. Universe.
But Baena admits he wasn’t always in such great shape and battled the bulge as a kid.
‘The funny thing is that I was actually really chubby and really overweight throughout middle school and the beginning of high school,’ he said.
‘And it took until my sophomore year, my second year into high school for me to join the swim team.’
Baena says swimming helped him to ‘lean out’ and his physique changed dramatically.
‘I started doing training and weights and saw how the muscles were getting bigger,’ he recalls.
‘I wasn’t just lean from swim, but I started getting bigger, faster, stronger. So, you know, fitness has just been a part of my life since then.
‘And then going into college, I gained some weight back and I wanted to just hit it full force and keep training, get my physique back to where I want it.
‘So the bodybuilding, the fitness, the training, it’s all just a personal preference of mine that I want to look how I want to look. ‘And I think that it’s gonna be helpful for the movies.’
Baena trains 2-3 hours a day in the gym but says he has no aspirations of becoming a champion bodybuilder like his dad.
And as for wanting to follow Schwarzenegger into action movies, the young actor says he wants to ‘do it all’.
Schwarzenegger, a former Mr Universe whose acting career hit dizzying heights during the 1990s, starred in dozens of action flicks including Conan the Barbarian, Terminator, Commando, Predator and Running Man, but also turned his hand to comedy starring in hits like Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Junior.
Baena trains 2-3 hours a day in the gym but says he has no aspirations of becoming a champion bodybuilder like his dad
Baena’s action hero dad, now 73, was also renowned for his movie one-liners, usually uttered seconds after beating up a bad guy
Baena said: ‘The thing is, I want to do it all. I mean, that’s why I’m going to so many acting classes all the time and practicing my monologues in these scenes from all types of movies, plays all over the place, because I want to do the dramas.
‘I want to do the suspense, the thrillers, the action movies. I want to be able to do it all, even the comedies.’
Baena’s action hero dad, now 73, was also renowned for his movie one-liners, usually uttered seconds after beating up a bad guy.
Lines like, ‘I’ll be back’ and ‘hasta la vista, baby’, in the Terminator movies, ‘Let off some steam, Bennett,’ in Commando and ‘You’re fired,’ in True Lies as he launched a bad guy on a missile, have become cemented in popular culture.
Baena says he loves his dad’s ‘catchphrases’.
‘Oh man, the catchphrases are hilarious. I love them,’ he said. ‘They’re iconic from the eighties, the nineties, you know, there’s so
many different actors that have all their catchphrases, even Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and my father’s catchphrases were always fantastic.
‘I would love to have an iconic catchphrase, just like all these action legends.’
Of course as his star rises Baena knows the attention on him will increase, especially from adoring female fans.
‘The following is growing, it’s fun you know, DMs here and there,’ he said.
‘But hey, I’m a single guy and I’m more focused on my work right now than I am on anything else.’
He added: ‘I want to work my hardest and I want to show the director and the producers, the stars that I’m working with that I’m here for business. I’m here to show people what I have. I’m here to be an actor, to be a successful actor.’
The Chariot, directed by Adam Sigal, is set for release this fall.