Schwarzenegger makes final appearance at The Arnold before leaving to film Netflix series – The Columbus Dispatch

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes a selfie Saturday with Brandon Curry, winner of the 2022 Pro Bodybuilding Arnold Classic title during the finals held in the Battelle Grand Ballroom at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus. Curry won $200,000 for the top award at the event, plus $10,000 for the Ed Corney Best Posing award.

Before jetting off to Toronto to begin filming his new Netflix series, Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down with other bodybuilders on Sunday to chat as the annual sports festival named for him came to a close.

Sunday was the final day for the The Arnold Sports Festival, which made a triumphant return this year to the Greater Columbus Convention Center after two years of cancellations and scaled-back events. And before it all ended, Schwarzenegger took to the stage in the Battelle Grand Ballroom for a discussion moderated by bodybuilder Bob Cicherillo.

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As part of the ticketed “Arnold Sunday Showcase” event, the pair were joined by other famous bodybuilders, including Chris Bumstead, Ronnie Coleman, Lee Haney, Terrence Ruffin and Brandon Curry, winner of the coveted 2022 Pro Bodybuilding Arnold Classic title.

Emcee Bob Cicherillo, center, speaks during a roundtable with Arnold Schwarzenegger (not pictured) and other bodybuilders on Sunday, the final day of The Arnold Sports Festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

But with a busy schedule, Schwarzenegger couldn’t stay long at the event. After about an hour, he left to catch a plane for Toronto, where he said he would soon begin filming an upcoming spy adventure series with Sky for Netflix called “FUBAR.”

History of The Arnold: Why a sports festival named after Arnold Schwarzenegger is held in Columbus every year

Before he departed, here’s what Schwarzenegger had to say about a variety of topics:

On Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new Netflix series

The series is based on True Lies, a 1994 action/comedy movie that Schwarzenegger starred in with Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Art Malik and Tia Carrere.

Schwarzenegger said he will play a secret agent who finds out that his daughter (being played by Monica Barbaro), whom he believed to be a member of the Peace Corps, has also been a secret CIA operative for years. 

The series, announced late last year, was originally developed at independent Skydance Television with whom Schwarzenegger has worked before on “Terminator: Genisys” and “Terminator: Dark Fate.”

Though he is a veteran of action movies such as the Terminator series, this will be Schwarzenegger’s first scripted television series.

“I’m always interested in doing different things,” he said.

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Mary, an 80 year-old powerlifter, waves to the crowd during the third day of the Arnold Sports Festival at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

On aging

Schwarzenegger will turn 75 this year, and though he said he is starting to feel his age, he hasn’t let it slow him down.

Part of the reason he wants to scope out Toronto? To make sure there’s a gym nearby where he can stay in shape while filming.

“The important thing for me is to train every day,” he said.

On his many pets and animals

Schwarzenegger’s home is populated with all manner of furry friends whose interactions with him he often shares on social media.

That includes his donkey Lulu, his dogs Dutch, Noodle, Schnitzel and Cherry, and a miniature horse named Whiskey.

“Animals just bring so much joy,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’ve always loved them.”

On his love of classic bodybuilding and this year’s competitors:

Some of the Pro Bikini Competition finalists on Saturday during the Arnold Classic Finals at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus.

Schwarzenegger provided commentary during Saturday night’s Arnold Classic finals, considered the marquee event of the sports festival, and the competition he made famous.

“It’s all about presentation,” he said. “If you have a fantastic body, you should be able to show it off.”

Speaking about Terrance Ruffin, the bodybuilder who won this year’s Classic Physique competition, Schwarzenegger said: “You hit that sweet spot. Your timing was perfect; everything was perfect … your posing was really extraordinary.”

Curry, who won the top pro bodybuilder title this year at the Arnold Classic and its $200,000 prize, as well as $10,000 for the Ed Corney Best Posing Award, took to the stage in a suit and tie — and carrying a yellow bag containing products he was marketing.

The humorous stunt got a laugh out of the crowd and from Schwarzenegger, who praised Curry’s marketing ingenuity.

“This is a whole new world of bodybuilding,” Schwarzenegger said. “Bodybuilders know there’s a lot of money in bodybuilding.”

Oh, and Schwarzenegger also congratulated Curry on the AClassic’s big win.

“I think the trophy went to the right place,” Schwarzenegger said. 

Eric Lagatta is a reporter at the Columbus Dispatch covering public safety, breaking news and social justice issues. Reach him at Follow him on Twitter @EricLagatta