We sat down to ask Terminator Genisys body double Brett Azar- the man doubling for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1984 and 1970’s Terminator, some questions about his role and experiences on the upcoming Terminator movie. Here’s what was said:
How did you get the job on Terminator Genisys?
Through my manager Mike Lyons. He pushed me for the role like our lives depended on it.
-Was there an auditioning process and what was it like?
In the auditions there were several rounds. First we had to take full body measurements. The basics… height, waist etc, but also specific ones too. Circumference of every limb in several spots, distance between joints… like shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist… really specific. If I passed they had me send a video submission reenacting the rise scene of T1. I put a lot of effort into that with my agent Adam Silver. We did it shot for shot and with dialogue of course- with Arnold voice. I think that helped a great deal in the director’s decision.
Did you already have the body/build required or did you have to do any additional training eg. Gain/Lose Weight/bulk up etc?
I had the body and was actually leaner than needed to be. So I ate freely. Arnold was not in competition shape for T1; so I just wanted to stay as big as possible. The catering on set was an awesome help… unlimited protein all day long 😉
Were you nervous playing Arnold’s younger body double?
The nerves were uncontrollable during the auditions, but once that contract was signed… relief, bliss and excitement.
My dreams were a reality in those moments. It wasn’t nerves. It was pure enjoyment. I soaked up every second of the experience.
You filmed scenes with Arnold for the fight, was it surreal to be fighting THE TERMINATOR?
It was like fighting a god. The man has been my idol since elementary school. I’m fighting the greatest action hero in history. I am playing the most badass role of his (Arnold’s) in history. And I’m doing it naked… surreal is an understatement. I’ve never felt so honored, blessed and grateful to all involved.
When did you first meet Arnold and did he have any words of advice?
It was in the production office and we were getting fitted for wardrobe. I walked up to him wearing a Venice beach Arnold tank top. He said; “look at this guy, all pumped up!” I said “well I better be, I’ve got some big biceps to fill”, then he was dragged away into wardrobe.
You get hit over the head with a telescope (as seen in trailer) what were you really (pretend hit) hit on the head with,- a tennis ball on the end of a stick?
It was a mock telescope. The top was made to break open and spray all the coins inside everywhere. It never actually hit me, hit a dummy for the explosive break, but Arnold swung that thing at me full force. A few times I thought twice about getting closer…
You wore a “cock sock” to conceal your manhood for scenes; Jai Courtney also spoke about wearing a penis concealment accessory… was it uncomfortable, or were you relieved to be wearing one on set?
Jai got to wear a triangle piece that was more like a g-string. I had literally a sock/pantyhose with a drawstring. … yeah nothing was concealed. And I had to run at Arnold full speed, grapple with him, throw kicks and punches, approach him on the ground…. just hanging out. I really didn’t care though. I was living my dream and it didn’t matter if I was naked doing it. The stunt guys always made a good joke of it though… leaving a plate of cucumber slices and a sausage in a specific arrangement in my trailer…. I just know I’ll never feel awkward again in my life.
The set was an inside location? with a blue-screen background replicating the Griffith Observatory location at night?
They built the whole Griffith observatory on set in new Orleans. It was an outside set and we shot at night. The only blue screen was to show the rest of the city.
You had lots of ink dots on your face to aid the digital mapping of Arnold’s younger face onto yours; how long did this process take before shooting?
At least an hour every day. The dots were placed according to where my face moved. It got easier as the shoot progressed. I was applying some myself by the end cause I knew where they went and it was just easier. The makeup team was fantastic though. They made sure not a dot was missed or out of place.
What was your actual height and weight during the filming of your scenes?
I am 6’2 and my weight was 250 lbs during shooting. I actually lost weight during the stunt training and fight choreography in the weeks prior to shooting. The extra activity burned a lot of fat. So I had to bulk back up before camera time.
Your hair was your own right? Styled to Arnold’s original style he had back in the 1984 movie?
It was a wig. But now I’m keeping my hair that length in hopes of a future need 😉
– Nice wig! It looks real in all the behind the scenes stuff we have seen in the T-800 Vs T-800 battle!
You also appear in the movie in other scenes and flashbacks… was that Rocket Launcher prop heavy or was Alan Taylor’s daughter (Willa Taylor- young Sarah Connor) heavier?
Yes, that was also me as Arnold’s good guy terminator back-flash. Not as the bad guy 1984 T-800. So technically I was two different characters. The gun was no big deal. But carrying Willa was the most nerve racking. I had to walk through muddy ground. If I slipped and dropped her my career was over 😉 She was such a fun kid too. We hung out all day and I know Alan got some awesome candid photos of us goofing around that I’d love to see. Working that scene with Willa was special.
How long did you shoot for; how many days/hours?
I worked off and on from beginning of April to end of June.
Do you have any information for fans about future projects/your career?
Look for my bicep in Men’s Health magazine in July. A Snickers ice cream print add where I’m a Guido. Several TV shows this summer; including a new Marvel show on Netflix , The Jim Gaffigan show on TVLand, Aziz Anzari TV show on Netflix and an episode of Power on Stars. But always more movie and TV roles to hook and reel 😉