172: Tom Arnold is an American actor with over 100+ movies and TV shows in addition to working with the USO whom Bob Hope exposed him to years ago plus a host of the Best Damn Sports Show years ago. He keeps reinventing himself and was a super interesting and engaging guest!

October 9, 2020

Tom Arnold

What was it like for actor Tom Arnold growing? “I did grow up in a small farming town and the oldest of seven kids. When you are a kid from Ottumwa, Iowa, you have dreams. You watch the TV. You go to the movies. But you work in the field. You mail hay. You detach the cord. You rope beets. It is impossible to get to Hollywood. You dream about it. You talk about it. You daydream about it. The biggest thing about Hollywood that may come to your town is Andre the Giant. Wrestling occasionally comes to town”

On this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, we talk with Tom Arnold, actor and comedian, about his family life early on. “I wanted to be on television because I grew up with a single father. When my dad was 22, I was 4, my sister was 3, and my brother was 1. We would always tell dad that he was boring because he would go to work. He would come home. He would play with us some. But we didn’t think he was very exciting. But as a single 61-year-old father with a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, I’ve gained a ton more respect. Every day I think about him.”

What You Will Learn:

What was Tom Arnold’s first acting job in Hollywood? “One of the first jobs I did in Hollywood was a Bob Hope special. Bob Hope was so nice. He called my dad. The dream I had was that my dad would watch me with Bob Hope on that same TV in that same living room (that Tom Arnold grew up in), and that happened. It was exactly as I dreamed.”

Tom Arnold shares how what he is doing in his life are things that he always dreamed of doing. “I’ve been in over 100 movies. Every dream that I have ever had has come true. From my children, to every movie, TV shows, my sports dreams. I wanted to be on a sports show. I have met most of my heroes, childhood heroes. I’ve sat right next to them. These people would come on my sports show. People that my grandpa and on would just sit and watch.”

Was actor and comedian Andy Kaufman different in person than his professional persona? “He was a very sweet guy. He is very brave. Obviously, Jerry Lawler was in on it. Those were characters. The wrestling people do it… Wrestlers, getting involved there you can get hurt. Wrestling women you can get hurt. Everybody was aware. It was a good thing for wrestling.  But it was a character. He wanted to play a heel. I grew up with that type of wrestling. I worship all of those guys.”

Tom Arnold talks about his passion for sports. “What a gift to go and talk about sports, which I love. Sports, I have always considered my drug of choice. Sports are more fair than life I always say. Because there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. There is no fake news. I mean, you just go out and you watch it and miracles happen. I tell my son, it is never over until it is over

Out of all of the interviews Tom Arnold said the one that stands out the most is visiting his sister when she was in prison serving 10 years. “I had become friends with the DEA, the agents that had originally had arrested her. She was the queen of meth. They are making a movie about her. I said (to his sister) you got the job there, you don’t don’t do this and that. I helped raise her son who was 7 when his parents went to prison. His dad ended up dying. The guy from the DEA said she is dealing again. He said if she stops right away we will let her off.”

True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger

How did the movie True Lies change Tom Arnold’s life? “Of the maybe 120 movies that I have done, True Lies was really the first. I am so lucky because I failed during the last year of my marriage to Roseanne, I was doing the show, going back and forth, and when we got divorced it was a big deal. She is a big star, and I lost my job on the show, weirdly the same day she filed for divorce. They weren’t going, ‘we like both of these guys, we will work with both of them. ‘She was like, ‘if you were to work with him again, you will never see me again.’ So I didn’t think my prospects for jobs were too good. But James Cameron and Arnold were like, ‘forget those, people. When True Lies comes out in two months, everyone is going to be blown away.” 

Being a Celebrity

During this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, Tom Arnold also talks about the worst thing about being a celebrity. “Bad casting. Tom Arnold doesn’t do…people think they know what you do. Well he does this kind of role because they’ve seen you in a bunch of movies. Or, when you read they are casting a Tom Arnold type but younger.”

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