Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.”
Patrick Schwarzenegger can’t reveal any details about his work in the upcoming spinoff of Amazon’s “The Boys” — no, he won’t confirm reports that he’s playing a character named Golden Boy — but he admits that he has shown his father, Arnold Schwarzenegger, photos from the set.
“He looked at me and he was like, ‘What the fuck are you filming?’” Patrick tells me on this week’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “I was like, ‘It’s this show called ‘The Boys.’ … You have to watch an episode to understand it, or else I can’t articulate what happens in it.”
“The Boys” producers reached out to Schwarzenegger for the spinoff after meeting him years ago when he auditioned to play the character of Homelander on the original series. He wasn’t allowed to read the spinoff scripts until he was officially cast. “They were just like, ‘It’s about this. This is the character. This is what’s going to happen in this,’” Schwarzenegger says. “I was like, ‘OK, it’s “The Boys.” I know it’s going to be something crazy but it’s an amazing show.’ … And then when I started reading [the scripts] on set, I was like, ‘Oh boy, this is going to be, yeah, this will be fun and interesting.’”
Schwarzenegger adds, “This set is really fun, and there’s just a loosey-goosey comedy. It’s kind of like ‘Euphoria’ meets superheroes.”
No surprise, but he also warns that both his dad and mom Maria Shriver will “be in for a loop.”
Schwarzenegger, who made his acting debut when he was 10 with a small role in the 2006 film “The Benchwarmers,” has been receiving rave reviews for his work in HBO Max’s “The Staircase” as Todd Peterson, son of Michael Peterson (Colin Firth). Todd battles alcohol and drug abuse as he tries to stand by his father’s side when he is put on trial for the murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson (Toni Collette).
Todd also appears to be questioning his sexual identity. In one scene, it seems like he and a male friend might start making out while drinking and doing lines of coke in a bar bathroom stall. Schwarzenegger reveals that he shot more explicit scenes that represented “more investigations into his sexuality,” but they didn’t make the final cut. “There were some scenes where he was pleasuring himself in his dad’s office and … he can’t to straight porn and straight stuff. So he starts to investigate other stuff,” he says.
Of course, I had to ask Schwarzenegger if he thinks Michael is guilty of killing Kathleen. He says the owl theory threw him off (a neighbor of the Petersons made quite a convincing argument that Kathleen may have fallen down the staircase after being attacked by an owl), but in the end, “I do think it was him.”
He watched the owl episode with his mom: “She was like, ‘I’m really upset that I watched this and I saw the owl thing, because it’s just taken a little bit away from me saying that it was for sure him.’”
Since “The Staircase” premiered on May 5, Schwarzenegger has proven to be a good self-deprecating sport by sharing social media posts of viewers expressing shock at how impressed they are with his acting. One such reaction on Twitter: “The biggest revelation from the premiere episode is Patrick Schwarzenegger… can act?”
Schwarzenegger is leaning in.
“I’m having a great time, and this project’s been a lot of fun. And the reactions have been great,” he says. “A lot of them are funny.”
Listen to the full interview with Schwarzenegger above. You can also find “Just for Variety” at Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.