Arnold Schwarzenegger Is ‘Obsessed’ With His Son’s New HBO Max Show, According to Patrick Schwarzenegger

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big fan of his son Patrick’s new HBO Max true-crime series, The Staircase.

As the 28-year-old shared with Insider, like most people, Arnold was already hooked on the miniseries that inspired the show. But once Patrick was cast in the adaptation, the Terminator actor became “obsessed.”

The Staircase follows the true story of novelist Michael Peterson, who police charged with murdering his wife Kathleen before he ultimately confessed in 2003.

A documentary by the same name debuted on Netflix in 2018, and HBO has revisited the story with a dramatized depiction. Patrick Schwarzenegger plays Todd Peterson, Michael’s son from a previous marriage. The series also stars Colin Firth as Michael and Toni Collette as Kathleen.

Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t the only one drawn by the twisted tale of the Petersons. Patrick admitted that he also watched the documentary “twice” before landing his role in the new series. And he prepared for his scenes without the help of his A-lister dad.

“A lot of sons go to their father for advice with anything,” Patrick said. ” I definitely go to him like that, but I didn’t go to him for this specific character.”

Patrick Enlisted Help From Creator Antonio Campos Before Filming

Instead, he did his own research and enlisted help from creator Antonio Campos to truly nail the character. The actor noted that Campos had been “with the story for like, 10 years.” And because of that, he had unending advice for all of the cast members.

“He was such a treasure chest of information,” said Patrick. “He had so much uncut footage from the documentary to pull from, and interviews to read. And he was almost a one-stop-shop of information.”

But when it came to acting, it was Firth who inspired Patrick Schwartzenegger. While talking to HollywoodLife during the premiere of The Staircase, he admitted that Firth’s performance was flawless.

“I almost was speechless because he’s so incredible of going in as Colin Firth. And then within a heartbeat can switch over to Michael Peterson. And that’s a hard thing to do,” he admitted. “All the little quirky things, the eyebrows, and the mouth, and the dialect. It was jaw-dropping to watch him go fully into that.”

Watching the Original Documentary Gave Patrick and Arnold Schwarzenegger a Biased Opinion

The only problem that came from Patrick and Arnold Schwarzenegger binge-watching The Staircase documentary was that it created a definite bias in the case.

In real life, Todd Peterson was positive that his father was innocent. But due to the docuseries, Patrick couldn’t believe that Michael didn’t commit the murder. However, he was still able to draw on facts to make his role more believable.

“I was a big fan of the documentary before starting this project. So, yes, I went in with my preconceived notion of he was guilty,” Patrick said. “I still do think that. But things have a little bit made me open my eyes and mind to other possibilities because doing this project we just way more in-depth into what happened, what could have happened. This miniseries explores other ways that she could have died so, yes, my mind was expanded a little bit.”