Arnold Schwarzenegger reunites with the 'Kindergarten Cop' kids for 30th anniversary (exclusive)
You will never forget your kindergarten teacher ... especially when that teacher was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thirty years ago, the Austrian muscleman took time out from action favorites like The Terminator and Commando to star in Kindergarten Cop, a high-profile comedy about LA cop John Kimble whose recent assignment requires him to be covered up as a small-town Oregon kindergarten teacher . Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film featured Schwarzenegger's most formidable adversary to date: a classroom full of rowdy 6-year-old kids. Three decades later, Schwarzenegger Zoom bombed half a dozen of these now grown-up children in a virtual reunion organized by Yahoo Entertainment for the 30th anniversary Kindergarten Cop. We'll let their shocked reactions to this surprise act tell the story. (Check out the video above.)
Released in theaters on December 21, 1990, Kindergarten Cop quickly became a '90s favorite. It grossed more than $ 200 million worldwide and launched an entire genre of "big guys hanging out with young kids" comedies. (See also: Vin Diesel in The Pacifier, Dwayne Johnson in The Tooth Fairy, and Dave Bautista in My Spy.) But few of these copycats match the original, and Schwarzenegger pays tribute to the kindergarten cop's longevity for the young cast. "Without a doubt, it was your children's performance that really made this film," said Mr. Kimble to his former students with apparent pride. "That made it lovable, that made it successful, and people wanted to see it over and over again."
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his kindergarten class in 1990's favorite 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)
Of course, the actor deserves some credit for the longevity of Kindergarten Cop. Along with “I'll be back” and “Hasta la vista baby”, the film is responsible for some of his signatures, from “I'm the party pooper” to On the immortal "It's not a tumor!" Schwarzenegger says he and Reitman - who previously worked together on the 1988 hit Twins - knew the latter line would be a classic if the kids couldn't stop laughing on set. “There were certain lines on which the children laughed at my accent. So I just yelled, "It's not a tumor, it's not a tumor at all!" And the kids would laugh instead of being scared. Ivan said to me, “If the kids laugh at the sound, then I think the audience will laugh too. And that's exactly what happened. "
Schwarzenegger credits his time at Astoria Elementary for teaching him how to be a better parent to your own children. The actor made the film months after he and then-wife Maria Shriver welcomed their first child, Katherine Schwarzenegger. "It was a warm-up for my children," says the father of five. “By hanging out with you guys between breaks and talking to you guys and all that, this movie really helped me become a better parent myself. It really helped me raise my kids. "
The actor signed a pledge to organize a personal reunion with the cast when the coronavirus pandemic ends. "We'll have it in my house, we'll meet and have a party and get the gossip going!" He vows. “I want all the details on how you got here 30 years ago. I'm proud of you all, so keep it up. “Sounds like there's a new candidate for the Teacher of the Year award.
Even before Arnold signed up, the kindergarten cop meeting was the party of the year. The young actors told unforgettable stories behind the scenes and revealed what they were up to 30 years later. Here is our recap of the most popular kindergarten class from Astoria Elementary.
Christian Cousins (Dominic)
Christian Cousins played Dominic in 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Universal / Yahoo Entertainment)
John Kimble's specific assignment in Astoria is to find the wife and son of notorious drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson). This child turns out to be Dominic, played by identical twins Christian and Joseph Cousins. Kindergarten Cop was the siblings' first feature film after a busy television career that included a regular role in the Dallas spin-off Knots Landing as Bobby Gibson Ewing. During the audition process, Christian remembers taking a crash course on what breakneck big screen films could be like. “A kid I had seen in audition rooms several times literally got up and interrupted Ivan and Arnold and said, 'Has the role of Dominic been cast? 'It was like,' OK, I'm up against the stage mothers! '”
But the Cousins brothers ended up winning the role, beating out eventual co-stars Adam Wiley and Krystle and Tiffany Mataras, who audition when the filmmakers were undecided whether the character would be a boy or a girl. "I don't know if [the final decision] had something to do with Arnold's preference, or if the dynamic with Penelope Ann Miller - who played my mother - made more sense of having a young son than a daughter." Cousins says now. "
While on location in Oregon, Christian and the rest of the kids lived in the same beachfront apartment complex and in a balanced school with a real school. However, the fact that Dominic was the focus of the film meant he and his brother spent more hours on the set, an experience he describes as "grueling". But there were also lots of fun times with the cameras rolling - like the scene where he was repeatedly dropped from a tower with a strap on. “There was a zip cord attached to my backpack and I had a whole harness under me,” he recalls. “You dropped me on this thing 15 to 20 times! At first I was scared, and the second time I said, “I can get used to it.” When I was 10, I wanted an annual pass. "
(Courtesy photo by Christian Cousins)
The cousins' siblings continued to act after the kindergarten cop blew up at the box office before retiring in 1995. Today Christian is vice president of retail development at home furnishings supplier LumiSource and also works with other companies. "After 30 years, I would like to thank you again for saving Richard Tyson's life in the locker room," he tells Schwarzenegger. “And I'm glad you ended up with my mother for this film. That was wonderful. It's been a pleasure playing Dominic with you. "
Miko Hughes (Joseph)
Miko Hughes as Joseph in 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Yahoo Entertainment)
Miko Hughes was only 3 years old when he filmed his scene as Joseph - so it's no surprise that he doesn't remember much from the experience. In fact, he's never seen Kindergarten Cop in its entirety. “I can't stand watching myself - maybe that's the reason,” he says with a laugh.
Fortunately, his mother was more than happy to update him on what happened during the filming over the years, starting with the origin of his classic line: "Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina." According to Hughes, this was written at the last minute . “As far as I know, they wanted to use me for something, and they came up with the line spontaneously. She really thought about it for a long time if it was a good idea. For example: "How will this play out?" And "Will it affect me later?" Finally she thought, "It's innocent, it's cute - why not?" I am glad that she chose it. "
(Courtesy photo by Miko Hughes)
Funnily enough, Hughes had an even more disturbing role in the 1989 Stephen King adaptation, Pet Sematary, in which he played the young Gage Creed, who comes back from the dead and threatens his family. "Murder is okay," he jokes, adding that he didn't quite understand the meaning of Joseph's memorable piece of dialogue anyway. “I think I just knew it was something adults could say and it made adults laugh. It was pretty benign. “For one, Schwarzenegger praises Hughes for his expert work. “That's the classic line,” he enthuses. “The way you delivered it wasn't like you were going to say something hideous. It's kind of a revelation - like, "You know that?" It was so factual and so fantastic. "
With reviews like this, it's no wonder Hughes has stayed in business. In addition to appearing in films like Mercury Rising and Tropic Thunder, he is also a musician. He wrote and directed a short segment in the 2013 horror anthology Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear. And maybe one day he'll get around to watching the kindergarten cop. "It's on the list!" He promises. "Maybe I'll check it out tonight."
Krystle and Tiffany Mataras (Tina and Rina)
Krystle and Tiffany Mataras as Tina and Rina in 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Universal / Yahoo Entertainment)
Like Hughes, identical twins Krystle and Tiffany Mataras, who played ponytail siblings Tina and Rina, got their classic dialogue instantly. “We should say something very general,” said Tiffany, recalling the scene where Mr. Kimble asks the class to reveal what their fathers do for a living. It was so general that Krystle completely forgot about the line as the cameras rolled. “I became empty!” She now confesses. So the writers came up with something they wouldn't forget: "Our mom says our dad is a real sex machine."
"He had to rush our parents on set to get approval for us to say the line," says Tiffany. “When they asked our father, we saw him with friends and he said,“ Yes, say that, yes! "Adds Kr Crystal," Our mom was like, 'Uh,' but he was so happy. It made him the happiest man on earth. "Meanwhile, his daughters were just happy to get the scene over with." We had some kind of superficial understanding of what it meant, "says Krystle." It was last minute so we didn't have time to think about it too much. "
(Courtesy photo of Krystle and Tiffany Mataras)
When asked if they were ever intimidated into acting alongside the Terminator, the twins recall a case where Schwarzenegger made them nervous. During the scene in which Kimble completely loses control of the class and unleashes an epic: “Shut up!” They were off camera, lifting their skirts up and down. "We had these little shorts that the closet was wearing underneath us and we would lift our skirts up between takes to joke with the boys," says Tiffany. “Arnold didn't like that! He looked at me and we stopped! "
After the kindergarten cop, Kriminal and Tiffany appeared in Problem Child 2 and Single White Female before retiring from acting into a career as twin entrepreneurs. The two work for several companies, including Wasted Desserts for alcoholic desserts and the online lifestyle magazine Twins Dish for women. They also literally invested in Schwarzenegger's career. Tiffany bought shares in Genius Brands International, which is currently producing an animated show based on Kindergarten Cop. The late Stan Lee created the cartoon, and Schwarzenegger pronounces ex-superhero Captain Courage, who is training a new generation of super-powered kids. “That's fantastic,” says Schwarzenegger. "You invested wisely."
Brian Wagner (William)
Brian Wagner as William in 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Universal / Yahoo Entertainment)
Brian Wagner knows that he has a very specific claim to fame: He's the only one in film history who spits Arnold Schwarzenegger's food and gets away with it. In the film, Mr. Kimble encounters Wagner's character William, who throws himself into other children's lunch. The frustrated policeman lifts him up physically and tells the boy to do "Stop it". He dodges a mouthful of chewed Cheetos before dropping it to the ground. “We did it 17 times,” says Wagner. “The script was written so that Arnold would drop me off. The first time it happened to him, he was so disgusted that he just dropped me. "
Fortunately, the young actor had a soft landing. “We were on stage so I'm not hitting concrete floor, but a floor built on the floor, so there is a bit of give in there.” I was also one of the older kids on set and taller than most kids in the class. So there was no problem dropping it onto a carpeted sound stage floor. "
As if Schwarzenegger hadn't earned enough already, Wagner said that at the moment he had made an acting decision that would have spoiled the entire crew. “The first time I shot, I spat out the Cheetos. He walks away and the camera pans down: I was 7 years old and still didn't know what I was doing. I picked the Cheetos off the floor and put them back in my mouth! “You won't be shocked to hear that he generally eschews these salty, cheesy snacks today. "I've had the original Cheetos maybe three or four times in my life."
Wagner's other post-kindergarten cop acting credits include roles in 3 Ninjas Kick Back and Camp Nowhere. He's been into the restaurant industry since leaving Hollywood - a career path that Schwarzenegger infinitely thrilled after his previous interaction on set. “You're in the grocery store now, and that's funny!” He tells Wagner. “Here you played this character and stole lunch from everyone! You played it so well. "
Adam Wylie (Larry)
Adam Wylie as Larry in 'Kindergarten Cop' (Photo: Universal / YouTube)
Adam Wylie is the unofficial historian of Mr. Kimble's kindergarten class. He not only collects photos on set and other memorabilia from the shoot, but also finds out about the versions of the film that we haven't seen. For example, his character Larry played a major role in a subplot that was filmed but cut out of the theatrical version. “My story should be about Mr. Kimble saying I'm Dominic,” Wylie explains. “I'm the one who needs to be protected, and I was so traumatized by my father that I only say 'Ooo cuts' for the entire film. I even have a jacket with my back on. "
This storyline should culminate in a scene that still exists in the film. During the climatic school evacuation scene, when Kimble chases Crisp through the fiery halls of the building, Larry points to the drug dealer and says loudly, "Stranger!" "It was that big" a-ha moment, "Wylie says now. "But that wouldn't have made any sense, of course, because they opted for an alternate plot that I think served the film a lot better."
(Courtesy photo Adam Wylie)
Wylie also reveals that Reitman shot alternative endings for the film, including one in which Schwarzenegger dies from his gunshot wounds. “I don't remember if the kids were actually used for this ending, but there were definitely alternative endings. There were many choices of what to do and it ended with what it is now, which I think was the right choice. "
Thirty years after kindergarten cop, Wylie is still starring in movies and television shows and has a side appearance as a world champion magician. And now he's in a position to teach Mr. Kimble a thing or two: After watching Wylie do one of his tricks, the actor asked for a personal lesson. “You have to come here and show me how to do it,” says Schwarzenegger. “I'm always jealous of people who can do tricks like this. It's amazing how to do it when you're really good. “It looks like someone has a gold star on their testimonial.
Kindergarten Cop is currently streaming on Hulu and Starz.
- Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo
Check out our full kindergarten cop reunion below
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'Commando' at 35: Director Mark Lester reveals why an interracial love scene was cut out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's action classic
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Christian and Joseph Cousins
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