Joseph Baena Recalls Day The World Found Out Arnold Schwarzenegger Was His Dad
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Baena is the son of the Terminator star and his former housekeeper Mildred Baena, who was reportedly pregnant with her son when Schwarzenegger’s ex-wife Maria Shriver was expecting their fourth child – a revelation that didn’t emerge publicly until 2011.
Now aged 24, Baena has forged himself a career in real estate, and is also a bodybuilder and aspiring actor.
In a new interview with Men’s Health, Baena revealed how news of his A-list father began to spread when he was in eighth grade.
According to the outlet, his early years had been ‘happy’, learning to cook with his mother and celebrating his Guatemalan heritage through food, culture and music.
Then the ‘media frenzy’ came, with Baena recalling: "I remember the day very vividly.
"I was in the eighth grade. Fifth or sixth period. And I get called out of class to leave. And my mom's there, and she's like, 'We gotta go – everyone is finding out about you and who your father is.'"
He added: "I'm 13. Your body's transforming; your mind is transforming.
"And now my life transformed before my eyes."
Baena also said he and his mother escaped the media by going on a road trip to see relatives in Texas.
"She was really the only person I had, and I was really the only person that she had," he said.
"No one knew, and everyone wanted the details. We had each other's backs."
Men’s Health noted how Baena had ‘declined to share exactly when he first talked to his dad after the revelation’, and that Schwarzenegger ‘could not be reached for an interview’.
Recently, Baena has also opened up about why he has chosen not to take on Arnie’s surname.
Speaking to Inside Edition, Baena was asked why he doesn’t use his ‘famous last name’, to which he replied: "Well I already have a last name, and I don't have a problem with my last name.
"I like my last name."
Baena then went on to discuss his hopes to get into acting, with reporter Victoria Recano asking if he feels like he has ‘big shoes to fill’, given his father’s reputation in Hollywood.
"Well, literally we have the same shoe size,” Baena quipped, adding: "I've never thought of it in that way. My career path is really just my own."
While Baena said the media has ‘always been in [his] face’, he said he tries to ‘drown it out’, saying it's just ‘outside noise’ to him.
He said he also just wants to make both of his parents ‘proud’, and that he feels inspired by both of them.
"My mom is one of my main motivators, and seeing her and how she works so hard, I want to make her proud," he continued.
"Same with my father. What he made of himself from nothing. I mean, both of my parents are immigrants that kind of created something out of nothing.”
Baena added: "So, seeing them, it's been a huge inspiration, and I want to make them proud.
"I want to myself proud."