Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Instagram page experienced a small invasion by amused Russians after he wished a happy birthday to his son Christopher by posting a picture of him wearing a Russian police uniform.
Christopher turned 22 last week, so his dad shared a collection of photos showing junior growing up. In one, the father and son stand next to each other in a snowy landscape wearing sensible winter clothes; in Christopher’s case it’s a Russian police officer’s overcoat.
In the US, Arnie is best known for starring in blockbusters like “Terminator” or “True Lies,” but in Russia many people hold one of his earlier flicks dear to their hearts. In the 1988 B-movie “Red Heat” he plays a Soviet police officer whose pursuit of justice brings him to America and gets him partnered with Jim Belushi’s Chicago PD detective against a Russian (actually Georgian) kingpin.
It was a rare example of a Russian character, in a Hollywood movie of that period, who was neither a villain nor a defector. Schwarzenegger’s performance was also quite memorable to native Russian speakers, since he delivered his phrases in hilariously broken Russian with remarkable determination and sincerity. Russians really loved it when bootlegged videotape copies reached the country.
So, the Instagram post was naturally flooded with comments in Russian citing the old movie and complimenting Christopher’s choice of clothing. The shoulder insignia seems to put his police rank as colonel, although both it and the overcoat are outdated and no longer valid as uniform in Russia.
It wasn’t clear where the coat came from, but it may be the same one that Schwarzenegger was given in 2013 when visiting Russia. At least Mikhail Koklyaev, the Russian powerlifter and strongman who gave him it, left a comment in Russian that said: “So the coat came in handy )) 👍 Congrats with son’s birthday 💪”