AceShowbiz - Joseph Baena has opened up on what it was like when news leaked that Arnold Schwarzenegger is his dad. In a new interview, the son of "Terminator Genisys" star recalled how his dad's paternity scandal "transformed" his life.
In his cover story for Men's Health magazine's March issue, the 24-year-old said, "I remember the day very vividly." He added in the interview that was published on Tuesday, February 8, "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.' "
Joseph, who was born to the 74-year-old actor and his former housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena during his marriage to Maria Shriver in October 1997, recalled how the media didn't leave him or Mildred alone. "I'm 13," he told the magazine. "Your body's transforming. Your mind is transforming. And my life transformed before my eyes."
Joseph also said that his mother "was really the only person [he] had, and [he] was really the only person that she had" at the time. "No one knew, and everyone wanted the details. We had each other's backs," the actor, who has landed a role in the upcoming movie "Lava", explained. He then revealed he had a hard time making friends in high school after the scandal, saying, "The trust factor became really difficult."
Eventually, Joseph developed a close bond with Arnold that the pair still share today. They specifically bonded over Joseph's interest in fitness. "Even though I could call him anytime, I was too proud," he shared.
"I went straight to the book. I wanted to figure it out myself," Joseph added. The father-son duo finally worked out for the first time together when Joseph was 18 years old at Arnold's Gold's Gym. "I was so nervous," he reflected. "I was being observant, trying to see what he was doing and the way he was acting."
Elsewhere in the conversation, Joseph went on to explain why he chose not to use Schwarzenegger as his last name when pursuing his acting career. "My dad is old-school; he doesn't believe in handouts. He believes hard work pays off, and so do I," he stated.
"I love the word honor, and I'm very prideful in the sense that if I use my dad's contacts or ask him for favors, I wonder what honor is that gonna bring me?" Joseph added. "When I go to auditions, they don't know who I am because we don't have the same last name," he continued, noting that when he lands a role he will "know it's all me."
Joseph also said that it "took a little bit" for him to "realize that [he doesn't] have to do what [his] dad did." He pointed out, "I don't have to get into acting or bodybuilding. I'm very motivated and driven. I'm happy about my relationship with my dad," adding that he's "more happy that [he's] finding joy in what [he's] doing and that [he's] doing exactly what [he's] always dreamed about."
Previously, Joseph opened up about being Arnold's son during an interview with "Unwaxed" podcast hosts Sophia Stallone and Sistine Stallone. At the time, he said that he was initially "nervous" to create a bond with the "Total Recall" star.
"I also have to point out that with my relationship with my dad it took a little while for me and him to get really close and just [feel] like I can joke around with him and talk about anything," Joseph told Sylvester Stallone's daughters. "Now it's like awesome. I'm so close to my dad and we joke about everything."