For Fabiana Udeno, co-starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger was “intimidating,” but those feelings quickly passed as she got to know the action icon on set.
“He’s a leader who’s a true leader in every way,” Udeno told Fox News Digital.
“He can get the crew, the cast everybody inspired. He can focus and rehearse and be on. But then quickly, just not taking himself so seriously, make everybody laugh. And he’s genuinely curious about people when he has the time to ask questions, and they’re always great questions.”
She added, “[He] just made me feel comfortable in every way.”
Udeno stars with Schwarzenegger in his new Netflix series, “FUBAR.” In the show, Schwarzenegger plays a retired CIA operative who discovers his daughter is also in the CIA, a secret they kept from each other for years. As they struggle to connect, Schwarzenegger’s character also hopes to win back his ex-wife, Tally, played by Udeno.
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The romantic relationship between the exes gave the Argentina-born star a chance to see Schwarzenegger’s softer side on camera.
“I feel so lucky to be on the receiving end of some of Arnold’s rarely seen vulnerable moments,” she said. “I mean, this guy pours his heart out to get her back … And there are some really truthful, though vulnerable moments that he has with her. And listening to those, it really touch[ed] a chord in my romantic soul. And he made it very, very easy for me to show all the colors or the struggle that she has between these two guys.”
That eventually leads to a kiss between the exes, something Udeno, 58, was excited to share onscreen with Schwarzenegger, 75.
“What was important to me is to show that passion [it] doesn’t have a predetermined age, you know, you can be any age and have that passion,” Udeno said.
“And of course, any kiss you’re going to have on screen, you want it to be the kiss of the year,” she added.
Off-screen Schwarzenegger is a father to five children, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Christopher Schwarzenegger and Christina Schwarzenegger, whom he shares with ex-wife Maria Shriver, and Joseph Baena, whom he shares with Mildren Baena.
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On set, Udeno saw that Schwarzenegger’s love for his kids is no hidden secret.
“I think we know that family is important to him, and he has shown it certainly in his personal life how friendly he is and how tight the family is. And that’s something … to command respect,” the actress said.
“That’s the most important thing, that you take care of your kids and your children’s well-being and your family that way.”
But Udeno did learn something about the “Terminator” star that surprised her.
“One of the one of the things he does when he works is that he likes to improvise, which I didn’t expect,” she said.
She continued, “I remember once he really started improvising, and I was kind of like trying to get it back on to the script … because I wasn’t expecting it. And then he kept improvising. So I go, ‘Okay, let’s go for it,’ you know? So we improvised this whole thing that it never made it into the final . But what it did is gave us colors and different exploring [of] the characters.”
Udeno, who has appeared in series like “Cheers,” “Wings,” and “Jane the Virgin,” may be most recognizable to audiences from her role in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” alongside Mike Meyers.
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“Mike is a comedic genius, but he’s a very shy person. And I heard that it’s not uncommon for a lot of comedians to be that way, to be sort of introverted in their personal life,” she said.
Though she did say it was hard to “keep a straight face on set,” with Meyers, it was a contrast with Schwarzenegger, who Udeno described as an “extrovert.”
“I think the thing with Arnold that makes it so special to work with him is that he has done so many things in his life that he has a story to tell about anything. And he will because he is an extrovert,” she explained.
“So when there were moments on the set that we’re waiting around, you always get some interesting story that he can tell you about whatever field of his life, whether it is bodybuilding or politics or show business, and you really don’t want to miss those.”
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She noted, “Usually it’s kind of boring to wait around on the set and with him around, it’s like, ‘Okay, we got 20 minutes, let’s see what happens.’ And it’s not just wonderful for actors. I think it’s wonderful for anybody, the crew, everybody sort of got excited and inspired to show up and do great work. And that’s something he brings to the table.”
“FUBAR” is streaming now on Netflix.