Charles Gaines on Pumping Iron
The book introduced bodybuilding as an interesting, if not serious, topic. It broke them out of the closet. Since Arnold was prominently featured in the book and was clearly the most presentable—if that’s the word—of the people whom we featured, George and I were always invited to bring Arnold along to all the TV shows: Good Morning, Mike Douglas, the Today show with Barbara Walters. It did two things: it introduced him to a larger audience before the movie came out as this charming, offbeat character. More importantly, because Arnold was so smooth and sophisticated and palatable, it cast a much friendlier light on bodybuilding than had ever been done before.
George Butler on Pumping Iron
George Butler on Pumping Iron: We shot for about six weeks at Gold’s. All my crew wanted to focus on Frank Zane. I had done the book and I knew that Arnold was a natural star. So I put my foot down and said, “This film is about Arnold.”