Arnold Schwarzenegger's Son Joseph Baena Talks Why He Didn't Take Dad's Famous Last Name

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a bunch of kids, and they all seem to be thriving in their own careers. One of Schwarzenegger’s kids, Joseph Baena, has followed in his father’s footsteps in more than one way. Like his dad, Baena became a bodybuilder and is now pursuing an acting career, even recreating one of Schwarzenegger’s iconic Terminator scenes. However, Baena has not yet taken the Schwarzenegger name like his father and siblings, and he now has opened up about why that is.

For someone wanting to pursue a career in acting, you would think having the last name of your famous father would be a major advantage. Well, this seems to be the exact scenario that Joseph Baena is trying to avoid. While he is definitely following in his father’s footsteps, it seems as though he wants to earn his way just like his father did as well. 

In an interview with E!, Joseph Baena said that he is trying to build his acting career himself. While he reveals that there is more than one reason why he has chosen to stick with his birth name, changing his name is definitely not a priority of his. Here it is in his own words:

There's a few different variables in that. But that's just not my main priority at the moment, so I'm just focused on building myself up and building my career in acting and real estate and just focusing on that right now.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joseph Baena seem to have a pretty close relationship, as Schwarzenegger appears to have with all of his children. However, Baena’s birth was a little scandalous, as he is the son of Schwarzenegger’s then-house keeper. This is why he does not share the last name of his famous father. He is the only child of Schwarzenegger’s to not share parentage with his then-wife, and Baena was born just a few months after his older son Christopher.

Once Arnold Schwarzenegger was made aware of his parentage of Joseph Baena, he allegedly immediately took on the role as father to him and claimed him as his own son, though Baena was already a young teen by the time he was revealed to be Schwarzenegger’s son. Baena’s connection with his own mother may just be another reason he has chosen to keep her last name, although it is not a reason he has given for doing such.

Either way, Joseph Baena's decision to not change his last name to match Arnold Schwarzenegger’s is pretty respectable. After all, he already shares a striking resemblance to his father in both looks and career path.

Joseph Baena’s acting career seems to be taking off with a few new roles on the horizon. He is filming the very first fully crypto-funded film, Lava, and will appear in both Bully High and the sci-fi film Encounters.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.