Patrick Schwarzenegger wins praise as he defeats ‘bad acting’ in HBO’s The Staircase

Actor Patrick Schwarzenegger receives rave reviews from fans and followers for his role in the gripping drama starring Colin Firth and Toni Collette

Patrick Schwarzenegger is part of the ensemble cast of HBO drama The Staircase (Image: Getty Images for The Met Museum/)ByDominic Picksley

  • 02:38, 14 May 2022
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Living in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shadow was never going to be easy for son Patrick, who has dabbled in TV and films without much fanfare… until now.


The 28-year-old’s first big screen outing was as a child in a small cameo in sports comedy The Benchwarmers back in 2006 and he then went on to have supporting roles in Stuck In Love (2012), Grown Ups 2 (2013) and the instantly forgettable Scouts Guide to The Zombie Apocalypse (2015).

Lead outings followed in romantic drama Midnight Sun (2018) and psychological horror Daniel Isn’t Real (2019), while he also appeared in TV show The Long Road Home, all without much acclaim for the Santa Monica-born actor.

But it is new HBO true crime drama TV miniseries The Staircase, directed by Antonio Campos, that is finally showcasing the best of his talents, where Patrick plays the role of Todd Peterson, the son of leading protagonist Michael Peterson, a crime novelist who was accused of murdering his wife Kathleen in December 2001.

Patrick Schwarzenegger stars alongside Colin Firth in The Staircase

©2021 WarnerMedia Direct, LLC. All Rights Reserved. HBO Max™ is used under license.)

Patrick Schwarzenegger as Todd Peterson in The Staircase

©2021 WarnerMedia Direct, LLC. All Rights Reserved. HBO Max™ is used under license.)

Such is the impression he has made, in a show that sees Colin Firth play the main part alongside Toni Collette, that his Instagram and Twitter accounts were full of messages of support from friends and fans alike. And some of these had previously doubted Patrick’s acting skills.

One fan wrote: “The biggest revelation from the premier episode is Patrick Schwarzenegger… can act?” Another said: “Patrick Schwarzenegger beating the bad acting allegations? HBO really are miracle workers.”

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A follower on his Twitter account wrote: “I am obsessed with this show and the writing is spot on. You should be proud of yourself, excellent job.”

There was also “you are fantastic in this, well done” from another fan, while a German fan exclaimed: “Patrick, you're getting better with each movie! Great in The Staircase! I'm happy and I know you're going to be a big star!”

Patrick Schwarzenegger has asked dad Arnold for some acting tips in the past

Getty Images for GQ)

Patrick Schwarzenegger was keen to share some positive responses from fans, friends and followers


Patrick has revealed that his dad is a big fan of the show. He told Fox News: “He had watched the miniseries and he was obsessed with it as well once he found out that I got cast in this.”

He also said that he has picked his father’s brains when it comes to acting, adding: “A lot of sons go to their father for advice with anything. I definitely go to him like that, but I didn't go to him for this specific character.”

It has also just been announced that Patrick is joining the cast of the The Boys spin-off for Amazon Prime Video.

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