Arnold Schwarzenegger was told his accent was "too creepy" for Hollywood.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The 69-year-old actor shot to fame in 'Hercules in New York' because of his bodybuilder physique but his voice was dubbed in post-production, and the former Governor of California was warned he could never be a "leading man" because of his Austrian dialect and bulky frame.

Speaking to the i newspaper, he said: "In Hollywood, they said I would never become a leading man.

"They used to say 'your body is too big'. This is the 1970s and people like Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino and Woody Allen, they are sex symbols. I said 'Oh Jesus'.

"Then they said 'Plus your accent gives me the creeps. We can use you maybe to play a Nazi or something like that'."

Since then, Arnold has become one of Hollywood's favoured actors and has starred in a number of successful box office hits.

And the screen icon is grateful for the support of directors such as 'Conan the Barbarian' filmmaker John Milus and his 'Terminator' helmsman James Cameron, who praised him for the attributes he was previously dismissed over and helped make him be viewed as "hip".

He added: "John Milius said in the press conference: 'If we didn't have Schwarzenegger, we would have to build one.' In that moment my body became a plus.

"After that I did 'Terminator' and James Cameron at a press conference said 'what really makes this movie work is Arnie talks like machine'.

"I don't know if it was meant as a compliment.

"All of sudden it became acceptable, and then it changed from acceptable to hip, then it ended up that I had the most-quoted lines in movies because I said things different and sometimes wrong."