Patrick Schwarzenegger Says Gay Shading of his 'Staircase' Character was Cut

Friday June 17, 2022

Patrick Schwarzenegger in "Daniel Isn't Real"
Patrick Schwarzenegger in "Daniel Isn't Real"  

On the HBO Max miniseries "The Staircase," (spoilers ahead!) Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the conflicted son of a bisexual man who may have murdered his wife. The actor told Variety that his character was also exploring his sexuality, but that element was cut.

Much of the mystery revolves around if murder suspect Michael Peterson (Colin Firth) killed his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette) a few days before 9/11/2001. Or was her death due to an accidental fall?

The series also explores Peterson's sexuality. He had numerous affairs with men during his marriage. But what did Kathleen know and when?


It's inconclusive, though the series offered theories. But it turns out there were gay hints about a second character, Michael's son Todd, played by Patrick Schwarzenegger, who faced drug and alcohol issues throughout the series. On one episode, Todd is in close quarters with a male friend while doing coke in a bathroom stall. For one moment, it appears that Todd wants to kiss him, but it was only a hint; and this part of his sexuality was largely left unexplored in the final cut.

Apparently, another scene was shot that indicated that Todd was exploring his sexuality.

On the "Just for Variety" podcast this week, "Schwarzenegger reveals that he shot more explicit scenes that represented 'more investigations into his sexuality,' but they didn't make the final cut."

"There were some scenes where he was pleasuring himself in his dad's office and ... he can't to straight porn and straight stuff. So he starts to investigate other stuff," Schwarzenegger said.

He added that he thinks Peterson is guilty, but has one doubt raised by the so-called "owl defense," introduced by one of the family's neighbors that said Kathleen was attacked by an owl which led to her death. Variety said that Schwarzenegger watched "the owl episode" with his mom.

"She was like, 'I'm really upset that I watched this and I saw the owl thing, because it's just taken a little bit away from me saying that it was for sure him.'"

This being one of Schwarzenegger's first major roles has brought him added attention due to his famous parents — Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.


"Since 'The Staircase' premiered on May 5, Schwarzenegger has proven to be a good self-deprecating sport by sharing social media posts of viewers expressing shock at how impressed they are with his acting," Variety said. "One such reaction on Twitter: 'The biggest revelation from the premiere episode is Patrick Schwarzenegger... can act?'"

"I'm having a great time, and this project's been a lot of fun. And the reactions have been great," he said. "A lot of them are funny."

He also revealed he shocked his dad with pics of his character on the upcoming spin-off of Amazon's "The Boys." He wouldn't confirm reports that he's playing a character named Golden Boy — but he admits that he has shown his father photos from the set.


"He looked at me and he was like, 'What the fuck are you filming?'"

On the "Just for Variety" podcast, Patrick said he told his father, "It's this show called 'The Boys.' ... You have to watch an episode to understand it, or else I can't articulate what happens in it."