Arnold Schwarzenegger Remembers Carl Weathers: 'We Couldn't Have Made Predator Without Him'

"Every minute with him, on set and off, was pure joy," said Arnold Schwarzenegger

<p>Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers on Jan. 18, 2017

Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers on Jan. 18, 2017

Arnold Schwarzenegger is honoring late costar Carl Weathers.

After news that Weathers died Thursday at 76, Schwarzenegger paid tribute to his costar on Instagram, remembering their time making the iconic 1987 sci-fi action film Predator together.

"Carl Weathers will always be a legend. An extraordinary athlete, a fantastic actor, and a great person," wrote Schwarzenegger, 76. "We couldn’t have made Predator without him. And we certainly wouldn’t have had such a wonderful time making it."

"Every minute with him — on set and off — was pure joy. He was the type of friend who pushes you to be your best just to keep up with him," he added. "I’ll miss him, and my thoughts are with his family."

Related: Adam Sandler Pays Tribute to Happy Gilmore Costar Carl Weathers After Death: 'A True Great Man'

<p>Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty</p> Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator"

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty

Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Predator"

In Predator, Schwarzenegger played a soldier named Dutch opposite Weathers as Dillon in a story about a team of commandos fighting for their life in a jungle when an alien warrior lands on Earth and begins to hunt them. The film launched a franchise with several sequels and spinoffs, most recently the 2022 film titled Prey.

When Weathers spoke to British GQ back in 2020, he recalled making the action film, including the fun he and Schwarzenegger had during downtime in production while in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"You know, there's a great line: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happened during Predator stays in Predator," he joked, adding, "But, yes, all is true. There were nightclubs. We were a bunch of young guys. We were all in our own way trying to one-up each other."

"Of course, with training, Arnold had an entire gym there, so we were going to the gym working out to get all puffed up before scenes," recalled Weathers. "Nobody wanted to look any weaker than the other guy. So, you know, it was competition constantly; competition in front of the camera, competition behind the camera, competition at night.

Related: Pedro Pascal Remembers His Mandalorian Costar Carl Weathers: 'Words Fail'

<p>Ethan Miller/Getty</p> Carl Weathers on Oct. 23, 2022.

Ethan Miller/Getty

Carl Weathers on Oct. 23, 2022.

Weathers continued, "Young guys around other young guys in a movie that’s about physicality with lots of time on our hands in a beautiful location like Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. What do you expect, really? You expect a lot of fun, a lot of grab-assing, a lot of kidding each other, a lot of setting each other up for jokes, trying to pull pranks on each other."

"It all existed. But i think it also added something to the movie, this camaraderie, this sense of fun," he said.

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty </p> Carl Weathers on Feb. 28, 2023.

Jesse Grant/Getty

Carl Weathers on Feb. 28, 2023.

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Aside from Predator, Weathers, a former NFL player, famously played Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky films. He is also known for comedic roles like in Happy Gilmore, and he most recently appeared in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which earned him an Emmy nomination.

His family said in a statement Friday, "Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life."

"Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations," they added. "He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend."

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