In 1990, Universal Pictures released the action comedy, Kindergarten Cop. The film, about a police officer who poses as a kindergarten teacher to apprehend a drug dealer, starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, and Richard Tyson.
Released to fairly favourable reviews, Kindergarten Cop was a box office hit during its theatrical run, taking over $202 million worldwide. In the years that have followed, the movie has continued to remain popular with audiences, with many viewing the movie as a fun entry in Schwarzenegger’s extensive and successful movie portfolio.
But what do you know about Kindergarten Cop? Well, if you would like to know a little more then you have come to the right place.
Below are twenty facts about Kindergarten Cop. These facts will add a little more depth to your next screening, ensuring you have the 411 on this popular film.
Who you gonna call?
Kindergarten Cop was overseen by Ghostbusters (1984)/Ghostbusters II (1989) director, Ivan Reitman. Reitman called the shots on the movie as both director and a co-producer.
But Reitman isn’t Kindergarten Cop’s only connection to Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters producers, Joe Medjuck and Michael C. Gross were also involved in Kindergarten Cop, taking on the roles of executive producers on the film.
The write stuff
The screenplay for Kindergarten Cop was written by Murray Salem, Herschel Weingrod, and Timothy Harris. In addition to penning the screenplay for this Arnie picture, Weingrod and Harris also co-wrote the script for Twins (1988) – an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie which was also directed by Ivan Reitman.
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger took on the role of Detective John Kimble in Kindergarten Cop, a number of actors were approached about the role. One of those actors was Bill Murray.
Kindergarten Cop was filmed in Astoria, Oregon, with the external shots of the school filmed at the John Jacob Astor Elementary School. Interior school scenes were shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood.
During the movie’s shoot, Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to maintain his fitness regime and insisted he have access to a gym. Keen to accommodate the actor’s request, the production team obliged and a nearby gym was constructed.
More than 2,000 children were auditioned for roles in Kindergarten Cop. This number was then whittled down considerably, with the majority of the kids featured in the film being non-actors.
Working with a group of young children proved challenging for director Ivan Reitman. To ensure he could get the best out of his cast he created a set of ‘rules’ for them to follow.
Speaking to the LA Times in 1990, the director said: “After the first day of filming I was in a sweat.” He added: “My shirt was all wet, my voice was hoarse and I had this really panicked look in my eyes. So I developed the five Reitman rules of filmmaking – listen, act natural, know your character, don’t look in the camera and discipline.”
One of the most famous scenes in Kindergarten Cop is the sequence in which John Kimble asks the kids in his class the all-important question “who is your daddy and what does he do?” During the scene, the children begin to detail the different jobs their fathers do.
But did you know, this sequence was only partly scripted? Some of the lines that were delivered in this scene came directly from the kids themselves.
Speaking to the LA Times, Ivan Reitman said: “I gave some kids lines to say, but half of them were real,” he said. “They talked about what their real fathers did and they enjoyed that.”
Looking for Linda
Academy Award-winning actress, Linda Hunt played the role of Miss Schlowski in Kindergarten Cop. The actress has an extensive career, having appeared in movies including Dune (1984), Prêt-à-Porter (1994), and Stranger than Fiction (2006), and also provided the voice of Lady Proxima in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
Award-winning actress Angela Bassett had a small role in Kindergarten Cop. Basset appeared very briefly in the movie, playing an air stewardess.
In the movie, the character of Dominic was played by two actors. Twins Joseph and Christian Cousins took on the role, alternating scenes to accommodate the movie’s shooting schedule.
The facts of life
The role of Joseph, aka the kid who utters the line “boys have a penis, girls have a vagina” was played by Miko Hughes. You may know the actor better for his role in Pet Sematary (1989), where he played the part of Gage Creed.
The actress impressed Reitman so much that he cast her in the role of Emily Newton in Beethoven (1992). She maintained the role for the sequel, Beethoven’s 2nd (1993).
Word to the wise
While filming Kindergarten Cop, Arnold Schwarzenegger found time to pop along to nearby Astoria High School to deliver a few words of wisdom to students. The actor gave a commencement speech to the graduating class of 1990.
Arnold’s initial reluctance
Arnold was initially a little reluctant to work with so many children in Kindergarten Cop, as he didn’t know how well they would cope with all the filming. However, he quickly changed his mind when he saw how great they were.
Speaking to the LA Times, Ivan Reitman said: “I think they softened his heart.”
Just a kiss
Ivan Reitman’s son, and future Ghostbusters: Afterlife director, Jason Reitman appeared in a very small role in Kindergarten Cop playing the part of ‘Kissing Boy’.
The score for Kindergarten Cop was composed by Randy Edelman. During his career, Endelman has provided scores for many high-profile movies, including The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Mask (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995), and XXX (2002), amongst others.
More violence, less money
Despite the strong box office of Kindergarten Cop, Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly believed the movie could have made more money, had the violence in the film been toned down. He believed the more violent sequences kept some younger audiences away.
In 2016 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released a belated sequel to Kindergarten Cop, appropriately titled Kindergarten Cop 2. Schwarzenegger was not involved in the picture, instead the story focused on a new lead character played by Dolph Lundgren.
And finally… of all the movies he has starred in, Arnold Schwarzenegger regards Kindergarten Cop as his favourite. The film gave Schwarzenegger the opportunity to re-team with Twins director Ivan Reitman and he really enjoyed working with all the kids on the film.
Speaking on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015, Schwarzenegger said that working with all the kids also helped in his future role as a politician. He jokingly commented: “When I went to Sacramento (the capital city of California) as Governor I also had to be a kindergarten cop up there.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Kindergarten Cop on It’s A Stampede! For more movie-related posts be sure to check out the recommended reads below.