FUBAR follows Luke Brunner, a seasoned CIA operative who has been lying to his family for decades and is on the brink of retirement. However, before he can finish serving his country, he is shocked to learn that his daughter, Emma, has also been lying to him for years and is a CIA operative as well. The father and daughter both feel betrayed and that they don’t really know one another, but they will have to work together on a high-priority mission and slowly rebuild their fractured relationship.
Nick Santora is the creator and executive producer of FUBAR. The legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger stars and serves as executive producer of the series. FUBAR also stars Monica Barbaro, Jay Baruchel, Aparna Brielle, Andy Buckley, Milan Carter, Fortune Feimster, Barbara Eve Harris, Gabriel Luna, Fabiana Udenio, and Travis Van Winkle. FUBAR is Schwarzenegger’s first lead role in a scripted series.
Screen Rant spoke with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro about working on FUBAR. Schwarzenegger shared what attracted him to the series and praises Barbaro’s work on Top Gun: Maverick and in FUBAR. Barbaro discussed the father-daughter relationship in FUBAR and her dynamic with Schwarzenegger on set.
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Monica Barbaro on FUBAR
I absolutely love FUBAR. It had a little bit of True Lies in there, but it’s a great action comedy that really at its heart has a great message of family. Arnold, this is your first time doing a scripted television. What was it about FUBAR that drew you in?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, I think it was just such a brilliant idea to do something, kind of a concept that comes from a very, very successful movie. True Lies was one of the biggest hits of the year directed by Jim Cameron and written by him. And so when David Ellison came to me with that idea to do a kind of action comedy like True Lies, but to do a whole eight episodes I was very, very excited about that and went all out and did it.
It was very fortunate also to have a really great cast because this is the most important thing, because you alone never can really carry a show like that or do the acting yourself. So I really had a brilliant, brilliant cast and Monica was excellent, and we really worked well together. So I was very excited about doing that.
Monica, can you talk about the father-daughter relationship in FUBAR? Because it taps into real issues fathers and daughters face, especially when they grow up.
Monica Barbaro: I love that this story is just a father and daughter working out all of their issues, but in the setting of also trying to save the world. I think that just lends itself to a beautiful comedic tone that Nick Santora wrote so well, and we had a lot of fun with that. We give each other a hard time, so it makes it nice and easy to have that father-daughter chemistry on set.
Arnold, your cast is brilliant. Monica does a tremendous job as your daughter, Emma. What does she bring to the role that wasn’t necessarily on the page?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, I think there was a lot on the page. So I think that she did exactly what was in the page, and then every actor or actress brings their own little quality to that whole thing. And I think the reason why they chose Monica is because she has proven to be a very, very good actress. She was fantastic in Top Gun, which became the most successful movie of that year and one of the most successful movies of all time.
So this is really unbelievable to have someone carry, Tom of course is the star, but I mean she was the one that kind of almost stole the show there, and she just really was shining all the way through that movie. And so when I heard that she’s signing onto do this TV series, I was very excited about that because she was spectacular in that and to have someone like her be that good with action. So that to me was really important. And she came to the set. She really worked well with the stunt coordinators and with the stunt people and did a fantastic job in doing all the action and stuff like that.
Top Gun: Maverick was one of my favorite movies last year. Monica, you got to fly planes with Tom Cruise, and you did action sequences with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is there anything left on your filmography bucket list that you’d like to check off?
Monica Barbaro: Oh my God. I mean so many things. I’m really just lucky. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but also I always feel like I’m just starting out. I feel like I’m pinching myself every day. Getting to go and do a whole award circuit this year was just mind-blowing and meeting so many heroes of mine was just incredible. And getting to work with them, I mean it’s been a blast. I’m just trying to stay present and stay open to whatever’s next.
Luke Banner and his daughter Emma have been lying to their loved ones, including each other, for years, hiding the fact that they are both CIA operatives. When Luke is about to retire, they learn the truth and are forced to work together on a dangerous mission. They’ll slowly rebuild trust in one another and begin to actually get to know each other for the first time.
Check back soon for our other FUBAR interviews here:
- Fortune Feimster, Travis Van Winkle, & Milan Carter
- Jay Baruchel & Gabriel Luna