In the main job is Patrick (“I’m a Munich Child”) entertainment lawyer with very prominent clients in Los Angeles. For some time now, the 51-year-old has been involved in the business for Padre Azul, a Tequila brand based in Innsbruck, Austria. In the Bayerischer Hof in Munich we met Patrick for an interview.
RIZE: Patrick, you’re a celebrity lawyer in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Your clients include your uncle Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Nicolas Cage and UFC star Conor McGregor. Even George Clooney?
Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger: (laughs) Unfortunately not! I would gladly have participated in his Casamigos-Tequila deal with British beverage company Diageo, which is said to have brought Clooney and his partner Rande Gerber $1 billion.
You were born in Munich in 1968, but have been living in Los Angeles for many years. Where exactly?
I live with my family in Pacific Palisa – the one between Santa Monica and Malibu, close to the sea. Luckily we were spared from the big fire last summer that reached us to Topanga Canyon and spread very fast, we only had some ashes in our garden. But some of our friends had to be evacuated from their homes. Thomas Gottschalk’s house is completely burnt down. A big disaster.
Does not your lawyer job last? How did you get involved with tequila?
I’ve been a big tequila fan for years, drink it for enjoyment, preferably from a cognac glass rather than a shot. At some point I came to Padre Azul and was thrilled. Coincidentally, the owners are Austrians like me. Hans Peter Eder, my partner today, had married a Mexican, so he came to Mexico and tequila. We met and talked and got into business. Premium Tequila is now the world’s fastest-growing spirit, ahead of vodka and whiskey. The quality of tequila has improved enormously in recent years, no comparison to earlier. The register customers and guests.
What makes good tequila?
Tequila must come from the Jalisco region in Mexico, so that he may even call tequila. Tequila used to consist of only 51% of the blue agave, with the remainder being added sugar. The premium tequila is made of 100% blue agave, it is very high quality, made with love and care. We only use agaves that are at least eight to ten years old and are considered the smoothest tequila on earth! We only want to deliver top quality, as far as the design of the bottles is concerned. Hence the collaboration with Swarovski and “Prison Art” design. The skull stands in Mexico for eternal friendship.
What is your relationship with Uncle Arnold? Is he your big role model?
He is primarily my foster father and has always taken great care of me after my father Meinhard Schwarzenegger died in 1971 in a traffic accident in Kitzbühel. I was three years old. Arnold often visited me as a child in Kufstein, where I grew up with my grandparents. At the age of 10, I moved back to Munich with my mother Erika, where we lived in the Zaubzerstraße in Bogenhausen. At the age of 13 we moved to Portugal, but the contact with Arnold was always there.
And then you went to the USA for you …
Yes, 1987. At 19, I started studying economics and political science at UCLA in Los Angeles, following the USC Jura. Arnold made it all possible for me, financed my studies. He is my big sponsor. During my studies, I even had my own apartment, did not have to live on campus.
After completing your studies, you were able to gain your first professional experience …
I went to New York for a while, where I assisted Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola at the famed Sony Building, 550 Madison Avenue. That was an absolute dream job for me as a music fan; I was right there in the heart of the music industry. A great experience. But since I always wanted to live in LA, I ended up in the film business. Today I am not only a lawyer in Beverly Hills, but also co-owner and brand ambassador of Padre Azul Tequila. However, I do not have enough time for the operative business. The headquarter of Padre Azul is located in Innsbruck, the production of course in Mexico.
What were the best tips Big Arnold gave you?
First-rate purpose! Nothing works without hard work and iron will, then everything is possible. You always have to believe in yourself. Arnold is the best proof. He still trains every morning at seven-thirty in the Gold’s Gym. I first bring my kids to school and then come to work at eight. There he is already finished and we see each other in passing. Arnold is in top form with 71.
Do you have a favorite Schwarzenegger movie?
Sure, “Conan, the Barbarian”! This film, his first big blockbuster, has shaped me. At that time I was still very young and saw the movie with boys from my class in Lisbon in the cinema. Unforgettable and very impressive!
And what does Arnie say to Padre Azul?
Arnold tried it and he tastes it very well. He has it at home and likes to drink it to a good cigar. A good combination.
Do you always like coming to Munich?
I love the city and I am very happy and often here. For me, Munich is the center of Europe, the basis and starting point for many things. I like to be at Marienplatz, at the Viktualienmarkt, in the English Garden – and as an enthusiastic fan of FC Bayern as often as possible in the Allianz Arena.
Tequila is also a club drink. Are you still active in the nightlife?
No, I have a wife and four children at home. Today I’m less private, more professional, business lunches or movie premieres. The wild club years are over. I used to go to the Sunset Strip in Hollywood many times, at the Rainbow Bar & amp; Grill, in the Roxy, it went off right. I was a real hard rocker!
RIZE Editor Babak Shahverdi,
Patrick Schwarzenegger and
editor-in-chief Alex Gernandt (from left)