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'Kindergarten Cop' star Pamela Reed remembers working with Arnold Schwarzenegger

"He was willing to try anything."

Three decades after co-starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Kindergarten Cop," Pamela Reed says the movie has "maintained a relevance" in her own life.

Reed, who played detective Phoebe O'Hara, reminisced with TODAY about the 1990 film, in which Schwarzenegger's John Kimble goes undercover as a teacher.

"There is no project that I am approached (about) — on the street, in the store, in the restaurant or wherever I am — by people so often," she said. "And the way they approach is just with utter joy. 'Oh! Oh, I saw it last night. Oh! That was so fun! It's maybe the 50th time we've seen it. We love that.' You know, just the kind of exuberance and camaraderie that people feel, and then they choose to share it."

Pamela Reed, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop
Pamela Reed played Arnold Schwarzenegger's parter in "Kindergarten Cop."Everett Collection

The line quoted back to her most often is "You’re not so tough without your car, are you?”

Reed said one of her favorite scenes is when Kimble finds O'Hara in bed eating pasta cooked by her visiting fiancé, Henry Shoop, whom he mistakes for an intruder and nearly shoots.

"There's something very disarming about the way that scene is written and, 'Oh, this is my chef boyfriend,' and my love for food and the whole thing like that," she said.

She added that channeling her character's hearty appetite "wasn't hard." "I didn't have to act that part of the role."

In one of the movie's most memorable scenes, O'Hara poses as Kimble's sister, even mimicking Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent.

Pamela Reed, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop
In the movie, Schwarzenegger plays a tough detective who goes undercover in a kindergarten classroom.Alamy

"I had to practice the accent," she said, "And I didn't work with someone outside, as you will do often with a dialect coach. I worked with Arnold, just listening to him. I didn't want him to hear me do him ahead of time. And maybe I should have done that. Because, when we actually went to shoot it, he was laughing so much, we had to do a billion takes. But I listened to him closely and watched him."

Reed added that Schwarzenegger was "wonderful" to work with.

"He was generous to a fault," she said. "He was willing to try anything. He was delightful. He was really, really great."

Pamela Reed, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop
Reed called Schwarzenegger "generous to a fault."Everett Collection

Reed said she's not sure exactly why people love "Kindergarten Cop" so much.

"It's sort of like, you know, I don't care why my husband loves me," she said. "It's 31 years, you know? He just does. And it feels right. And that's sort of how I feel about this experience. But what's so great is that people do. And boy, you know, in this day and age, going into our ninth month of quarantine and finding some laughter on all the screens we're looking at these days ... something that's made you laugh for a while, it's like an old friend who comes to dinner and you know you're going to have a good time."