Arnold Schwarzenegger ('The Last Stand')
If the two Expendables movies were Arnold Schwarzenegger dipping his toe back into the acting pool, Kim Jee-woon‘s 'The Last Stand' is him taking a cannonball dive back in!
The former governor of California soaks in the spotlight as Ray Owens, a small-town sheriff who becomes the last guy standing between a ruthless cartel leader (Eduardo Noriega) and the Mexican border.
In 'The Last Stand', written by Andrew Knauer and directed by Jee-woon, the leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff. The film is Arnold Schwarzenegger's first leading role since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003.
Chatting recently with the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, I first wondered, after ten years out of acting, what was the biggest difference he had noticed in the film industry – and in himself? "With myself, ten years on, I am wiser. The experience as The Governor (of California), all the problems, the challenges, it makes you smarter and tougher. It was the greatest learning experience. It makes you a more interesting person."
"With the acting, it made me better. With the business, it has become global, it is not all shot in Hollywood. Movies have to play all over the world to make the money back, so it has become a global industry."
Johnny Knoxville is your co-star in the film. Did he play any Jackass-style pranks on you during filming? "I forbade him. I told him the payback would be very painful! Johnny is used to Jackass films, where the more something goes wrong and doesn’t work, the better. I said to him our movie was different and he had to change his attitude. He was really good fun to work with — he brought some good comic relief to the movie."
There were some big physical scenes in 'The Last Stand,' so how did your body hold up afterwards? "Good, actually. I am lucky, I have been working out all my life. In the early days when I came to London, I became the youngest winner of the Mr Universe competition when I was 20."
"That was a springboard for me and why I love London and the people here. My children came with me to watch the Olympics, which were terrific, and my son is with me this time."
Has there ever been one movie you turned down and still regret to this day? "Jerry Bruckheimer came to me with the script for The Rock. He wanted me to play the part Nicolas Cage eventually took on but there was 80 pages of it, with scribbles all over it, saying, “This is s***” and “That’s not right, re-write this”."
"I looked at it and said I couldn’t commit to it. I told them to get their act together and come back to me. Anyway, they did, and hired Nicolas — who was excellent, by the way, and the right man for the job. I loved that movie, I thought it turned out fantastically."
Finally, what new movies do you have upcoming? "Actually, they are writing Twins 2 at the moment, which would be with Eddie Murphy and called Triplets. You figure that out, how that could come from the same sperm — Danny DeVito, Eddie and myself!"
"Away from comedy, another Conan film and another Terminator film are being written for me."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
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