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“ A lot of outrageous weapons and neat things, different guns. ”

Schwarzenegger about the guns in T3

Cemetery On-set interview

Sat 23 Nov 2002 | 00h00 GMT+1
Info: TF News search

Any skepticism one might have about a third Terminator film vanishes when Arnold Schwarzenegger himself is staring you down behind sunglasses, decked out in full leather pants and jacket with prosthetic makeup on his face showing a metal endoskeleton peeking out through bullet wounds. On the set of T3: Rise of the Machines, Schwarzenegger's availability was limited, but he spoke about revisiting his starmaking role as the T-800 model Terminator unit.

In T2, the T-800 became a "kinder, gentler Terminator" when young John Connor programmed him not to kill people. When asked if the cyborg he plays in T3 would have similar programming, Schwarzenegger simply said, "I can't talk about that too much. I can only tell you that it could easily be that I'm both." Does that mean he's both kinder and gentler, or both good and evil?

In the scene shooting on this day, Terminator and John Connor (Nick Stahl) were visiting a crypt where Sarah Connor is buried. Obviously, something goes wrong, because the setup had cop cars and SWAT teams parked in the middle of the cemetery, shooting heavy artillery at Terminator while he walked out of a broken stained glass window carrying the coffin on his shoulder. A crane assisted with the heavy lifting, but when he started taking fire, T-800 turned around with a massive machine gun and fired away. At one point during filming, mourners at a real funeral ceremony being held at another plot were distracted by the gunfire and looked over in unison as squibs exploded chunks out of fake tombstones.

Schwarzenegger promised, "a lot of outrageous weapons and neat things, different guns" in T3: Rise of the Machines, and said the gun he used in this scene reminded him of his own military days.

"It automatically comes with a device that lies right on your thigh so that it kicks into the thigh but not really," Schwarzenegger said. "The idea of it is to make it as steady as possible so you can hit the target. If the gun keeps moving up [as you fire] like some old guns do, then you have to do the short bursts like we did in the old days. When I was in the army, all the machine gun fire was always ba-da-da, ba-da-da, ba-da-da so you stay on target. Ba-da-da-da-da-da-da is wasting ammunition."

Director Jonathan Mostow is helming the third entry in the Terminator series. He admitted to feeling pressure at taking over the series that James Cameron created. "Obviously, it's a daunting semi-masochistic effort to step into this director's chair, but no pain, no gain," Mostow said.

Mostow would not reveal any specific details, but assured he would bring something unique to the film.

"Even if I tried to copy somebody else's style, I couldn't," Mostow continued. "It's impossible on a movie. What you see on the screen is the end result of a million decisions, some which don't really matter. Should this be red or green? Three or four? This tall or that small? Probably half those decisions really don't make a rat's ass difference in the final outcome of the film but a lot of those decisions do. At the end of the day the final movie will for better or worse be sort of a filtration through my subconscious instincts about what all those decisions amount up to. What I bring to it is just my own sensibilities."

When it comes to the action, Mostow felt the groundwork was already set. "The great thing in this movie is you have two robots who each weigh a ton fighting each other. Already, the fight sequences are going to be different than other movies we've seen. Also, the fact that it's Arnold. You won't see Terminator doing chopsocky. That's not what people want to see and it's not right. Terminator's a character that everybody knows and they have their own B.S. detector about what feels right and what doesn't feel right, so we're all guided by that instruction of rights."

In the end, Mostow thinks being a fan of the series and of films in general makes his directorial decisions easier. "It actually makes it easier because you know what you want to see. You just go, 'Well, that's fun. I like seeing that.' So, it's the ultimate audience interactive experience. It's what movies will probably be in three centuries. We'll all come and just press buttons in a movie theater and we'll see whatever movie we want to see."

Would Mostow reveal if this is still a "kinder, gentler Terminator"? "You be the judge," he said. "We're in a cemetery and he's blowing up stuff."

Schwarzenegger, a longtime friend and collaborator with James Cameron, offered his perspective on the similarities between Mostow and Cameron before wrapping for the day.

"Both are very talented," Schwarzenegger said. "[Jonathan Mostow] is very intelligent. He's very knowledgeable with visual effects. He has the patience. He has the discipline and he's a director. He directs. He directs every department and has control over every department and because he comes from that background, he also is very much into directing the actors. Some action directors have a tendency of paying a lot of attention to details of the action but not a lot of the details in the scene itself and the acting."

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