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“ The first Terminator was a David and Goliath story. In the second, I became David fighting a Goliath. This time around, I'm a little of both. ”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator 3 tougher than ever

Tue 1 Jul 2003 | 16h50 GMT+1
Info: TF News search

It may have taken 12 years, but Arnold Schwarzenegger has made good on his promise. "I said the Terminator would be back and he is," says Schwarzenegger adding "and it's an incredibly gratifying experience for me. No matter where I have gone these past 12 years, for whatever reason, one of the first questions I've been asked is if and when there will be another Terminator movie. People all over the world have wanted it and campaigned for it and now here it is."

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines which opens Wednesday finds The Terminator returning once again to protect John Connor (Nick Stahl) the arch enemy of the machine army of the future. This time The Terminator must battle T-X (Kristanna Loken) the future's most advanced cyborg which morphs into a curvaceous woman.

"The first Terminator was a David and Goliath story where I was the monster," explains Schwarzenegger. "In the second film, I became David fighting a Goliath. This time around, I'm a little of both. I have the potential of being both John Connor's saviour or the one who helps destroy him."

Schwarzenegger says he is pleased the new T-X is powerful and such a threat to him. "It was absolutely essential that the audience fear for my safety. It's important they see it is possible she will win because she really is the stronger, more advanced cyborg."

Schwarzenegger admits he was just a little apprehensive about returning to the role after a 12-year absence.

Arrives naked

"The Terminator is a machine. He can't look all that much different, so I had to get back into the same shape I was in 12 years earlier. It was my goal to be able to fit into the same costume I wore in the last movie."

There was another incentive. As with the first two films, The Terminator arrives naked from the future and must find a leather outfit to wear. In this case, he wanders over to a Chippendale-style strip club where the male stripper is wearing the cyborg's now-famous leather suit.

"Any time you take your clothes off for the camera, there is the potential for embarrassment. With that in mind, I went into the mode of training as if I was preparing for a Mr. Olympia competition again. That meant I had to go back onto a strict diet and hit the gym. For many years now, I have been working out at home so my kids would be inspired to work out as well."

Schwarzenegger says he contacted several of his old training partners, lifted weights and spent two and three times as many hours working out as he has for almost a decade. In that time, Schwarzenegger has undergone heart surgery and major surgery on his shoulder. "Giving up is not in my vocabulary. The process is not important to me. The end result is, so I give myself a goal and work until I've achieved it."

Though this third Terminator movie has been part of Schwarzenegger's life for 12 years and he never doubted it would happen, it was not until he arrived on set to film his first scene that he realized he truly was back. "My first scene was the one in which The Terminator crashes a car into the T-X and slams her into a wall. As soon as I slipped into the Terminator jacket and put on the sunglasses and saw the motorbike parked just off that set, I knew I was back. I slipped effortlessly into character."

Schwarzenegger says the jacket and sunglasses "are symbols of my success. The first time I wore them, they made me a star. The second time I wore them, they turned me into a superstar. Each new time, they have had a tremendous effect on my career and my life."

Just because one robot has made such an impact on his life, Schwarzenegger is not about to play another. He has signed to star in the remake of Michael Crichton's 1973 fantasy Westworld, a Jurassic Park-style thriller about theme park robots who turn on the patrons.

"I did my spy for True Lies, my barbarian for Conan and my robot for Terminator. I will revive a character for a sequel, but I don't want to do a similar character in a different movie. I will play one of the tourists who must battle the rogue robots."

Schwarzenegger says he hopes the Westworld script will be ready for filming as early as this fall.

Fantasy ride

"I think this movie will be a great fantasy ride for audiences. In the original with Yul Brynner, they just went to a western town and a gladiator ring. With the advances in technology, we can now go into a kind of Total Recall future and have maybe five or six very interesting worlds. I'd like to see them create a military drop zone at one point."

Schwarzenegger insists his zest and enthusiasm for movies, bodybuilding and his marriage to Maria Shriver have only increased over the years. "Maria and I have been married for 17 years. As recently as when we were at Cannes, we talked about why we still have such a great time together."

"I'm more in love with her today than I was when I met her 25 years ago. I never cease being fascinated by Maria. She's such a talented, wonderful woman and incredibly beautiful but what makes her even more appealing and exciting is seeing what a great mother she is to our children. She is so selfless and that inspires in me an additional love."

There has been considerable speculation that Schwarzenegger will run for governor of California. "If the state of California needs me and wants me, I'll be available. I would be willing to sacrifice my (film) career for this higher purpose."

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