A 'hungry' Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about his life in film

    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new film “”Collateral Damage”” hits theaters this week. Schwarzenegger plays a fireman who hunts down Colombian terrorists after his family was killed in a terrorist bombing. The film was originally scheduled for October, but was halted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Schwarzenegger recently talked about the film and future projects:

    Q: What does the title of the film mean to you?

    A: I don’t think it matters what it means to me. I think internationally, the film as “”Collateral Damage”” means damage that has been done to innocent people; it has nothing to do with the actual war. Like Sept. 11, everyone in the World Trade Center was collateral damage because of the disagreements between the terrorists and our government. None of those people had anything to do with terrorism or the war. I think very few people have paid attention to collateral damage.

    It was a very personal story in the film. This guy is an ordinary guy who sees his family wiped out in front of him because of a terrorist attack. He loses his family, his job and he loses himself somewhat, too.

    Q: How much of the scenes were altered after Sept. 11?

    A: Not one single frame was ever changed. The movie was never ever touched.

    Q: Why do you feel that now is an appropriate time to show the film to the public?

    A: It’s not up to me to feel that it’s an appropriate time. What matters is what the people feel. … We tested the audience in November and everyone felt that this is the time we should see this film.

    Q: What is your favorite philosophy?

    A: There’s several … but I always believed in staying hungry. I always felt that as soon as you accomplish something and climbed the hill that you wanted, to get there, don’t rest there. The worst thing you can do is to sit and enjoy the victory. If you look at it as a stepping stone again and be hungry for the next step you make … It’s important to pack in as much as you can and afterward, there’s enough time to rest.

    Q: What keeps you hungry?

    A: I would say things that get me excited — there are always new and different things. There are just so many great scripts out there. You always have to find something that excites you and makes you like a puppy. Otherwise, you don’t want to work just for the sake of money, then it gets boring eventually.

    Q: Do you have any political aspirations?

    A: Right now, I don’t. I continue working with my after-school programs, the City Games. I’m working on an initiative here in California that will be on the ballot in November, which is called the After School Education and Safety Act, which is an after-school initiative that will increase the money available for all schools in California from $170 million to $550 million.

    I continue to push for things important for kids who are powerless. I like to represent people who are powerless, like the Special Olympics. I feel like I should fight for them. They never have a chance, so I do it for them … There’s no money available because the politicians are always short-sighted; they will only vote for things that they think will give them additional votes.

    Q: What do you think of the U.S.-financed war on drugs? Do you think it is effective?

    A: I’m not an expert in this, but I think the whole drug issue is a complicated issue because there are some people who argue: Should we concentrate on wiping out the demand for drugs? And there are other people who think we should wipe out the supply of drugs. Well, which one should it be? Rarely does it get together and see we should wipe out both.

    Q: How have your military and political background affected you as an actor?

    A: I don’t think my background has affected me at all. I think that the only thing that affects you is the person you are. At the same time, I think it is important to be willing to learn as much as you can

    Q: What do you think you have left to prove as an actor? Are there any films you want to do?

    A: I think it would probably be “”Terminator 3″” next. There are so many films for people rather than just for myself. I think there were so many people in the last 10 years who have asked me: When’s “”Terminator 3″” coming out?

    Q: “”Conan””?

    A: “”Conan 3″”. Exactly. “”Deep Throat 3?”” Who knows?

    Q: You have a great sense of humor. Do you have any more comedic performances in store?

    A: Yeah, I hope to do “”True Lies 2.”” When you have four kids, you can imagine how disappointed they are when you do a movie they can’t see.

    Q: What was it first like, being a foreigner trying to enter the acting business? What made you want to be a movie star?

    A: Well, I always wanted to be a movie star when I was 15 years old. I also wanted to go to America as a kid. I was highly impressed with the bridges, the 5-lane freeways with the big cars and fins sticking up … As a kid, you always wanted to say: “”Wow, I want to be there!”” As a kid on an Austrian farm, you start to get tired of that.

    I was really serious and I wanted to follow through with that. I knew bodybuilding would get me to America because there is no way for an Austrian kid to get the money to ever get to America. … I killed myself five hours every day in the gym … I had idols like Steve Reeves and Herschel Hawk that went from body-building championships to Hercules stars.

    Now imagine, when I get off the boat and someone comes up to me five months later and says “”I want you to play Hercules in ‘Hercules in New York!'”” I said “”Oh, my God! This is amazing, it’s actually true!”” They ask me, an Austrian schiester. I told all my friends to come over here; “”It’s true you can become a star!”” In reality, you look now, it’s quite difficult.

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