“To me, the important thing is that my movies can play anywhere and people will understand the drama, the action, or whatever and get entertained.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Say the name Arnold Schwarzenegger and most people immediately think Terminator or ex-Governor of California. Of course, he is both those things; indeed, he will soon be back on the big screen as the Terminator once again in Terminator: Genysis, which is set to be released this summer.
In the interim, Schwarzenegger has also been busy filming a much smaller, indie movie which is certainly a departure from the usual multi-million dollar blockbusters he is associated with.
Maggie sees Schwarzenegger playing the parent of a teenager bitten by a zombie. It is a low budget, independent production and the actor says his agent was the one who pushed for him to take the project on whereas he usually get offered work himself.
“Most of the jobs I’ve done, I’ve gotten them myself, and then agents make the deal. People come up to me in restaurants and say, “Arnold, I’ve got this great script.” They send you stuff. They give you stuff in the gym. For Eraser, I was hanging out with Lorenzo di Bonaventura. I was sitting on a chairlift in Sun Valley. It is snowing. The snow is coming down. You can’t even see three feet in front of you. And we’re taking off in the chairlift to go skiing together. The chairlift takes off and he goes, “By the way, Arnold.” He pulls the script out for Eraser and gives it to me. He says, “Put it in your jacket, read it, I’m here this whole weekend.” That’s normally the way it happens. There’s no agent, no nothing. That’s how the Terminator thing happened — Mike Medavoy coming up to me after a movie and going, “Arnold, you have to play Reese. We have OJ Simpson as the Terminator.” Of course, it all changed later.
“So agents usually claim they got the job and it’s not true. But in this case, it was one of those very extraordinary things. He really got me to do this movie. It was really like the ideal situation — the way agents should work. They see something they believe in and give it to you because they have this writer they also represent. He really believed in it.”
OJ Simpson as the Terminator? Now that would have been interesting. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Schwarzenegger in the role. Whether the film is a massive blockbuster or a small indie movie like Maggie, Schwarzenegger looks at each film from a whole world perspective. Will a global audience be able to identify with the storyline? Will it resonate across all continents?
“To me, the important thing is that my movies can play anywhere and people will understand the drama, the action, or whatever and get entertained. So this movie has to play in Austria as well as it does here — which it will. Any parent in Australia or Austria or Africa or American will be able to relate to it — this virus, the daughter dying, what you would do. It’s the same thing with a Conan script or a Terminator movie. It has to play the same way in all the different continents. That’s very important — from the beginning, when I was getting started; I always looked at everything in a global way, whether it was body-building or fitness promotion. Even though I passed environmental laws in California, I was thinking about how to make it effective all over the world. It’s always about the world.”