|The November issue of Empire is almost here, and our cover story this month is the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the movies. The Austrian Oak, free of the demands of governing California, is back to breaking heads and taking names in The Last Stand, and in our exclusive in-depth interview and brand new photo shoot he tells us all about it. Further below, you can read an excerpt from the feature.
Arnie also talked Predator, Commando, Terminator and much more, as well as talking about the films that might have been. This is a seriously comprehensive piece.
Elsewhere in the issue, we talked to Elliott Gould, looked at Welcome To The Punch, previewed Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, looked at Shining documentary Room 237 and a huge amount more. The November issue of Empire is officially on sale in all good newsagents on Thursday, or you can try for the iPad or US iPad editions.
Now here’s a short extract from our Arnold Schwarzenegger feature…
EMPIRE IS HUDDLED in the back of the Schwarzenegger motorcade. It’s two weeks earlier and we’re wending our way slowly through London’s West End. A steady hum builds to a roar as we near the crowds thronging Leicester Square, and a single refrain can gradually be picked out from the general hubbub. “Ar-nie! Ar-nie! Ar-nie!”
Half of the capital, it seems, has turned out for the premiere of The Expendables 2, and fans are packed ten feet deep behind the barriers. It’s an adoring reception from a city you could well imagine being entirely cheered out after whooping its way through a fortnight of Olympic fever. But as the car pulls in and Schwarzenegger steps out onto the red carpet for the first time in a decade, the reaction is nothing short of thunderous.
Taking in the spectacle, it occurs to Empire that there are three Arnold Schwarzeneggers. The first, Arnold, is exactly as we find him: friendly, gregarious and shot through with a wry sense of humour. He’s a man of unquashable optimism, who enjoys watching the odd UFC bout and likes to paint — mainly watercolours and acrylic. Then there’s The Governor.
No nonsense, efficient and completely in control. Always making eye contact. Always playing the angles. Honed by his years in political office, this is the man who cuts the deals; who makes the decisions. Whenever a lens is pointed in his direction, The Governor is the man smiling back at the camera.
If Arnold is the man and The Governor is the institution, then SCHWARZENEGGER is the legend. Larger than life, seemingly ten feet tall, this is the man who glared down from every other movie poster throughout the ’80s and ’90s; the man who commanded $36,500 a word for his part in the third Terminator; the man whose name knows no lower case. SCHWARZENEGGER is the biggest star in cinema history — a superhuman figure, a hero out of myth. And it’s SCHWARZENEGGER that we find ourselves in the presence of as we walk beside him down the carpet.
“I told you I’d be back,” he announces to the crowd, beaming. They predictably go berserk.