Sch­warzeneg­ger talks about age — and be­ing ‘back’

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY MARC BURLEIGH

Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger spoke Fri­day about be­ing “back” as the Ter­mi­na­tor in a new se­quel to the sci-fi film se­ries that made him fa­mous — and about how he’s still an ac­tion star at age 67.

In a pro­mo­tional media con­fer­ence in Paris on Fri­day for “Ter­mi­na­tor Genisys,” Sch­warzeneg­ger, re­vealed some se­crets from the movie, which will hit the screens next week in Scan­di­navia, Greece, Tur­key and Sin­ga­pore, and the rest of the world early July.

First up, he told re­porters that “I got the phone call a month af­ter I’d fin­ished my gov­er­nor­ship” — his seven-year stint run­ning Cal­i­for­nia, which ended in Jan­uary 2011 — to re­turn as the killer ro­bot.

He then ex­plained that a key scene in the movie sees him fight­ing a younger ver­sion of him­self.

In it, he is an older Ter­mi­na­tor bat­tling the one he played back in 1984, when the orig­i­nal “Ter­mi­na­tor” came out, a strug­gle made pos­si­ble by the time travel con­cept of the se­ries — and mod­ern spe­cial ef­fects.

His ap­pear­ance as a Ter­mina- tor vis­i­bly three decades older was ex­plained in a “very well-writ­ten” way, he said.

The pro­duc­tion hired a body­builder with “a Mr. Uni­verse physique” to play the younger ver­sion of Sch­warzeneg­ger in the fight and then spent a year us­ing com­puter graphic over­lays to make him look like the first Ter­mi­na­tor.

“When I saw the movie for the first time three weeks ago I was lit­er­ally blown away, to see my­self fight­ing me and to see ex­actly the way I looked in 1984,” Sch­warzeneg­ger said.

He said his young face had to be recre­ated. Not “one sin­gle frame” was taken from the first Ter­mi­na­tor movie, be­cause it is owned by a dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tion com­pany, he ex­plained.

“It was re­ally ex­tra­or­di­nary to watch that. I didn’t ac­tu­ally know when I saw the fight who I should root for,” he said.

Sch­warzeneg­ger also spoke about how movie magic was mak­ing it pos­si­ble for him to keep go­ing in other ac­tion roles at an age that many men are en­joy­ing re­tire­ment golf.

He said, for in­stance, that he is repris­ing his ti­tle role from “Co­nan,” the first fea­ture movie he made 35 years ago, for an up­com­ing se­quel.

“All of this is very un­usual, be­cause nor­mally when you watch movies such as ‘James Bond’ or ‘Bat­man,’ they switch out the ac­tors ev­ery five, six or 10 years.”

But, the for­mer body­builder grinned, “when you have a studly body, you shouldn’t be sur­prised.”

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