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Arnie: uncut

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HE WAS the world’s greatest bodybuilde­r, then one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, before becoming California’s governor. Now 76, Arnold Schwarzene­gger is reinventin­g himself again, sharing the secrets of his success with new self-help book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life.

During an event at London’s Palladium this week, the action hero provided a fascinatin­g insight into his life, career and motivation…

On criticism from his parents:

My mother came into my bedroom and said, “Why are all these naked men hanging on the wall above your bed? All your friends have girls hanging up.”

She called the doctor. He looked at the wall and said, “This is quite normal. Don’t worry.” And so my mother finally stopped crying.

My father said that if I wanted to get muscles, I should chop wood for the old lady next door and not just look at myself in the mirror. This is what I went through. It wasn’t easy.

On his Hollywood struggle:

Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood were making $1million a movie and I thought, “That sounds good”, so I went and tried to convince Hollywood.

I said, “Look, I’m a bodybuildi­ng champion, I just did the movie Pumping Iron. I want to get into movies.”

And the guy said, “You’re crazy. We can barely understand you.” And he said that my name was too long “Schwarzesm­itzel or whatever”.

So I said to myself, “OK, that particular ladder is very hard to climb so I’ll build my own ladder and climb that.”

On rival Sylvester Stallone:

We had a tremendous amount of competitio­n in the 1980s. We were like

little children. We were so stupid. We were, like, who’s making more money at the box office? Who is getting better reviews? Who has less body fat? Who is using bigger guns? Who is killing more people on the screen? Insane.

On criticisin­g James Cameron:

As an actor you can see your movie with the director before the audience does, and tell him what you think.

I remember I saw Terminator 2 just after James Cameron had finished editing it. He asked what I thought and I said that, ‘For me, it was like 15 minutes too long.’

He said, ‘OK,’ then cut out a great scene of me changing the battery in my head. He did it to punish me. Now I’m careful when a director asks for my thoughts!

On getting old:

I’m not happy with what I see in the mirror, with not being as ripped. But I feel fantastic, mentally and physically. That’s the most important thing. MR MUscle Arnie in 1977

On his pets:

We have a miniature horse, a donkey and three dogs but that was not enough. George Clooney, way back when we did Batman & Robin, had a little pig on set so I decided I wanted one as a house pet.

And so we have this pig, who now weighs 50lb, and he is hilarious.

It sleeps in the kitchen with the dogs, he loves oatmilk cookies, and he runs up to me like a dog. He even jumps up on my lap.

On running for president:

It is constituti­onally impossible for me to become president because no one who is foreign-born is allowed to be. I think I would actually make a good Speaker because I was good in Kindergart­en Cop and I could handle the politician­s who act like children. In any case, everything I have accomplish­ed is because of America, so I won’t complain about the one job that I can’t do.

■ Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzene­gger, Ebury Edge, £20

Everything I have done is because of America, so I can’t complain

SCHWARZENE­GGER on his love for the states

 ?? ?? acTion Men With film rival Stallone cUT In Terminator 2
acTion Men With film rival Stallone cUT In Terminator 2
 ?? ?? MiSUnDeRST­ooD With dad Gustav and mum Aurelia
MiSUnDeRST­ooD With dad Gustav and mum Aurelia
 ?? ?? open & honest Actor talks at Palladium in London on Tuesday
open & honest Actor talks at Palladium in London on Tuesday
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