|EXCLUSIVE WEB CHAT WIH ARNOLD ON COLLATERAL DAMAGE !!!!!|
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Host: Welcome to AOL Live. We've got Arnold Schwarzenegger. So very nice to meet you. Now, you have your big movie opening up next week, Friday the 8th, Collateral Damage. We have had people just dying to get on and talk with you. I'm going to go off the bat and start asking, this is from MeGirl. She wants to know, how long did it take to film Collateral Damage?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: It depends what you call filming. You start with preproduction three months before you start filming. A lot of time is spent to test wardrobe and what it looks like, different hair styles, what it looks like, and how everyone looks together, different heights and all those things. There's a lot of those things going on before you start shooting. Then we went down to Mexico. It is a beautiful area, an area that looks very much like Colombia, with the water, waves and canals and all those things, and the jungle. It was gorgeous. Very threatening looking, in some ways. We shot down there for around eight weeks. Then we came back to the United States and shot around Los Angeles here for another eight weeks. I would say 16 weeks of real movie shooting, and then the preparation of that. Then we went back -- after you do a test screening, you also go out and shoot another two, three days and do some pickup shots. You find out the audience would like to see more close-ups of you or see more of the waterfall, of you dropping down and the waterfalls, then do some pickup shots.
Host: A lot goes into it. Not what any of us realize. This is from Gnat 488 -- 4388. How is it to be a big, huge star? They want to know.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I think it is wonderful. Obviously, so much better to be a star than to be nobody. Everybody wants to be somebody. And -- but what is interesting is that when I think back at the time I was a child, and there was -- I was 12, 15 years old, my dream was to come to America...
Arnold Schwarzenegger: ...to get rich and famous. I saw John Wayne on the screen and Kirk Douglas and guys like that. I wanted to be one of those guys. I want to be in the movies. I want to come to America and -- but in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would go as far as I did in my career. I mean, you know, could be -- make those kind of extraordinary movies, big movies, big-budget movies, to work with such talented actors, great directors. You know, have the kind of family that I have, and the personal life as well as the professional life. So that I didn't dream of. I went way beyond my dreams.
Host: I'm sure it is hard to imagine an entire country loves you as much as America does.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: America is the land of opportunities. There's no two ways about it. It is a place where anyone can make it. Even an Austrian farm boy can come over here and come off the boat. You know. And then educated myself over here. It was a fantastic ride.
Host: That's amazing. This is from Mini 2001 378: What's your favorite scene in your new movie?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I think my favorite scene is at the beginning of the movie. Two scenes. One of them is in the beginning of the movie. All the fire scenes. I play a fireman in the movie. And because I wanted to play something different than a federal agent or a CIA agent or something like that, I wanted to be a hero, which is a fireman. There's great scenes in the beginning where you establish yourself as the hero. I'm saving lives in the beginning and going through buildings that are totally in flames. Everything is falling down. The building is falling apart. You establish a scene of the heroic guy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Literally, like, you know, seconds later, you see me playing with my son at home. You see the family life and all -- that combination I love very much. Then the next one is of what happens to this guy, this hero, when he sees his family blown up in front of him. It is the collateral damage terrorism can really take. What he then goes through, how his life changes. That scene is a powerful scene, also.
Host: Sure it is. Really amazing to watch. Hard to watch at some points, actually.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Yes.
Host: This is from PCP101: Hi, Arnie. Can you give a hint at the story line of T3, please?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I can't talk about it. We star filming on April 15. We will be shooting that partially here in Los Angeles and partially in Vancouver. We will be finished probably end of September. So there will be a lot of visual effects and special effects shot afterwards in post-production. It will come out the following year, 2003, July 4th weekend. I play the Terminator. What you expect, right? The only thing is that there is a female Terminator also involved in this one. She has extraordinary powers, including like having an effect on machines. Since I'm a machine, you never know when I turn into a bad Terminator that is willing to take out and destroy anything, or sometimes saving the world. That's part of the suspense. That's really all I can say. I don't want to go into detail. But it is a really fantastic script, and challenging -- challenging. And so we have an extraordinary crew.
Host:Excellent. I gave you a lot to chew on for a little while.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: All right.
Host:This is from CoolTyke: What was your favorite movie you did?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I would say that when it comes to action movies, probably The Terminator and True Lies were my favorite movies. When it comes to dramatic action movie, then I would -- Collateral Damage is my favorite. When it comes to comedy, probably Twins is my favorite.
Host:That's my favorite too.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Thank you.
Host: This is LPSPMS. I thought I read that wrong. What makes this movie different than all the other action movies to date?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I would say that Collateral Damage is an action movie and a suspense movie, but it what makes it different is the timing of the movie is very unique. Because I think if we wouldn't have had the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we would look at this movie like, you know, like a hypothetical story, you know, like always. You know, the terrorists -- movie about terrorism. Someone is striking and trying to take over America, somebody trying to blow up Los Angeles or any of those kind of things. And so it will be along those lines. But now, since the terrorist attacks have happened, people will look at it as an action movie, a suspense movie and as a movie that, you know, gives you great thrills and great -- but, at the same time, people will be looking at it also in a serious way, more serious way, because there's a lot of -- a lot of what happened on Sept. 11, the terrorist attacks, the collateral damage, how people lose their lives and so on, and what happens afterwards.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: You know, in this case, of course, it is a movie, so movies take it a step beyond. While we are in reality now fighting terrorism and the war has not been won yet, in the movie we win the war. I'm doing some serious butt-kicking with some of the terrorists that are responsible for what they have done to this country, what they have done to my family and a lot of innocent people.
Host: Exactly. It is so funny, because literally before 9/11, the only other place I heard the word collateral damage was in the press releases. Afterwards, it was like everybody knew the definition of collateral damage.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: News media, it is always being used. Because no matter what war it is, no matter what terrorist attack it is, there's always collateral damage. Very few people paid attention to the innocent lives lost -- if we are bombing Yugoslavia or bombing Afghanistan, there [is some collateral] damage there. For instance, a huge collateral damage and enormous proportions on Sept. 11, when so many thousands of innocent people that have nothing to do with politics or war, with anything like this, have lost their lives. It is a real, terrible tragedy.
Host: Sure. OK. How many changes have been made to Collateral Damage because of Sept. 11, and will the old version be released?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, luckily we didn't have to make any changes, because we were so accurate of what happened, and that -- you know, there were debates -- should we make some of the changes. But we decided that the movie didn't need any changes and that it was perfect the way it was, and that it was great entertainment. Even the latest test screen we had, we -- you know, after Sept. 11 than before, when we tested last August. We felt we should keep it the way it is, the way we intended to distribute it.
Host: Right. Right. TooIrresistable wants to know: What's the hardest part of being married to a Kennedy, and has it changed anything in your life?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, I think the difference in being married to a Kennedy or not -- I think what has been a great, great pleasure for me, you know, to have such an extraordinary woman, such a fantastic wife, such a spectacular mother. Because when you meet somebody, when you fall in love like I did with Maria, and then you decide to get married, you have no idea what kind of a mother she will be. You assume that because her mother was a fantastic mother, and Maria -- my mother was really great. I respected my mother. And I would make a great father. That's really the thing, you go with the unknown. When we had our first baby, Katherine was born, and I saw Maria being so selfless and being with this baby day and night, and then all the other kids who were born -- I have four -- and to see her rushing to the school and doing the homework and taking them to sports -- and we do a lot of things together, you know -- it is really extraordinary how she is. And so I have to say that I respect her more than ever, and I love her more than ever.
Host: That's nice. Has being a part of such a political family influenced you or made you more political? You have always had political aspirations.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, I would say that having been with her in-laws, with her father-in-law and mother-in-law, they both are extraordinary human beings. Her mother started the Special Olympics, you know, more than 30 years ago -- 1968, 34 years ago. And, you know, her father started the Peace Corps and the Job Corps and Legal Aid for the poor and all of those kind of programs, Head Start, and on and on and on. Kennedy administration, Johnson administration. A powerful force to get those programs done. Naturally, when you meet people like that and they have such a great political background and know so much about it, you learn a lot from it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: For me, talking to both of them has always been like, you know, act like a son. I absorb as much information as I can. And I have been inspired tremendously by both of them, because they always talk so much about what can we do for the country and what can we do for the people, for people that really need help and stuff like that, and so, inevitably, it rubs off. And we still think about that and getting involved in different issues, Special Olympics or, you know, being with the President's Council on Fitness, promoting fitness and health and sports for the youngsters, or creating the Inner-City Games, school initiative and all those kind of things. I think, you know, I had an interest in giving back to the country anyway. But I think that being with this family definitely has a very big impact on me.
Host: This is from Ivy Girl: Do you believe in true love?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Absolutely. The most important thing is that it is not the love -- here today, gone tomorrow -- but it is long-lasting love. You know, because otherwise it doesn't work. Especially when you get into relationships and especially when you get married and have a family with children and all those things, it is very important that your love grow rather than disintegrate.
Host: Yes, very important.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: A very important question. Valentine's Day is coming up, which I love, and I'm a romantic guy. I make paintings of hearts and get the flowers and gifts and all those kind of things, for my daughter and for my kids. It has been a lot of fun doing those kind of things.
Host: I don't want to give anything away to Maria if she's watching, but what did you get her last year?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Heart-shaped diamond necklace.
Host: That's romantic.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: And a lot of flowers. Every room, flowers. She loves flowers. She loves roses, different colors. Whatever she wants, she can get.
Host: Good. You are a big softy. We like that. Excellent. This is from Vampire: Do you prefer the action roles, and how do you feel about doing comedy? Which is your true preference?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: You know, to me, I like to mix it up. I mean, I love to do movies like True Lies, a combination of great action and also great comedy. But those kind of movies, you know, are rare. I would say most of the time you have one or the other. You have an action movie that's packed with action and with crazy stunts and all those things, and you -- like, for instance, in our movie, you know, Collateral Damage. I mean, in Collateral Damage, we have very intense action, great, great stunts. Wild scenes. But then also we have the comic relief, you know, from John Leguizamo, who is extraordinary in the movie and very, very funny and makes me laugh every time I see him. He's so talented, you know. And so also you have movies like Kindergarten Cop. You can mix it up.
Host: When are we going the see you in another comedy?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: We are working on a script, Richard Cameron, on True Lies, a sequel to True Lies. And I hope to do more comedies, because when you have children, like myself, they get mad when they -- when you come out with a movie like Collateral Damage and they say, when can we see you in the movie? We have seen you on the set and doing the stunts, when can we see the movie? You take home scenes of the movies and show them scenes of the movie that are not violent. My kids are 12, 10, 8 and 4. So, therefore, this is -- it is an R-rated movie. I don't want to show them the movie. They want me to do more comedies.
Host: Excellent. This is from Adam. They say -- there is a question I always wanted to know. Do you still speak German?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I would say that very rarely. I have a few German friends, but we will speak in English to each other. I think that the only time I speak German is when I go to Austria or to Germany. I will be going next week for a promotion, over to Europe. On Feb. 4 I will be in Germany, in Berlin, to do the German press conference, then I will go to Austria. So that's the only time I do. As a matter of fact, when I go, my German is so rusty, I have to sometimes, you know, I have difficulty translating, because I have learned so many new words in English, then I have to figure out how to translate them. But I always enjoy speaking German and then get back into it again.
Host: Is there a phrase you always use? My grandmother is always breaking out with [Speaking German]. This is JBBJ: Where was Collateral Damage filmed?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Collateral Damage was filmed in Mexico, a place that looks most like Colombia. We used that for approximately eight weeks. The rest of the time, we shot in Los Angeles, sometimes in the back lot of Warner Bros. where the area led into a jungle. It is amazing. If you wanted a closer shot, medium shot, you can do most of it in the back lot of Warner Bros. A lot of the water scenes, it is an incredible waterfall scene, where I jumped down the waterfall, which is 100 feet down, very dangerous waterfall. And we did a lot of the closer shots at a swimming pool, which is an extraordinary swimming pool. It is black underneath. You can, you know, put any kind of background in that you want, plants or anything like that. Or if you want to make, for instance -- you know, you can put the sharks in the background and all those kind of things. Basically, we wanted to get some of the shots where I'm in this very violent water, very dangerous water. And that was created in this pool. A lot of it is in a river in Mexico; a lot of it is in a swimming pool. They created the waves. Really like four, five-foot waves. When you were swimming, you were struggling to keep it up -- the waterfall scene itself, some of the close-up shots falling. So, you know, a combination of Mexico and Los Angeles.
Host: This is from -- My son saw you at the recent L.A. auto show. Did you buy anything? Maybe a new car for Maria.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Very nosy question. Very nosy. No. I go to the car show for two reasons: One of them is to look what are the latest cars that are out there from any manufacturer; and number two, because I'm, of course, a big fan of Hummer, built by General Motors. They are just coming out with H-2, which is a little smaller version, more civilized. It is still as rugged and still as powerful -- more powerful, 350-horsepower engine -- but it is a smaller car. You can use it as a sports utility, a family car and all that. So we have a deal. I have been part of the development of this car ever since it turned from a military car to civilian car more than 10 years ago. And so now I was involved in that development. I went to the car show to see that car being displayed, and, you know, to meet some of the people ordering the car way in advance. There is a Hummer fan club. Took pictures. That's one of the reasons why I went [there].
Host: Are you one of those guys that likes your toys and the planes and all the cars and that kind of stuff?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I do. But, I mean, I would say that with Hummer, it is a unique situation, simply because it became more than just getting involved in having a toy. It became something -- like that was a huge economic benefit to those car plants when they built the Hummer, because at the time I got involved in -- and pushed it to [be a] civilian car, they only had it as a military car. But the military was not ordering that much in the early 1990s, because we got into a recession. The military spending went down. Also, they were at war in Iraq. And I think only 12 Hummers out of the 1,000 broke. There was no reason for ordering new Hummers. Powerful and durable cars. They really had a decline economically at the Hummer factory, when they turned it into a civilian car, thank God. A new idea. And, you know, they didn't have to lay off anybody because of that. It became an economic benefit.
Host: Great. Who knew you were in part responsible for getting the Hummer on the streets for civilians?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: They know. General Motors knows, which is why they are so generous in return. Because when I went to them, for instance, with our Inner-City Games foundation -- we have it in 15 cities in America -- one of the things you always need when do you this after-school programs for inner-city kids, you need money to run those programs, and to do all that on the national level. They immediately committed to the games and, for instance, one of the things they also did was giving 60 Hummers for the inner-city games to auction off at each one of the cities, to take the money and put it into the program. One of the auctions that we have is going to be in Philadelphia on Feb. 8.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I will be in Europe at the time, but, you know, there will be all these NBA all-stars going on there. One of the things they will be doing there is they will be auctioning off -- a big celebration, auctioning off the first new Hummer.
Host: Whoever wins that car can then drive it to the opening of Collateral Damage later that night.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Absolutely. That's the idea. Exactly.
Host: This is from HollyBoy: What do you think the best part about being a man is? Have you ever gotten that question before?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: What is the best part? [I cannot] see any part that is not good, to be honest with you. I mean, I love being a man. I think it is terrific. But at the same time, I have to say that the roles have changed so much, because when I first came to the country, there was a very clear difference as far as what a man did and what a woman did. And today, you know, there's a lot of gray areas here, because, I mean, women now taking the same challenges. They get the same jobs. They are as good in sports as the men are. They are going on, you know, missions [in outer] space. I mean, they are part of the military, a very prominent part of the military and very valuable part of the military. Firefighters, they are police officers. You know, they are doing almost the same thing. I think that women today can enjoy both being a woman, if they want to be that one hour, and then the next hour be at a job and fight it out and be stockbrokers and do all those other things the guys are doing, which we can't do. I mean, we can't always do -- in the dress, feel feminine right now. It doesn't happen. I enjoy being a man and, you know, we all -- great advantages that come with that and, you know, I wouldn't change it a second.
Host: I was going to say you can have babies. Wasn't there a movie where a guy was having a baby?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: If you can't do it in real life, why not do it in a movie? That's an advantage of being in a movie. You play a fantasy role. Let's try it in a movie. It was very successful. It is fun to do it in movies.
Host: I know we are getting overloaded with questions. We are going to try to get a bunch in before we leave you. This is from PromoTracy: Do people still get you and Danny DeVito mixed up?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: It happens quite frequently. In our campaign for Twins, only our mother can tell us apart.
Host: MoipCarol555: Arnold, I have enjoyed everything you do. Were you disappointed this movie had to be postponed, and why is now a better time for the movie?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, first of all, it is always disappointing when your movie doesn't come out, because you put so much effort and so much energy into it, and so much money to promote the movie, and a lot of that was done before Sept. 11. A lot of money was put into it. Billboards were all over the country. The TV spots that are playing on television, all those things. All of a sudden, Sept. 11 tragedy happened. So, of course, we were disappointed our movie couldn't come out, but at the same time, that's the last thing that I thought of. Because when you see this on television, this extraordinary kind of terrorist attack, and how many people lost their lives and [suffering] going on -- at the same time the heroism, the firefighters and rescue workers and all these people, police officers, and, you know, you say to yourself, you know, the most important thing now is to think about how we can help those poor people. How can we help those families? How can we help everyone that's suffering so much in New York? There was -- that was my first thought that went through my mind. Not like, oh, my God, my movie is postponed. Secondary. Like Mickey Mouse stuff. In relationship it is nothing. Only if you take it alone -- it is disappointing when you postpone the movie or don't know if it is coming out or not.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Now, the reason why we think it is the right time is because, simply, you do -- you know, politicians do polls to see how people feel about things. In the movie business, you do the same thing. You go out and you test the movie. There's a certain group of people. You ask them questions -- focus groups. You know, do you find anything offensive in this movie? You would like to see this movie. When they had the last screen, which was in November, when they tested it, it was very clear no one was offended by the movie. The people felt very strongly this will be an interesting film to see now, not only because it is entertainment, but because it has a much more serious message now, since we had the terrorist attack in America. So that's when the studio felt that, yes, let's have our meeting again, let's get together and talk about what our release date should be, and we got back into it again.
Host: It is interesting watching it with such different eyes now.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Absolutely, yes.
Host: This is from GermanyWolfpack 7: How much weight can you bench-press?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: To be honest, I have not bench-pressed for 20 years. No. I mean, you know, I'm out of the competitive arena of bodybuilding -- for fitness purposes, and so I don't do any bench press. There's many other exercises, from pressing exercising to flying motions and dumbbells, work with dumbbells. It is most important to do the running and bicycling and swimming and all of this. And so I stay in shape. Half an hour a day with weights, and work out a half an hour a day on cardiovascular training. I'm -- when I'm doing a film, doing the shooting of a film, I do a little more than that.
Host: Good to know. We can all work for an hour a day and be in amazing shape.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: You don't need it. You look perfect. Don't worry about that.
Host: I appreciate it. Somebody would like to know -- I don't have a screen name. What are you going to be doing next?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, next I'm going to start with Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines, which will be -- we start on April 15.
Host: I hate to say goodbye, because this is so interesting. We have so many more questions I want to ask, but we are all out of time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Very upset. This went so fast.
Host: It goes by so quick.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: I have to tell you that I really do enjoy this kind of a chat. It is terrific.
Host: I know the fans are always happy to see you on there.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Thank you.
Host: We are all going to see the movie. Collateral Damage, Feb. 8.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Just remember, remember one thing -- I'll be back.
Host: He's always going to be back. Thanks so much. We'll see you again soon.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Absolutely.
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