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Character Central

Leo

Character Central, Leo speakin’.

Dane

Could I speak with Arnold Swarzenegger please?

Leo

You want the Terminator, the Ice Man, the Running Man and former governor of “Kalifornia”? I just love the way he says that.

Dane

Yes, and could we put this on the Bill Gates credit card?

Leo

Is dis Dane Allred again?

Dane

How did you know?

Leo

The Bill Gates card. You know I’m gonna get into trouble someday ‘cause you keep using dis ting.

Dane

Has he called and complained?

Leo

Not yet. But I expect a visit any day from VISA. Hey, it worked again. Here’s Arnold.

Dane

Arnold Swarzenegger? Former Mr. Universe and governor of California?

Arnold

I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street.

Dane

That’s a great image. But body-building is how you started your career, isn’t it?

Arnold

I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way - I hope it never will.

Dane

Yes, no one would accuse you of being modest. Do you still train?

Arnold

Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.

Dane

It’s a lifetime approach?

Arnold

Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.

Dane

Total dedication in mind and body?

Arnold

The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.

Dane

You are a strong man with strong beliefs.

Arnold

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Dane

That’s a philosophy which has worked well for you in your other endeavors.

Arnold

The success I have achieved in bodybuilding, motion pictures, and business would not have been possible without the generosity of the American people and the freedom here to pursue your dreams.

Dane

You have accomplished so much. Did you see yourself going so far in life?

Arnold

What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn't think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.

Dane

So when you thought about what you could accomplish early on, did you have a guiding direction?

Arnold

Start wide, expand further, and never look back.

Dane

And if people resist your ideas?

Arnold

The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.

Dane

So you aren’t just a muscle-bound body?

Arnold

I know a lot of athletes and models are written off as just bodies. I never felt used for my body.

Dane

People may be able to tell you’re not from around here.

Arnold

I still speak with a slight accent.

Dane

But you have become a great proponent of the opportunities in the U.S.?

Arnold

I was born in Europe... and I've traveled all over the world. I can tell you that there is no place, no country, that is more compassionate, more generous, more accepting, and more welcoming than the United States of America.

Dane

And you became a naturalized citizen?

Arnold

As long as I live, I will never forget that day when I raised my hand and took the oath of citizenship. Do you know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with an American flag around my shoulders all day long.

Dane

You really do love America.

Arnold

As you know, I'm an immigrant. I came over here as an immigrant, and what gave me the opportunities, what made me to be here today, is the open arms of Americans. I have been received. I have been adopted by America.

Dane

So much that some people are trying to change the constitution so you could run for President.

Arnold

Everything I have, my career, my success, my family, I owe to America.

Dane

You really are an American inspiration.

Arnold

No matter the nationality, no matter the religion, no matter the ethnic background, America brings out the best in people.

Dane

Any plans, now that you’re not Governor any more, for relaxation, or maybe retirement?

Arnold

I welcome and seek your ideas, but do not bring me small ideas; bring me big ideas to match our future.

Dane

Sorry, I didn’t mean to present small ideas. Could we talk about your movies for a moment?

Arnold

My friend James Cameron and I made three films together - True Lies, The Terminator and Terminator 2. Of course, that was during his early, low-budget, art-house period.

Dane

But you have made so many other films. What would you say is your work ethic?

Arnold

You can scream at me, call me for a shoot at midnight, keep me waiting for hours - as long as what ends up on the screen is perfect.

Dane

But there really is only one Arnold Swarzanegger.

Arnold

The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.

Dane

Your favorite actress you’ve played opposite?

Arnold

I have a love interest in every one of my films: a gun.

Dane

Very diplomatic. Any adventures from movies sets you want to share?

Arnold

I have inhaled, exhaled everything.

Dane

That does cover quite a bit.

Arnold

Maria is the best reason to come home.

Dane

Yes, your beautiful and talented wife. Any political fights in the family?

Arnold

Political courage is not political suicide.

Dane

So you make it work.

Arnold

Failure is not an option. Everyone has to succeed.

Dane

And you have been incredibly successful. Has money changed your life?

Arnold

Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.

Dane

Hard to keep track of all the wealth?

Arnold

If it's hard to remember, it'll be difficult to forget.

Dane

So do you have plans you’d like to share about your future?

Arnold

For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.

Dane

More public service? What do you want to do?

Arnold

Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.

Dane

Very inspirational.

Arnold

I believe with all my heart that America remains 'the great idea' that inspires the world. It is a privilege to be born here. It is an honor to become a citizen here. It is a gift to raise your family here, to vote here, and to live here.

Dane

Yes, it is a great place. Any advice to future actors, politicians or weight-lifters?

Arnold

If you work hard and play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything.

Dane

Even if you have an accent.

Arnold

In this country, it doesn't make any difference where you were born. It doesn't make any difference who your parents were. It doesn't make any difference if, like me, you couldn't even speak English until you were in your twenties.

Dane

So you think people should become more involved?

Arnold

When the people become involved in their government, government becomes more accountable, and our society is stronger, more compassionate, and better prepared for the challenges of the future.

Dane

But you have urged other politicians to renounce special interests.

Arnold

If they don't have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, 'I don't want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers ... if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men.

Dane

So you’re warning for political opponents?

Arnold

If it bleeds, we can kill it.

Dane

That’s very strong language.

Arnold

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

Dane

Is that a training secret? Or does drinking make us fat?

Arnold

It's simple, if it jiggles, it's fat.

Dane

Yes, I could lose a little weight, myself.

Arnold

I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with Guess on it. I said, Thyroid problem?

Dane

Well, I don’t have a thyroid problem, but let me just say how exciting it has been to have you speak to us here at Abundance.

Arnold

I'll be back.

Dane

Yes, I might have to call Character Central again and talk some more. Thanks, again, Arnold Swarzenegger.

Arnold

Hasta la vista, baby.

Dane

Character Central. Where quotations from famous people are used to complete an interview with Dane Allred. All of the quotations were actually spoken or written by the subject of the interview at one time or another, but never for this interview.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

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