Arnold Schwarzenegger still wears a symbol of his seven-year Sacramento adventure — it's hard to miss the heavy ring on his right hand that bears the California flag — but the 63-year-old private citizen said he now yearns for his old Hollywood firepower.
"I can step very comfortably into the entertainment world and do an action movie with the same violence that I've always done," Schwarzenegger said in an interview this week. "I can have the same amount of heads coming off — and any other body parts — and as far as that goes, I don't blink."Schwarzenegger the action hero said he would be back and now, here he is, tanned, trim and ready for his show-business comeback. The question though is whether the world's moviegoers are any more excited to see the aging Tinseltown lion than the California constituents who gave him a dismal 23% approval rating as he packed up his office.
On Thursday, sitting on a red, alligator-skin chair in his Santa Monica office, Schwarzenegger was the picture of confidence as he munched on mixed nuts and predicted that he would be on set of his next feature film by the end of the year.
"The calls are coming in," he said and while he wouldn't comment specifically his team hints that first leading-man work since 2003 would be in Korean director Kim Ji-woon's English-language debut "The Last Stand" (about a small-town lawman hunting down a Mexican drug kingpin) or perhaps Antoine Fuqua's "The Tomb" (about a prison designer who is locked up inside one his own high-tech designs).
Schwarzenegger started the week in France at a key television-industry conference in Cannes, announcing his first post-politics project, an animated series for children featuring Schwarzenegger's voice and cartoon likeness. It's a superhero show called "The Governator" and a collaboration with Stan Lee, the 88-year-old co-creator of Spider-Man, and Schwarzenegger says it has the chance to be an international sensation.
"I always like to surprise people and do something that's unexpected," Schwarzenegger said. "This project became the thing that is totally unexpected.... It's a feel-good show; no one could attack it because maybe it's too violent. This … is comedy, this is action, this is a good message for kids."