While he stepped off the screen and into the office, over the years fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger were only given brief glimpses of him on the silver screen with cameos in The Rundown, Around the World in 80 Days, and the Expendables. It was seemingly less likely we would ever get the Arnold we all love back in action, but when he made his extended ass kicking appearance in Expendables 2 sparks of hope were back. Throughout the film the running gag was him saying he would be back and he wasn’t lying as Arnold Schwarzenegger finally makes his big screen return in his first full length role since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in the action film The Last Stand.
As if having Arnold back on the big screen wasn’t enough, they surprised fans with a special red carpet of the film right here in Dallas with the man Arnold Schwarzenegger himself in attendance along with co-star Johnny Knoxville, and actors Billy Blair (Machete) and Greg Ingram. With fans clamoring for autographs and the hopes to get a glimpse of this action icon it was an event like no other. Surrounded by the press and camera flashes they walked the carpet posing for pictures and taking time to speak with every single member of the press as well as sign as many autographs as time allowed. I had the chance to talk briefly with the action icon that was a major part of my childhood and did not disappoint being as gracious as ever in speaking with me.
Bobby: What was the biggest challenge coming back to the action genre?
Arnold: The biggest challenge is always how do you make it believable and how do you make it a part of the movie where everyone pays attention to the action, stunts, chase scenes, as well as the acting and story and visual effects. So we worked very hard to make a good movie that plays well in the theaters.
Bobby: How was it working with Johnny Knoxville?
Arnold: Oh he was great, a really funny guy.
Bobby: what drove you to take this part?
Arnold: It was the story. It’s a great underdog story, playing a vulnerable character.
Bobby: Great to have you back.
Arnold: I told you I would be. (laughs)
While Arnold was clearly the star of the show Jackass star Johnny Knoxville walked the red carpet like a pro getting just as much attention from the fans and being just as gracious in speaking with everyone he could. Being a fan of Knoxville it was an even more pleasurable experience seeing how cool he really was.
Bobby: You seem to play a lot of crazy characters in your films. Does Hollywood just come to you for those roles now?
Johnny: I hope they come to me with more crazy characters. I’ve been waiting to do an action film for a long time and getting to do it with Arnold Schwarzenegger was pretty mind blowing.
Bobby: So did you get a chance to do in fighting with Arnold on or off camera?
Johnny: Are you kidding? He would break me in two; I don’t want to do any kind of fighting with him.
Bobby: What was one of your favorite moments in the film?
Johnny: When I got to explode this guy with a flare gun, it was just awesome.
Bobby: So did you get any injuries on set?
Johnny: I didn’t, but Arnold did. He got this huge gash on his head and needed I don’t know how many stitches, but didn’t even want to go to the hospital. They finally told him we can’t shoot with your head all open and bleeding, so he finally went and was back on set within an hour shooting again, but none for me for once.
Bobby: You will just have to try harder next time.
Johnny: You know I will.
Once the flashes of the press ended and after a bit more time to sign some autographs for the fans, Arnold and Knoxville made their way to the theater to deliver even more to this already awesome night by introducing the film. Once the theater finished with the roaring applause, the mic was handed over to Arnold who graciously handed the mic over to Knoxville to let him speak first.
Johnny: It’s a pleasure to be here in Dallas, I love any excuse to come to Texas, especially Dallas to promote a movie I’m really proud of. A movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger!
After the fans once again erupted in applause Knoxville handed over the mic to Arnold and he addressed the crowd thanking everyone in attendance for coming as well as pointing out and giving props to the law enforcement in attendance including Sheriff Valdez prompting the crowd to give her a hand. In addition he acknowledged being thankful to having Johnny in the film for the important comic relief needed for any action film. He then thanks Lionsgate for stepping outside the box to promote this film, whereas usually they only do premiere’s in places like Los Angeles and New York, but with this one to bring it to Texas as well and they were very excited to get to be here with the film for the fans. After speaking for a moment about the film he ended it with words that only a fan can dream him to say in person…
Arnold: We hope everyone’s having a great time and I’ll be back.
Arnold is indeed back where he is supposed to be when The Last Stand hits theaters on January 18, 2013.