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He came, he saw, he bowled city over

MAN OF THE MOMENT: What’s important is that you have to be passionate about what you are doing, says Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photo: Pei Ting Wong   | Photo Credit: grjgm

He met the bigwigs of the Indian film industry. He met the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as well. But it was India’s movie fans who blew Hollywood ‘Terminator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mind. The actor, in Chennai for the audio launch of Tamil film I, said, “It’s the fans who make movies run. I’ve been to India many times but this is my first visit to Chennai. I’ve always wanted to come for the red carpet, and finally, I am here for it.”

But that was late on Monday evening at the Nehru Stadium. Schwarzenegger’s day out in Chennai started in the wee hours of Monday, when he arrived at the airport, only to be whisked away to The Leela Palace, where he was put up at the Chairman Suite.

The Hollywood superstar, it seems, was very impressed with the view of the city and the sea from his table at the Spectra restaurant at the hotel.

Apart from the sea, the actor was interested in learning more about the artefacts such as the silver elephants, crystal maharaja chair and the bronze items in his suite.

His elaborate breakfast included scrambled eggs, cereals… and namma dosa, which the actor seemed to enjoy. He specially enquired about the batter.

If the food impressed him a lot, so did the films. “India makes so many films. The number of films made here is far more than what Americans make,” he explained. Is he interested in starring in a film here? “I’d love to work in an Indian movie soon.”

The actor reiterated that point when, at the audio launch, he said on the dais, “I came all the way from Hollywood looking for a job in India. I want to act in your movies. I want to do your next movie, Shankar (director).”

It’s not just movies but his work as governor of California, that made him popular. And, Schwarzenegger is still very passionate about working on that front.

“Having run the fitness crusade for the longest time, this is my new challenge to build sustainable and green governments across the U.S., India and China — the three biggest polluters of the world,” he stated.

Though he was in the city just for a day, the superstar did not miss his fitness regime. His morning schedule included a 45-minute intense workout at the gym, during which he did some resistance training, chest and shoulder press. That was followed by an hour-long spa treatment, where he opted for the signature 60-minute deep muscle massage.

Apart from being known as an actor and a politician, Schwarzenegger is a big name in bodybuilding circles, having inspired several people across the world to take it up.

When asked about his journey, he said, “Many start and end their lives with one job, but I was fortunate to be successful in my bodybuilding career, which led me to becoming a leading actor. Then, the chance came for me to be the governor of California for seven years. It was a good run. What’s important is that you have to be passionate about what you are doing.”

(With inputs from Pei Ting Wong)

Arnie unplugged

* I’d love to act in an Indian film soon. I want to act in your movies. Make a movie with me, maybe Conan…

* Aascar Ravichandran has been promoting my films in India. I thank him for that. Shankar is a creative director and comes up with stunning imagery that will be successful.

* Movies are international; they speak to the whole world.

* I eat foods that keep me lean. I had grilled fish for lunch in Chennai — nice and high on protein.

* I already speak Spanish, German, and English. So, I guess I won’t be speaking Tamil anytime soon.

His food loves

* Black coffee and croissants were among the first things the actor ordered.

* Arnold tried out the plain dosa for breakfast and loved it.

* For dinner, he experimented with some tandoor tiger prawns and also indulged in garlic naan and malai kulfi.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 3:21:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/arnold-schwarzenegger-kept-chennai-in-his-grip-during-a-daylong-visit/article6416367.ece

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