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Go behind the scenes of ''Terminator 3''

Go behind the scenes of ”Terminator 3” — Here’s how action hero/potential political candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger is going after the popular vote with ”Rise of the Machines”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger Photograph by Dan Winters

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is being coy about whether he’ll run for governor of California, it might be because he’s in the middle of a more pressing campaign. With ”Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” he aims to reclaim his status as the man who once defined the Hollywood action hero. Schwarzenegger’s last three films — Collateral Damage, The 6th Day, and End of Days — grossed an un-muscular $142 million collectively, a sad contrast with the ”Terminator” franchise, created by ”Titanic” auteur James Cameron in 1984. In fact, ”T2” — with its then-groundbreaking digital F/X, then-cool ”Hasta la vista” catchphrase, and $205 million gross — is still the biggest hit the seven-time Mr. Olympia has ever had.

Schwarzenegger, 55, has no delusions about the fact that his career has seen better days. And yeah, it hurts. ”Every time a movie doesn’t go through the roof, you get pissed off,” he says. ”I would be a vegetable if I wouldn’t be. I have an ego.” But he says it wasn’t the need for a comeback vehicle that made him return to the role he calls his favorite. Turns out he likes that killer robot. ”This movie has had the most impact on my career. I owe this character a lot.”