Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been a lively interviewee.
He used to chide the Hollywood Foreign Press, “Don’t hold back!”
And following that challenge, at his press conference, Schwarzenegger is bombarded with tough questions.
Does he regret his past actions, fathering a child while married to a celebrity wife, Maria Shriver, of 20 years?
There are no “I’m here to talk about my current movie” responses from him.
True to his word he answers every question.
While he is famous for his roles in movies such as The Terminator, True Lies and Total Recall as well as two-term as the governor of California, the 71-year-old is equally infamous for his infidelity. He had an affair with his then housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena. Together, they have a son, Joseph Baenam who recently celebrated his 21st birthday.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver divorced in 2011 after the actor came clean with his affair.
Your life seems ideal now. You have a new love, you’re moving forward. What lesson have you learned?
It’s a lesson about falling and getting up, because we all fall at one time or the other, some more than others and this was a major fall. Only losers stay down and winners get up.
And so it was not about staying down but getting up and saying “OK, now, how do I heal and how can I bring everyone together again?”
And so that’s what we have done since then.
And what has that taught you?
To be positive. To get up and make sure that you undo as much of the damage that you can. And that you learn from that (mistake), think twice before you make those mistakes (again), knowing the effect it has on other people and not just on yourself.
And now you are happy with your life.
I am absolutely delighted with my life.
And I am very happy that I have a great relationship with my family, because that’s not always the case.
But I cannot take credit for it all myself, because obviously Maria did a great job. And so we both behaved like grown-ups offering a good example for our kids.
Maybe we disagreed on some things and I screwed up on some things, but let’s go and raise the kids together and really show harmony so that I can go to her house to celebrate Mother’s Day and she can come over to my house and celebrate birthdays or Christmas with the kids.
So, it’s fantastic after all the stuff that we went through, that we ended up like that. I am very happy about that.
What do you look back on the the years when you were governor that you are most proud of?
I was very fortunate that I have a mind that doesn’t only think what is good for me but what can I do for others.
When I became governor, I was able to pass very important environmental laws that were the strictest in the country.
We became a leader for the rest of the world leading the way for green and renewable energy. We also promoted stem cell research which was the biggest stem cell research package California has ever passed, much bigger than any country in the world.
And then we also pioneered rebuilding the infrastructure in California, creating open primaries, getting rid of gerrymandering, where the politicians all draw their own district lines and then the people get screwed by doing so.
So there are a lot of things like that that I am proud of.
Do you miss it?
Yes I do, and had I been born here (Schwarzenegger was born in Austria), it would have been a great pleasure for me to jump into the presidential race. I think I could have made the same impact I made as governor.
Is it the power you miss?
When you are out of office, that does not mean that you lose power, because I continue on with my environmental cause, crusade the stem cell research ... I still do the Arnold Classic (sporting event) where we have over 250,000 people that come together competing in 55 different sports.
There are 24 hours in a day. I only need six hours of sleep, so I have 18 hours for all this other kind of work.
And the new love in your life? (He is dating physical therapist Heather Milligan, 44)
I think it’s terrific. She’s a wonderful woman.