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Arnold Schwarzenegger on Demand for a Clean Environment: "This is my crusade"

Venice Beach, California, has a kind of continuity from the sandy shores to Gold’s Gym, where you can see heroes of the past – and the very present. On any given day, the gym’s most famous patron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will pump up here.

Smith asked, “Why come here? I’m sure you have a nice home gym?”

“I have a nice home gym – how did you know?” Schwarzenegger smiled. “I like working with people.”

Around here, he can quickly give pointers to anyone he thinks needs help (including a “Sunday Morning” correspondent). As an athlete and a coach, Arnold (as he is often addressed) is quite impressive.


“Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith gets some tips from an expert.

CBS News

Smith asked, “We just saw you working out. You don’t look 75. Do you look 75?”

“I don’t know what it feels like!” he replied. “I feel great. And I feel full of energy. But I think the most important thing is to keep active, and keep the mind active. So, to me, life is living, not existing.”

And his life became legendary. He’s the poor Austrian kid who won the bodybuilding game. Movie star who became part of the Kennedy clan with his 1986 marriage to Maria Shriver. Real estate mogul who was elected governor of California.

Schwarzenegger’s films were often box office gold and a reliable font of one-liners. In 1994’s “True Lies,” he played an undercover CIA agent with Jamie Lee Curtis as his unsuspecting wife. This was the inspiration for his recently premiered Netflix series “FUBAR,” in which he is again a CIA agent with family problems.

At an age when most people retire, Schwarzenegger is still an action hero.

Fubar | Official trailer Netflix by Netflix on YouTube

He said, This is the first TV series I have done. “It was a lot, a lot of work. I’ve never really worked so hard in my life.”

What? “Well, television is so fast now. You know, you’re like 10, 12 pages a day. But I love it. I’ve never had more fun doing it.”

But he says he had to work through a chapter in his personal life that was less than heroic. In 2011 Schwarzenegger admitted to an affair with his former housekeeper, Mildred Bena, with whom he had a son. The revelation shook his family, and his public image.

Smith asked, “Some of the things you had going on, in particular, the women weren’t too happy about. Did you feel like you had to come back from that?”

“I wasn’t so concerned about coming back from anything; I was just more concerned about making sure everyone in my family was OK,” he replied. “Because my children were still small, so Maria and I, we really had to work together to raise them. And my wife did a great job with it. We worked very well together. And so, we are very proud of the work. Can. Which we did under the circumstances.”

“And you’re working really well together now, it seems. How’s your relationship with Maria?”

“Well, he’s, you know, my best friend, and we talk a lot every day,” Schwarzenegger said. “And, you know, I respect her and I think she’s a wonderful woman.”

She says her youngest son, Joseph Baena, is like her in more ways than one, following in her footsteps: “Every step. Joseph is in real estate, he’s in acting, and he’s in bodybuilding and all these things. Like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. “

A Netflix docusery coming out soon, “Arnold,” promises to be the most vivid look at his past yet. But Schwarzenegger is also working on his legacy.

Earlier this month, the ancient walls of Vienna’s Hofburg Palace echoed with a familiar voice: “I call for change. Change is never easy, but it is urgent, and this demands urgent action. … Build better. Build cleaner. Build now. Build , build, build. We can do it. Our policy says here, we have the power.”

For the past eight years, Schwarzenegger has hosted the Austrian World Summit, a gathering aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.


At 75, when most people retire, Arnold Schwarzenegger is still an action hero, fighting bad guys on screen and tackling climate pollution in real life.

CBS News

Except he hates the phrase climate change: “As long as they keep talking about global climate change, they’re not going to get anywhere. ‘Cause nobody gives a *** about it. So my thing is, let’s reinterpret it and that’s it.” Communicate differently and really tell people that we’re talking about pollution. Pollution causes climate change and pollution kills.”

Smith asked, “Are you on a mission to save the world?”

“I’m on a mission to reduce greenhouse gases worldwide,” he replied, “because I want a healthy body and a healthy world. That’s what I’m fighting for. And that’s my crusade.”

The Vienna conference wasn’t all about work: the men at the table are his hometown friends, whom he’s known since he was six.


Arnold Schwarzenegger is visiting some old friends in Vienna.

CBS News

“I bought them an iPhone so we could talk every week,” Schwarzenegger said. “And we spend most of our time laughing about it, talking about the good old days and what we’re doing now. And the funny thing is, it’s kind of a health issue, because when you get older, you talk more when you It’s more about staying young. And so, that’s the kind of thing we talk about a lot of times, when we talk about health issues. It’s funny, you know, when you’re 75.”

You may take the kid outside of Austria, but you get the sense that this Austrian native is happy to be back on his home turf.


Actor and activist Arnold Schwarzenegger, with reporter Tracy Smith, rides the cobblestones in Vienna.

CBS News

He has returned to this part of the world many times. Last fall, Schwarzenegger, whose father was a soldier under the Nazi regime, visited Auschwitz and in a series of online videos he repeatedly denounced both Nazism and hatred in general.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a powerful message for those who have gone down the path of hate. By Arnold Schwarzenegger on YouTube

Cycling through old Vienna, the governor pointed out some of the city’s attractions, such as the cobblestone streets. He also showed Smith a new piece of art: a mural of himself that was (appropriately enough) larger than life.

“You have to have something special to have it here in your country,” Smith said.

“In Austria, I developed my dream and dreams of becoming a movie star,” he replied. “So, back in my day, I saw huge commercials for Clint Eastwood movies and John Wayne movies. And I was like, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be one of these guys? ‘ You know, now you’re moving the clock forward a couple of decades, Then you look back, and you say, ‘Ah, here I am! My dream has come true!’

Arnold Schwarzenegger says that most limits are illusions. Yet, even with his boundless optimism and iron will, there are things he cannot do.

But when asked if he wanted to re-enter politics to run for US president, he replied, “No, no. I’m done with it. If I were American-born in 2016, I would run. Because it’s the only thing. Which I can’t do in America.

“America has done everything I have achieved,” he said. “So, I’m not going to take this one thing and say, ‘Oh, isn’t it sad that I can’t do this?’ Forget it.”

For more information:

Story by John D’Amelio. Editor: Mike Levine.

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