Arnie In The Flesh

Nigel Watson

Talking Pictures alias






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On Monday, 21 July 2003, I had a day trip to London and had a couple of hours to spare before I could catch the National Express coach back to my home in Plymouth. I decided to go to Leicester Square, the cinema capital of London (and the UK), to take a few a few pictures for this web site and to check out an area I used to visit a lot when I lived a relatively short tube journey away.

Even at 7pm it was still warm and bright and the place was packed with crowds of people. There did not seem much change to the place except there was a big video screen announcing the premiere of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines at the Odeon, Leicester Square, this very evening.

The cinema was surrounded by media, tall metal barriers (some of which seemed to be electrified) and an expectant crowd, which chanted “Arnie, Arnie, Arnie” now and again to keep their spirits going.

Arnold Schwarzenegger.I worked my way to the end of a row of barriers that guided celebrities and VIPs to the premiere. Here the crowd was only one or two deep rather than a writhing mass. It was here that there was a crew of men surrounding a Jaguar formula one racing car with a T3 logo painted on it. I didn’t get a good view but it suddenly roared into life making many people cover their ears. Then the driver revved the engine causing even more strain to our ears! The car shot down the short road to the cinema where it parked itself whilst our hearing recovered from the shock. I over-heard that the Jaguar driver, Mark Weber, had been the driver.

After that excitement there was a steady passage of people on foot and in taxis or limos going to the cinema. Not being a great celebrity spotter I only recognised Rik Mayall but I didn’t get the chance to get a picture of him. I took a few other shots but the crowd restricted my angle of view then a car with the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger with his wife Maria Shriver, suddenly came into view. I managed to click the camera just as he came level and that was the picture that made my visit worthwhile.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and cast on the Odeon balcony.I tried to see him outside the cinema but the crowds were just too deep. Once he went inside I was able to get round to the front as many people drifted away. I t was then that the PA system announced that Arnie and the cast would appear on the cinema’s balcony. Sure enough, a few minutes later Arnie appeared with his co-stars Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes and the film’s director, Jonathan Mostow. This really got the crowds excited, and Arnie diplomatically praised “the fans”. 

As I made my way out of the scrum to the nearby tube station a man in front of me was on his mobile. Very loudly he was saying:

“I’ve just seen Arnie in the flesh. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the flesh. He’s not as tall as you think.”

That just about summed it up for me, we soon cut our giants down to human size. The question is will he become governor(ator) of California?


For news, information, links and anything else you might imagine go to this unofficial T3 site:

See Aaron Asadi's review of T3.
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