The savvy moviegoer is well aware of the fact that part of an actor's role in being in and making movies is promoting them. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, which most of the time involve interviews with the media, boring stuff like that. Suffice it to say that the promotional machine gets a little worn and monotonous at times, so for those of us lucky enough to take part in some of these events out-of-the-box promo things are worth mentioning, particularly when they involve riding around in a tank with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yep, you read that correctly, instead of doing a press conference or roundtable interview, Schwarzenegger invited a select group of movie reporters to come ride in his tank, one that he owns and operates, to experience a taste of some of the action served up in his return to movies as a leading man in "The Last Stand."
Here are the highlights from the trip:
Behold Schwarzenegger's Steel Beauty
This is Schwarzenegger's tank. Not only does he own the 56-year-old vehicle, which he had shipped from Austria to the U.S., but he drove the tank when he was 18 and in the Austrian Army.
"The idea was to create a Planet Hollywood that has military vehicles and this would have been one of the military vehicles," Schwarzenegger told us about how and why he originally sought out the huge vehicle. "But that particular Planet Hollywood in Vegas never came about so I kept the tank and kept driving the tank."
Tank Driving Is All About Being A "Smooth" Operator
When I say that Schwarzenegger operates his own vehicle, I mean it. And he doesn't put-put around at slow speeds either. He had a huge smile on his face while he was maneuvering the tank around a dirt field and was particularly delighted when he could get really close to trees so that the journalists hanging onto the outside would get brushed by leaves and branches. It was all awesome. We were told by one of Melody Ranch's owner/operators that Schwarzenegger has legit skill with his tank.
"I've never seen an operator as smooth as Arnold," he told us. "It's just a joystick in there and you'll see it when he makes his maneuvers, it's just smooth and that's skill and ability."
If You Own A Tank, You Should Drive Over Things With It
So after everyone had their fun in riding in and on the tank with Schwarzenegger at the helm, he gave us a fancy little destruction demo. i.e. He drove the tank over a prop car, smashed it to bits. Twice.
'Last Stand' Now, 'Expendables 3' Next?
Because we wouldn't be here if it weren't for a little film he has coming out soon, Schwarzenegger told us a little about why we should see "The Last Stand" along with a tease that he might be doing a lot more in a third "Expendables" movie:
"'The Last Stand' is coming out on the 18th of January. It's the first movie that I'm starring in again since I'm back from politics, even though I've been in two films which was "Expendables" for which I worked four hours and "Expendables 2" where I worked four days," he said. "I told Sly [Stallone] if "Expendables 2" does well maybe on the next one I'll work four weeks."
Schwarzenegger went on to say that the "Expendables" movies were a good warm-up for getting him ready to act again and that he is proud of "Last Stand" because of his return to action, as well as the opportunity to work with Korean director Kim Jee-Woon.
"He's a great action director and even though he spoke very little English we had an extraordinary communication," he said. "He had two interpreters on set the whole time but after a week of directing I didn't need the interpreters because I knew what he was talking about."