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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator’ life lessons on bad drapes, dirty diapers, Trump

LOS ANGELES — For a Hollywood superstar who has spent decades in the public eye, including two terms as the Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger clearly loves to surprise.Just ask him about his passion for drapes, as revealed by his Terminator killing machine during “Terminator: Dark Fate” (opening Friday), Schwarzenegger’s fifth appearance in 35-year-old action-franchise. The 6-foot-2-inch former Mr. Universe bodybuilder gleefully insists that the evolved Terminator’s love of interior design is taken from his own life.”My horoscope is a Leo. But my rising sign is Cancer,” Schwarzenegger explains with a straight face, before acknowledging, as laughter erupts in a Four Seasons hotel suite, how odd it sounds coming from him. “It sounds funny, huh? But they knew about my passion for decorating, beauty and artsy stuff.”This love was initially a surprise to “Dark Fate” director Tim Miller, who allowed Schwarzenegger to improvise his Terminator’s riff on style.”Arnold is an enigma wrapped in a mystery,” Miller says. “Yet, he’s so forthcoming too.”Here are five life lessons from Schwarzenegger taken from his Terminator.’Terminator’ turns 35: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sunglasses made the perfect killerDesign well, or Arnold will destroy you with one-linersSchwarzenegger’s love of design is so strong that he will unload on people to their face in their ugly houses.”I went into someone’s house and said, ‘Have you ever thought about decorating?'” says Schwarzenegger, eyes wide and grinning. “Or I would go into someone’s house and say, ‘You hate throwing things out don’t you?'”Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals so much more of himself, returning in “Terminator: Dark Fate.”MoreHe and franchise creator James Cameron have had long discourses on the topic over 35 years. Schwarzenegger’s design philosophy?”If the walls are very colorful, the paintings have to be simple,” says Schwarzenegger, who runs a business called Carl’s Draperies to blend in with humans in “Dark Fate.” “Or if the walls are simple, the paintings have to be very colorful. It’s one or the other. We kind of debate over those kind of things.”Just listen to your partnerCarl the Terminator has a longtime human partner and an adopted child in “Dark Fate,” and proves to be a remarkably good listener. Schwarzenegger, who is dating Heather Milligan, 43, following his marriage to Maria Shriver, says listening is a hard-earned lesson that comes with seven decades of life.”Women love it when you listen. I know this because of my age,” Schwarzenegger says. “When you’re 30, you don’t give a (expletive) what anyone says, you’re so wrapped up in yourself. But as you get older you realize, it’s important to listen. And listen to what anyone says really.”Stop complaining, especially about changing diapersIn the film, Carl discusses another positive attribute to married life: his ability to change diapers without moaning. This, too, is taken from Schwarzenegger’s own life. While his five children are adults, Schwarzenegger insists he stoically took on the worst kind of loads.”That line came from me, because what is there to complain about in changing diapers?” Schwarzenegger says. “Are you going to complain to the baby? They cannot even talk or understand you.”The, too, carries through to all aspects of life, no matter what form of poop has been delivered: “Just don’t be a complainer.”Be good to Linda Hamilton, even when she’s trying to kill youSchwarzenegger was especially game to jump into Terminator again when Cameron had the idea to bring back Hamilton, 63, for the first time since 1991’s “Terminator: Judgement Day.” The addition of Connor as an embittered survivor, who initially wants to kill the Terminator, brought needed juice to the franchise. Schwarzenegger knew it was in everyone’s interest to share the spotlight.He even found it funny that Connor gets to say his famous, “I’ll be back” line.”I know how important it is for the movie for her to shine and be special, and she knows how important it is for me to shine,” Schwarzenegger says. “We supported each other.”The same went for his screen rival, Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9 model Terminator. Luna says that in the bitterest of screen battles, Schwarzenegger would check in, “He’d be slamming me with his massive hand and all of a sudden, he’s go, ‘Are you OK?’ There was a lot of us checking in on each other,” Luna says.Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers his speech at the One Planet Summit, outside Paris, France in 2017.MoreSchwarzenegger picks his Trump battlesSchwarzenegger has sparred frequently with President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican. But he insists he enters his battles selectively. “I’m not positioning myself to be critic of Trump, only when it’s obvious,” Schwarzenegger says. “That’s why you don’t hear from me for months, even if I don’t like what’s going on.”So he’ll jump in on certain debates, especially environmental issues, such as the president’s campaign pledge to support coal mining.”The next thing he’s going to bring back is Blockbuster. It just doesn’t work,” Schwarzenegger says. “Let’s not go and pretend we can save coal. But let’s go and help these coal miners that are losing jobs and build a solar industry for them. That’s my vision.”Schwarzenegger says there’s no political message “whatsoever” in his mind in “Dark Fate,” even as protagonist Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is born in Mexico, uses a coyote to illegally cross the U.S. border, is captured and held in caged detention centers. He wants Trump to see the movie, even if it leads to more tweets at him.”I hope the whole White House goes and sees the movie,” he says. “Because we’ll sell more tickets this way.”This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Terminator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger on Trump, design and dirty diapers

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