Date: 11th October 2000
ARNOLD SCHWARZENNEGGER discovered the cutthroat nature of Hollywood first hand - from his hospital bed.
The TERMINATOR star, 53, who underwent heart surgery to replace a faulty valve in 1997, says the operation nearly finished his career, as studio bosses dropped offers and declined to return his calls.
He says, "I had several projects set up, including I AM LEGEND. All of a sudden it became impossible. The script was too expensive. The director was too slow. Everything was wrong. "I really could feel people kind of started pulling back one inch at a time. You know they don't return your phone calls the same way that they used to. "It was like, 'Maybe now we can't sell him as an action star. Now he's not the kind of superhuman that kids think he is.' I heard it, from other sources, what those studio executives said."
And Schwarzenegger, who turned to an independent production company to make END OF DAYS, his first film after the operation, says the experience has made him lose all respect for the big Hollywood studios. He says, "To them it's all about 'How can we market and sell a person?' If there's one little interruption, they will hesitate." (LE/LAT/PDD)