Schwarzenegger's baby mama drama shouldn't end career

DENVER, May 25, 2011 — On screen, Arnold Schwarzenegger stared down predators, killers, and even a three-breasted woman.

But his movie career may have met its match with the current infidelity scandal rocking his post-governor days.

The actor-turned-politician was itching to jump back into movies, and had a credible project already lined up. Plus, there was some discussions that “Fast Five” director Justin Lin might helm another “Terminator” feature for him to co-star.

Then, news of his divorce and extramarital dalliance hit the media. Now, Schwarzenegger is taking a break from acting-again-and who knows if he’ll ever be bah-ack?

Perhaps he’s doing this for all the right reasons, namely to reconcile with estranged wife Maria Shriver, and heal the damage he’s caused.

Or, the suits in Hollywood fear his name is permanently tarnished in the minds of movie goers. Some film industry folks are suddenly nervous about getting in the Arnold business again.

But why?

Actors canoodle with people who aren’t their spouses/significant others all the time. Angelina Jolie’s romance with Brad Pitt wrecked his marriage with Jennifer Aniston. Or, at least that’s the story as it’s peddled in some of the tabloids.

Compared to Mel Gibson, Schwarzenegger’s practically a Boy Scout.

The former action hero’s political travails could actually be more damaging to his long-term success as an actor. Some audiences won’t forgive him for having an “R” next to his name. Others view him as the dreaded RINO – Republican In Name Only. Californians may simply regard him as yet another Governor who couldn’t fix their state.

It’s doubtful Schwarzenegger could ever return to his movie star fame. He’s in his early 60s now, and those legendary biceps are looking mortal. And, let’s be blunt, his film career was based on his ability to dominate girly men. Any acting talent lurking within that hulking frame was a bonus.

All of the above made his comeback a fine sideshow. He’s a man who doesn’t stop until he checks off every goal on his “to do” list, from winning Mr. Olympia, to becoming the governor of California.

Or, as he puts it, Gahl-ee-forn-ee-ah.

Resuming his movie career might be the ultimate challenge.

Few folks would defend his actions within the bounds of marriage. But audiences often put their feelings about an actor’s personal peccadilloes aside when paying for a movie ticket. If Schwarzenegger makes more good movies some day, audiences will be back.

Christian Toto is a veteran journalist and film critic whose work appears in The Denver Post, Box Office Magazine and PajamasMedia.com. His movie reviews are heard on WTOP radio and “The Dennis Miller Show,” and he blogs on film at What Would Toto Watch? Read more of Christian’s work at Movies in Toto in the Communities at the Washington Times. You can also follow him on Twitter.
 
-cl- 5/24/11

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Christian Toto

Christian Toto is a freelance entertainment reporter and film critic with more than a decade of experience in daily newspapers, magazines and the Web. He currently reports for The Washington Times, boxoffice.com, The Denver Post, Denver Magazine, MovieMaker Magazine, HumanEvents.com, PajamasMedia.com and Big Hollywood. His radio commentaries can be heard on WTOP in Washington, D.C. and 94.5 Country in Topeka, Kansas. He is the official film critic for “The Dennis Miller Show" heard nationwide on Westwood One stations. He regularly blogs about film at What Would Toto Watch? and the Denver Film Community Examiner site. He is a member of both the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association and the Denver Film Critics Society. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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