"Last Stand" Star Schwarzenegger Talks Gun Control

Back on the big screen, the former governor of California addresses film and real world violence, mental illness and his ongoing political efforts.

By Natalie Rotman
|  Thursday, Jan 17, 2013  |  Updated 11:33 AM PDT
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Arnold Schwarzenegger & Johnny Knoxville Take Their "Last Stand"

CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Johnny Knoxville Is Ready for Stunts

Johnny Knoxville reveals what is was like to work with co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Last Stand."

Arnold Schwarzenegger & Johnny Knoxville Take Their "Last Stand"

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks with Access about returning to the big screen for his first starring role in ten years with "The Last Stand." Also, Arnold and co-star Johnny Knoxville chat about doing their own stunts in the film, but did they sustain any injuries? Plus, what movies is Arnold working on next?
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Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't think there's a parallel between film and real-world gun violence.

The 65-year-old former governor of California returns to the big screen Friday as the sheriff of an Arizona border town tasked with stopping a Mexican cartel boss from returning to Mexico. It marks his first leading role since serving as The Governator for six years.

"I personally feel that this is entertainment," said Schwarzenegger. "The other thing is a serious real life tragedy. I think that we are going to continue doing entertainment. That is what we are doing as our profession, but at the same time, we all have a responsibility, I think, to improve the situation that we are in."

Schwarzenegger noted it's important not to stigmatize mental illnesses. He also cited parenting, education, security and gun laws as contributing factors to the issue of gun violence.

"We as a society have the responsibility to look at this and leave no stone unturned," he said.

Despite returning to moviemaking with "The Last Stand" and last year's "The Expendables 2," Schwarzenegger still wants to keep a toe in the political pool. He launched a think tank last year at the University of Southern California, the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. He hopes to work on reforming immigration, energy and environmental policies.

"Those things needs to be addressed — and even the budget deficit," said Schwarzenegger. "How do you stop spending 1.3 trillion dollars more than we are taking in? What do we do about it? All of those things I think were a failure, so our institute will address all those issues and study it. I will be involved with that, but I am not sitting in Sacramento. I am, in the meantime, sitting in Hollywood and continuing in the movie business."

Schwarzenegger said his smaller part in "Expendables 2" prepared him for his starring role in "Last Stand," which also features Johnny Knoxville. He'll next be seen alongside Sylvester Stallone in "The Tomb" set for release later this year.

"I feel I have a bigger range, acting-wise," said Schwarzenegger. "It could be because of the age. It could be because of my experience that I have had now as governor."

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