Reporter's Notebook: Lucky Daily Cal Reporter Meets ‘The Terminator'

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Some people call me deprived, some uncultured. But honestly, I can't help it if I've never seen an entire Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

"Don't get star struck!" my editor warned me, when he handed me my assignment-I was to interview the Terminator, Schwarzenegger himself, at the Valley Life Sciences Building.

On the way to the interview, the staff photographer, Soummya, and I joked about what we were going to have Schwarzenegger sign.

Soummya then quipped he was going to get Schwarzenegger to sign his shirt, adding he had brought a Sharpie marker.

When I told him that I had seen little of Arnold on the silver screen, he joked, "Are they sure they gave the right person the story?"

But we soon reminded ourselves we were here on business: to interview the star about Proposition 49, which would bring more funding to after-school programs.

I arrived at the conference room 15 minutes before the interview. Other campus media were already there. We were all waiting for the Terminator to arrive.

Schwarzenegger showed up, just in time, about 3:10 p.m. Everyone at the table stood up as if to salute him.

Schwarzenegger looked at me with a glow in his eyes. It seemed as if he had just stepped off a movie screen.

I was surprised at Schwarzenegger's lack of a strong accent when he introduced himself. The actor spoke in nearly perfect English throughout the whole interview.

"Hi, I'm Wendy Lee, a reporter with the Daily Cal," I said, extending my hand.

We shook hands, and his grip was fairly firm. Thirty minutes later in the newsroom my right arm still felt the effects of that handshake. I think my arm may still be a bit sore as I type this.

Schwarzenegger maintained eye contact throughout the entire interview. Although he had patches of white in his hair, Schwarzenegger was energetic.

He was extremely enthusiastic about UC Berkeley.

"I think you have the most beautiful campus that I have ever seen," the actor said, adding the last time he was at UC Berkeley was during the filming of the movie, "Junior."

"In fact, I said to some of the students (during the filming of "Junior"), 'I'll be back,'" Schwarzenegger said, slipping into his Terminator persona.

Then, he chuckled, "The Terminator always keeps his promise."

And with that, my time with Arnold was terminated, not by the Terminator, but by his glaring press enforcer-but not before I scored an autograph upon my business card.


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