9:20pm PT by Stuart Kemp
Arnold Schwarzenegger Draws Crowds and Laughs at U.K. Party for 'The Last Stand'
LONDON -- Arnold Schwarzenegger got back to his big-screen roots Sunday night as the guest of honor at a Lionsgate reception for his upcoming actioner The Last Stand.
The film is not due for release in U.K. theaters until January 2013, which is why Schwarzenegger told the invite-only crowd at Sketch, a London West End glitzy celebrity haunt, "I'll be back" to promote the film further closer to the premiere date.
Schwarzenegger is on a tour of the British chat shows and media to promote his new autobiography, Total Recall.
The star and former California governor said Lionsgate U.K. CEO Zygi Kamasa had insisted on throwing a party for the movie while he was in town for the promotional duties for his book. He'd been told to mention the film "over and over" again in any interviews he did for his autobiography.
"I was already going to do that anyway," Schwarzenegger said of his first starring film role in 10 years. "I'm very proud of the movie, and I'll be back. I'm a big believer in marketing and promotion after all." He repeated his famous movie phrase with a broad grin several times during his appearance.
The movie tells the story of a sheriff and his inexperienced staff who stand in the way of a drug cartel that busts out of a U.S. courthouse and heads, guns blazing, to the Mexican border.
Kamasa introduced Schwarzenegger to the room, which included a hefty number of members from a Royal Marine platoon, invited because of their work with Lionsgate and Schwarzenegger on the recent rollout of The Expendables 2.
Schwarzenegger said the British capital holds a special place in his heart and his career, for it was in London he was first crowned Mr. Universe, a plaudit that would sew the seeds for his movie career.'
But it was while referencing his political career, he drew the biggest laughs and applause from the man once dubbed the Governator.
"It was a great pleasure to have been the governor of the great state of California and a great honor to have been voted in twice by the people," Schwarzenegger said before adding with a grin: "I didn't take a penny of my salary during my terms. After all, it was petty cash compared to what you make in the movies."
He said making movies was where his passion lies before ending, again, with the words "thank you all for coming. I'll be back."