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The World According to Arnold

Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger knows what he wants—and usually gets it.
David Shaw
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 2)

When did Schwarzenegger start smoking cigars?

"I smoked little Virginians when I went to Munich as a bodybuilder," he says, "but I didn't smoke a real cigar until 1977, when I met Maria."


Maria is Maria Shriver, his wife, the NBC News personality and daughter of Sargent Shriver, the former Peace Corps director, and Eunice, a sister of Kennedy brothers John, Robert and Ted. Arnold and Maria met at the Kennedys' pro-celebrity tennis tournament and later, after dinner at the Shriver house, near the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, Sargent Shriver lit a cigar and offered one to Schwarzenegger.


"This is a big advantage in life," Schwarzenegger says with a laugh. "Your wife can't complain about your cigars. You can always say, 'Look, honey, your father wouldn't have introduced me to something that's bad.'"

Does Maria complain often about his cigars?

"Every once in a while it comes up. We recently bought a house in Sun Valley and Maria said, 'You're certainly not going to smoke cigars up here, are you--not in all this wonderful, fresh, clean air?' I said that when we entertained, I'd certainly offer cigars after dinner. No way I'm not going to do that. But if I'm alone, I'll go outside and smoke in the Jacuzzi. Same thing at home. If we have guests, I'm going to pass cigars. But if I'm alone, I'll smoke in the Jacuzzi or while I'm playing pool. I won't smoke upstairs, near the kids' bedroom. Besides, I don't want to stink up my clothes or the bedroom."


With that, Schwarzenegger relights the Punch he's been nursing all evening--using what looks like a three-inch blow torch emitting a laser-like blue flame. He then launches into a hilarious replay of the game of charades he played with his two-year-old son earlier in the day. "I was mimicking him, doing what he sometimes does--jumping up and down and crying and saying 'I hate you, I hate you' and we were all laughing, and he finally figured out what I was doing, and then he started laughing, too."

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