Schwarzenegger Toronto

Schwarzenegger seduces fans at Toronto Indigo store

Arnold Schwarzenegger — former governor, action hero, and scandal-plagued celebrity — was in Toronto today to promote his memoir Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

The Terminator arrived at the Manulife Centre Indigo sans sunglasses and leather gloves shortly after 12 pm, telling the ecstatic crowd he just came from visiting his "good friend" Michael Budman at Roots. "But when I left," Schwarzenegger said, cracking a smile, "I told him 'I'll Be Back.'"

That was enough to send fans into a frenzy. With Kayne's "Stronger" blasting through the sound system, the Arnold took his seat to meet fans and sign their newly-purchased (a wristband condition) copy of his memoir. He didn't further address the crowd.

The lineups outside Indigo began last night, with the promise of just 225 wristbands distributed to Schwarzenegger-enthusiasts. Some people arrived at 6 a.m today, only to find a crowd of 60 or more people already in position. Many more had gathered throughout the store just to catch a glimpse of the affable-seeming actor.

I spoke to a couple people waiting in line who unabashedly expressed their Schwarzenegger affection. "My dad started showing me his movies when I was little," says one women, who came in from Burlington with her friend for the day. "I'm just going to try not to lunge over the table to hug him."

Another man, dressed as the Terminator and boasting what I'd call a B+ impersonation, said he's always found Schwarzenegger to be an inspiration. "He's accomplished so much," he says, "and seems to do whatever he puts his mind to."

Few people I spoke with talked of Schwarzenegger the politician, and none ventured into the territory of his secret illegitimate child on their own accord. Though his memoir is said to touch on the topic, reviews peg the incident as mostly "glossed over."

Personally, my favourite Arnold incarnation (politics aside) is John Kimble in Kindergarten Cop (is that blasphemous?). But with so many die-hard Terminator fans in attendance, there was no way I could ask him if he knew what was causing my headache.

Schwarzenegger's Toronto landing is brief, as he will be jetting off to Minnesota for another signing this afternoon. But, as always, he promises to be back.

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