Arnie tries for subtlety, with guns, in 'Sabotage'

Arnie tries for subtlety, with guns, in 'Sabotage'
Arnold Schwarzenegger posing at the premiere of "Sabotage" in Los Angeles, California March 19, 2014.

LOS ANGELES - By his own admission, Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for "black and white," good-versus-bad films. So his latest movie is something of a departure, nuanced and complex, tender even.

Although of course, it is still violent and action-packed.

In "Sabotage," the 66-year-old actor plays Breacher, head of a special unit of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) whose members start being brutally killed one by one, after a cartel bust.

He still spends a large part of the film armed to the teeth and in commando mode, but his character is also moving, obsessed with a tragic past, and capable of tenderness with his men.

"I've never played a character like this. My characters are usually black and white, I'm the good guy and there are the bad guys, then with a little bit of humour throughout the movie and that's it," he said.

"I thought that it would really be great for me to be challenged like that," he told reporters in Beverly Hills, before the movie's US release Friday.

Challenging him was director David Ayer, who made 2012's "End of Watch" and wrote the screenplays for "The Fast and the Furious" and "Training Day" in 2001, and 2003's "S.W.A.T."

"When we got together, David had a whole list of things that he wanted me to do," said Arnie. "I love that he pushed me, because sometimes directors get intimidated when they meet someone like me."

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