For his first starring role since leaving politics, Arnold plays an aging small-town sheriff. He finds his quiet life disrupted by an escaped drug lord and the cops who are chasing him. His only help comes from his un-tested group of unlikely deputies.
Before shooting "The Last Stand," Arnold got a bit of an acting warm-up thanks to his friend Sylvester Stallone, who cast him in cameo roles in two "Expendables" movies.
For a man who exudes confidence, Arnold admits he had doubts about returning to the big screen.
"First of all, would the audience accept me again back into this club of action stars? And how would it work, would I remember lines, how would I handle the guns?" said Arnold. "So there were doubts. But because of working on 'The Expendables' and with Sly, it was a great warm up, and so I felt fully confident when I went into this movie."
Working opposite someone with Arnold's reputation had his co-stars feeling excited, and a bit daunted.
"I was intimidated at first to meet him and work with him, but he just puts everyone at ease," said "Last Stand" co-star Johnny Knoxville. "So it was a dream come true."
"Sometimes I'd be walking around, I'd look over and go, 'Ooh, Conan, or the Terminator,' or whatever it was, and it's so funny to remember this man has lived such an amazing life," said co-star Jaimie Alexander.
"I grew up watching him, all his big, big iconic characters, and for me that was a big deal. That was something on a personal level that was a dream come true, to share a scene with him," said co-star Rodrigo Santoro.
"They'd have to keep cutting 'cause I'd blow the takes," said Knoxville. "But he came on the set with such energy and just loved being there, and so gregarious and kind. He was having a ball and that made everyone have a ball."
"The Last Stand" also stars Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker. It's rated "R" for strong bloody violence throughout, and language. It's in theaters Friday.