Arnie: Never take no for an answer
8:11pm Sunday 30th March 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed he hit the gym before receiving a lifetime achievement award in London.
The actor and former Californian governor admitted he found time for a work-out prior to the 2014 Empire Awards, sponsored by Jameson, at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane.
"The first thing I did was to work out and then, the second thing I did was to have some good British desserts, so that I gained the weight back after working out," the action star said on the red carpet.
The 66-year-old actor was presented with the Action Hero of a Lifetime gong by Jonathan Ross.
"My advice is never take no for an answer," he said. "I was told I'd never get into bodybuilding. I was told I'd never make it in the movie business. They said I was too big, they said it wouldn't work with my accent. I never listened to them, and I went on to have a successful career.
"So never take no for an answer. So thank you, and I'll be back," he added, using his trademark line from The Terminator.
Arnie praised his English fans for his success, saying: " I started my career right here in London. I won the Mr Universe contest here in London in 1967."
The awards saw Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise and Hugh Jackman as well as the cream of British talent such as James McAvoy, Simon Pegg and Steve Coogan.
Simon, who was given the Empire Hero award, thanked his long-time friends and co-stars: Jessica Hynes, Edgar Wright and his "f***ing husband" Nick Frost.
He said on stage: "It feels like an uphill struggle sometimes to be taken seriously when you write comedy. Maybe it's because I'm needy, but this is an award I've been desperate to get since I was a kid."
Captain Phillips film-maker Paul Greengrass received the Inspiration award.
"When you direct, you need good actors. Only the actor can solve all your problems in one moment, can take a line that doesn't work, and by moving can show you the set - only the actor can do it all," he said.
"Over the years I have come to realise the commitment, the courage and the comradeship of the actor."
Steve Coogan's Alpha Papa won best comedy, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug took home best sci-fi fantasy, The Conjuring was awarded best horror and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was voted best thriller.
Aidan Turner was chosen as best Male Newcomer for his performance in The Hobbit films, while Margot Robbie won best Female Newcomer for her role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Scottish star McAvoy urged the crowd to drink up as he accepted the best actor award for his portrayal of troubled Bruce Robertson in Filth.
"I haven't come up with a speech but I love you all," he said.
His X-Men: Days Of Future Past co-star Hugh Jackman was given the Icon award by Oscar-winning director Darren Aronofsky.
"Getting an award that has the word 'icon' on it in a room with Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emma Thompson is ridiculous. But thank you," he said.
Michael Fassbender won the best supporting actor for his role in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave.
He said via video message: "I would be there if I could but I'm out of the country working. Thank you, this will be nice to place on the mantelpiece."
Sally Hawkins dedicated her best supporting actress award to her mother. She was presented with the award for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine by Richard E Grant.
"I'm just one face out of many who made this film possible," she said.
"I couldn't be here without an incredible cast and crew, and I really struck gold with this film. So thank you to dearest Woody and dear Cate (Blanchett) and last but not least, thank you to my family for helping me be able to do what I wanted to do - and Happy Mother's Day. For Mrs Hawkins."