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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate (photo)

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All right, let’s get all the lame jokes out of the way first. No, they might not be back. Yes, we can consider that a divorce. Jeez, I thought that Sad Arnold site was just a clever goof. Did the guy who built it have some insider info or something?

The Los Angeles Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated after 25 years of marriage. In a statement the coupled provided to The Times, they said:

“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship. We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public.”

Normally, I wouldn’t post something about a story like this, even with my well-established obsession with all things Arnold. But this is a major development in Schwarzenegger’s dramatic return to Hollywood. After the couple married in 1986, Schwarzenegger credited Shriver with helping him broaden his acting choices beyond the so-called “genocide-flicks” that were his bread and butter through the mid-1980s. In 1990, right around the time Shriver’s influence was becoming evident in movies like “Kindergarten Cop,” Schwarzenegger told Time‘s Richard Corliss, “Maria has very good instincts. She reads fast, she analyzes and — boom! — she has notes. Like an agent.” In fact, the “Kindergaten Cop” script was a Shriver discovery. According to Schwarzenegger on the film’s press tour, “[Maria] is instrumental in everything that I do… the script came to my home when I was in Mexico filming “Total Recall.” She told me that she loved it and that it would be the perfect family film for me to make. I agreed.”

Schwarzenegger’s marriage to Shriver, and the birth of their first daughter Katherine in 1989, had a major impact on his career. All of the action films he made before that time were about men separated from their families, a reflection of a personal filmmaking ethos that Schwarzenegger summed up in Playboy in 1988 by saying “In most action movies, women are in the way.” So Schwarzenegger played guys like “Raw Deal”‘s Mark Kaminsky, who fakes his death to get away from his drunken wife and go undercover in the mob, or “Commando”‘s John Matrix, who only goes on a kill spree after his daughter is kidnapped. Sometimes his characters had no private lives whatsoever, and their films were set far away from so-called civilized society in jungles, private islands, and futuristic prisons (where women couldn’t get in the way, you see).

After one last bachelor’s hurrah with “Total Recall” — a sci-fi fantasy in which a man remembers a past life as a secret agent, saves the world, and kills his wife so he can live happily ever after with a foxy prostitute — things changed quickly. “Kindergarten Cop,” “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” “Last Action Hero,” and “True Lies” all came between 1990 and 1994. Now the guy who once said “I have a love interest in every one of my films: a gun,” was playing opposite stronger female leads like Penelope Ann Miller, a newly buff Linda Hamilton, and especially Jamie Lee Curtis in “True Lies.” These women weren’t in the way: they were kicking ass right alongside their man.

These movies were mainstream entertainments, but for Schwarzenegger they were also deeply personal and oftentimes ambivalent reflections on his transition from killing machine to family man. The physical and emotional transformation Schwarzenegger’s John Kimble undergoes in “Kindergarten Cop,” from gun fetishizing supercop to warmhearted kindergarten teacher, was essentially the same transformation the star was undergoing in his private life. The fact that the transition wasn’t always easy — in many ways “True Lies” is a film about guy who is reluctant to let women in the homosocial world of superspies — is a big part of what made those movies so interesting.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver’s separation suggests that crucial voice guiding his choices and expanding his horizons is gone, at least for now. Does that mean he’ll go back to “genocide-flicks?” Maybe, although his first confirmed movie, “Cry Macho,” sounds like a project Shriver would have approved. Today’s news is an unfortunate development for the couple and their family, and a fascinating one for the actor’s fans. Because Schwarzenegger will be back in Hollywood. But the question still remains how exactly he’ll do it.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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