Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks he's helped to redefine the role of action heroes.

The 72-year-old actor - who was a professional bodybuilder before moving into the movie business - has starred in a number of high-profile roles over the years, and Schwarzenegger believes he's created very specific expectations of blockbuster stars.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he reflected: ''The audience - the fans - want an action hero who looks like one.

''Everyone has to have ­muscles. Everyone has to have deltoids and abs and a six-pack and move in a certain way and be believable.

''The days of the 1950s, when guys were skinny and played the action hero, are over. What we created in the 80s with muscles is now required.''

Schwarzenegger - who was born in Austria - freely admits that his initial ambition behind switching to acting was to become rich and famous.

And according to the action star, the money-spinning 'Terminator' franchise has helped to transform his life.

He shared: '''Terminator' became one of Time magazine's top ten movies of the year. It was amazing, especially for what they felt was a cheap B-movie.

''So I really could chase my goal of being the highest-paid ­entertainer in the world.''

However, Schwarzenegger's eye-watering earnings slowed in 2003, when he became Governor of California.

The move into politics dramatically reduced his income - but Schwarzenegger doesn't have any regrets.

He explained: ''When I became governor, I sacrificed ­having any income because I didn't do any movies for seven years.

''I had made $20 million a movie and made two movies a year. But I didn't mind that. It was more important to be governor.''