Like King Arthur returning from Avalon, in November Linda Hamilton will once more grace American movie theaters in character as Sarah Connor. Thank GOD. If ever there was a time for Sarah Connor, it’s now.
In advance of Terminator: Dark Fate, an attempt to restart the franchise with the actress who was always the best part of the series, the New York Times sat down with Hamilton, who delivered this absolutely incredible piece of backstory for the creation of Terminator 2 Sarah Connor, a true angry-mom icon:
Hamilton was still married to the actor Bruce Abbott when Cameron first floated the idea of a “Terminator” sequel; by the time he had returned with a finished script, Hamilton was mothering her newborn son, Dalton, and Abbott had asked for a divorce. It was hardly the ideal time to take on such a demanding action film, yet Hamilton saw it as an opportunity to pour everything she was feeling into Sarah.
“Having been left, I just needed to get up on my feet and be strong and do nothing but mother my child and get ready for this film,” Hamilton said. “You wake up all alone with your body and go, ‘Hmm, these aren’t hips anymore — they’re flanks.’ To give myself permission to be that powerful, strong woman was necessary for my survival.”
To get ready for this latest run at the role, she maybe went even harder?
Hamilton trained in the desert with Green Berets, while doctors put her on a regimen of supplements and bioidentical hormones to build muscle. “I had a true village of experts trying to get the most out of this body,” she said, though vanity wasn’t the mission. “I don’t think there’s going to be one person who comes up to me who says, ‘You look so great for your age.’ I threw that into the Mississippi River, because that’s not what this is about. I want people to see me and go, ‘Oh my God, she got so old!’”
Hamilton was apparently ambivalent about returning to the franchise—she sold her place in Malibu in 2012 and has settled in New Orleans and seems comfortable moving around without being immediately recognizable. She told a story about going to a pool hall not longer after Terminator 2 came out: “I heard someone say in a stage whisper: ‘That can’t be her. She’d shoot pool a lot better than that!’”
Maybe Hamilton wasn’t too sure about returning to the role, but I personally am very excited about watching a tough-as-nails 60-something woman absolutely waste some robots.