Sarah Connor in Terminator Dark Fate

Linda Hamilton hasn’t appeared in a Terminator film since 1992’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. That’s about to change with this year’s Terminator: Dark Fate, which will see Hamilton once again play the ass-kicking Sarah Connor. Getting Hamilton back is a big deal, and certainly makes Dark Fate look more interesting than all the other lackluster Terminator sequels. It was a big deal to Hamilton as well, and she took it seriously – the actress recently revealed she flat-out refused to say certain lines in the script that were intended to soften her character.

What made Linda Hamilton come back to the Terminator franchise? A very detailed email from James Cameron. “He is very systematic like that — here are the pros, here are the cons,” Hamilton told THR regarding Cameron’s email. “We were both worried about letting the fans down. Pros: If it is good, then we will both be happy. And, if it’s bad, then we are gonna look like assholes. There is also the shameless money grab. Then there was the life question: Do I really want to trade in my lovely, balanced life to descend into this madness again? But I am truly glad I did.”

While Cameron played a part in shaping the story of the new Terminator, he’s not directing it – that’s job is in the hands of Tim Miller, with a script credited to David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray. And according to Hamilton, there were some elements of that script she wasn’t fond of. And Hamilton wasn’t having it. “I’m not usually that actress that goes, ‘Oh my character!’,” she said. “I have never been that actress, but I was a little bit on this film because I am the authority on Sarah Connor.”

So what was it that incurred Hamilton’s wrath? Certain lines that were intended to make Sarah Connor more “relatable” and “softer.” Says Hamilton:

“In terms of approach, [Tim Miller] wanted her ‘relatable.’ That was the word he used. And I was like Sarah Connor has never been relatable! She was relatable in the first movie as a nice waitress, but what do you mean ‘relatable’? You are trying to make her softer? I just knew that with the time that had passed and as her situation changed, she ain’t relatable…But I would go, ‘Nope, I am not saying that.’ And a couple of times I was like, ‘I am not saying that. That’s stupid.’ I have always been empowered to say those things but I just have never been that person. I just care so intensely about this character that I had to step up and toe the line about what felt right and what didn’t feel right.”

I’m glad Hamilton was protective enough of her iconic character to make sure she remained true to form for Dark Fate. Here’s hoping the rest of the movie lives up to her commitment.

Terminator: Dark Fate opens November 1, 2019.

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