The dream team are back for the latest Terminator

The dream team are back for the latest Terminator

Linda Hamilton says it took some convincing for her to return to her classic role, writes Lucy Mapstone.

The role of kick-ass action hero Sarah Connor may have made Linda Hamilton a household name, but she was content in putting the Terminator films behind her nearly 30 years ago.

Hamilton first kicked cyborg butt in James Cameron’s 1984 blockbuster hit The Terminator as a waitress-turned-warrior who was relentlessly hunted by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 humanoid machine in a bid to stop her from giving birth to a son.

That son would be the future leader of the human resistance against a terrifying AI system that would wipe out the human race.

The novelty of having a strong, powerful female lead in the film — as well as its groundbreaking special effects — made The Terminator a critical hit and launched the careers of both Hamilton and Schwarzenegger.

Hamilton then returned as Sarah Connor alongside Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 in a tougher, more headstrong survivor guise while being chased, once again, by another terminator, an advanced T-1000 model hellbent on killing her son John Connor.

T2 was another blockbuster hit, equalling its predecessor in terms of critical reception and lasting legacy.

Despite calls for her to continue in more films, beloved as she was by fans across the world, Hamilton instead took a large couple of steps back from the limelight, picking low-key TV and movie roles while the sci-fi franchise continued without her (and Cameron).

Speaking now in a London hotel room with Schwarzenegger beside her Hamilton admits it took “a little bit” of convincing to get her on board for Terminator: Dark Fate.

It was Cameron’s involvement as a producer that partly swayed her into coming back, as well as knowing the new film would act as a direct continuation of the events of T2,bypassing follow-up films Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009) and Terminator: Genisys (2015).

“I had the original invite from Jim and took a number of weeks to really figure out if I was, not was up to it... but I always said that I had retired a champion with the first two,” Hamilton explains, referring briefly to her ex-husband Cameron, to whom she was married briefly in the late 1990s and with whom she has a daughter.

“I didn’t want to come back and have it be diminished returns each time, less and less of Sarah Connor.”

“And then there’s the trade-off,” she says, noting her private, very non-Hollywood lifestyle.

“Do I really want another 15 minutes? I like my life, you know,normal,” she says with a shrug.

Addressing the somewhat lacklustre critical reception of the three interim Terminator films, Hamilton insists Dark Fate has the right ingredients to entice fans back to the franchise.

“In spite of the huge action — it is so far beyond anything I did my last time on Judgment Day — we have brought it back to a smaller number of characters that you really care about and that’s what creates the emotional impact,” she reasons.

Schwarzenegger, who reprised his role in two of the other three movies, agrees, adding: “And we have Linda back, which is really fantastic because I think Jim Cameron was absolutely right. He told me about the story and then he said, ‘And we’re gonna bring Linda back’.

I was very excited about that because she was really missing. And of course, she’s the number one badass there is!

In Dark Fate, newcomer Mackenzie Davis Davis plays Grace, a human soldier-cyborg hybrid from the future who needs to protect Colombian actress Natalia Reyes’ character Dani, an unsuspecting young woman living in Mexico City who becomes the target of a super-advanced terminator, a Rev-9.

Directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller, the film sees Sarah Connor join forces with Grace and recruit Schwarzenegger’s ageing T-800 to help protect Dani against the terrifying Rev-9 in a storyline mirroring that first Terminator release.

Despite Dark Fate’s stupefying stunts and mind-blowing special effects, the cast are adamant the film is more than just that.

Fans, they say, will be convinced by its plot and its emotional impact and, of course, by the return of Hamilton, arguably the main ingredient in the Terminator saga.

Hamilton herself points out: “As our director says, you can blow up a thousand buildings but it doesn’t matter if you don’t care about who’s inside the building.”

With her back, audiences will at least care if she’s in one of those building being blown to smithereens. And that could just be the secret to the film’s success.

Terminator: Dark Fate is out now

More on this topic

Tim Roth reveals he turned down huge role in Harry PotterTim Roth reveals he turned down huge role in Harry Potter

Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley tells of ‘scary’ stalker incidentStar Wars’ Daisy Ridley tells of ‘scary’ stalker incident

Sonic The Hedgehog: Fans hail redesign as ‘greatest glow up of 2019’Sonic The Hedgehog: Fans hail redesign as ‘greatest glow up of 2019’

Scorsese’s greatest movies as his most recent The Irishman hits cinema screensScorsese’s greatest movies as his most recent The Irishman hits cinema screens

More in this Section

Working Life: 'I catch the quiet 6:15 train, a place to gather my thoughts and plan my day'Working Life: 'I catch the quiet 6:15 train, a place to gather my thoughts and plan my day'

Natural Health: 'Every winter I get a nasty sinus infection'Natural Health: 'Every winter I get a nasty sinus infection'

Jamie Oliver: ‘About 3/10 of our family meals are idyllic – that’s normal’Jamie Oliver: ‘About 3/10 of our family meals are idyllic – that’s normal’

How to create a calm, tranquil home – according to The White Company’s Chrissie RuckerHow to create a calm, tranquil home – according to The White Company’s Chrissie Rucker


Latest Showbiz

All Together Now have announced Iggy Pop will be headlining the festival's third year for his first Irish performance in 12 years.Iggy Pop's first Irish performance in 12 years will be headlining All Together Now 2020

British boxer Tyson Fury has said he wants to train with Ireland's own Conor McGregor.Tyson Fury: 'I want to train with Conor McGregor'

The star said he accepted the break-out role of Edward Cullen because he thought the film was ‘very indie’.Robert Pattinson explains why he thought Twilight was a ‘weird’ story

The biggest night in music will take place in January.Host announced for 2020 Grammy Awards

More From The Irish Examiner