Actor Linda Hamilton reprised her role as the fierce Sarah O’ Conner for the 2019 Terminator sequel Dark Fate. But Hamilton had only seen the film once because she couldn’t stand watching herself in the movie.
Why Linda Hamilton was reluctant to do ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’
Hamilton caught the attention of many with her portrayal as the Terminator franchise’s Sarah O’ Conner. Being the mother of humanity’s only hope against killer machines, Hamilton’s Conner transformed from a young and mild waitress into a fierce action hero.
But Sarah’s legacy was one of the reasons why Hamilton was concerned about reprising the character for Dark Fate. The movie would take place decades after the sequel. With so much time passing, Hamilton wasn’t sure about portraying a much older Sarah O’ Conner.
“I just felt like I had done a really strong two films, so was there anything more to say from that character? Unless there was something new to add to the mix, I didn’t want to come on board. Then I, of course, knew that audiences would just be very cruel because the last time they saw Sarah Connor, she was a beast, and now she’s an old lady,” Hamilton once said to Smashing Interviews.
Hamilton was also worried about the physicality that came with playing such a role. Being in her 60s, she doubted she would’ve been able to capture the physique she had in the second Terminator film. But she later felt that her age could’ve been more of an asset to her character.
“Then after training and training and training and realizing where I was and how far I could get, I just thought, ‘You know what? It doesn’t matter because what I have to bring is not just a body. I have such a big wealth of experience that hasn’t been tapped into. I am going to bring all that.’ I just have so much more going on than when I was 33,” she said.
Linda Hamilton has only watched ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ once because she found it awful watching herself
Like many celebrities, Hamilton doesn’t enjoy watching herself on screen. Because of this, she’s often avoided watching her own movies.
“I don’t see my work if I can help it at all. It keeps me honest. I’d be like, ‘Oh, my God, straight to the plastic surgeon.’ I just don’t look. So I can believe whatever I want if I don’t have to see it,” she said.
Hamilton stuck to this habit of hers with Dark Fate. She only watched the sequel as a courtesy to Dark Fate director Tim Miller.
“I’ve only seen the film once, because I just find it awful to watch myself. And the only reason I watched it was because I love [director] Tim Miller, and I love my actors, and I just thought I owed it to Tim to see what we had done,” she once said on Collider’s Director’s on Directing Panel at San Diego Comic-Con (via Contact Music). “Because we would yell that back all the time while we were shooting. He goes ‘Linda’ – over the bullhorn – ‘You’re going to see this movie?’ I’m like, ‘I’m not! You’re not the boss of me! You’re the boss of me right now!’ It was always a will-she-or-won’t-she thing.”
Linda Hamilton wants to be done with the ‘Terminator’ franchise
Hamilton shared that she didn’t expect another Terminator movie to be made after Dark Fate’s box-office performance. And although she might be interested in starring in a sequel provided the right conditions, she’s not necessarily waiting for a phone call. To her, the Terminator films may have run their course.
“I would really appreciate maybe a smaller version, where so many millions are not at stake. Today’s audience is just so unpredictable,” Hamilton told The Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t tell you how many laymen just go, ‘Well, people don’t go to the movies anymore.’ It should definitely not be such a high-risk financial venture, but I would be quite happy to never return. So no, I am not hopeful, because I would really love to be done.”