Franchise fans will long remember the transformation that Linda Hamilton underwent going from the original Terminator to T2: Judgement Day. The Sarah Connor character became completely different from one story to the next – going from “woman on the run from a killer robot” to “warrior against the apocalypse” – and that required a serious physical change that saw the actress turn into a muscle-bound ass-kicker.
It’s a brilliant part of action movie history, but apparently things didn’t go quite as well when the actress tried to pull off a similar trick in the making of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate.
The new movie had its big Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this morning, and it was during an interview with CinemaBlend and AMC Theatres after the panel that Linda Hamilton openly discussed the bit of trouble that she had while trying to get back into Judgement Day-esque shape for the new Terminator. Apparently there was an attempt to facilitate her exercise efforts with the use of hormones, but they didn’t quite agree with her, and caused some unfortunate alterations to her mood and her blood pressure. Hamilton explained,
In real time it's 27 years later, and Sarah Connor is 27 years older… I worked out like a dog for a year hoping that I'd get the same results, but that does not happen without hormones. We actually put me on hormones for a little bit to try to get like five percent more muscle mass. And then I turned into like an angry man. My blood pressure was spiking, and if somebody pissed me off, I'd be like, 'I don't know why I'm so angry!'
It was a honest attempt to try and go the extra mile for her role in Terminator: Dark Fate, but clearly it didn’t put her in a great place. It’s not exactly fun to just feel angry all the time, so it will probably come as no surprise that using the hormones wasn’t a regimen that she was able to stick with for very long.
Continuing, Linda Hamilton added that she terminated her use of the chemicals following a late night chat with her doctor – and that the whole thing ultimately left her with an important takeaway: while physicality is important, what is far more vital is her ability to get into the character’s mind and sell Sarah Connor’s reality with her performance. Said the actress,
I finally texted my doctor at two in the morning, which is indicative of how really messed up I was, and I was like, 'Hell no to these hormones!' So that didn't work. But what I bring to the game is this [draws a circle around her face with her finger], and all the experience and all of the depth of experience, and the richness of my life, and Sarah's imagined life, and my greater capacity as an actor to bring it all in. You finally go, 'I'm not what I was; I'm so much more than what I was, and that's going to show.'
It’s pretty crazy that we are getting another big screen chapter in the Sarah Connor saga nearly 30 years after the original sequel – and it won’t be long until we all get to see it ourselves. Directed by Tim Miller and co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, Gabriel Luna, and Edward Furlong, Terminator: Dark Fate will be in theaters November 1st.