As Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton wouldn't dream of giving up, even if a fiery-eyed Terminator was chasing her out of the wreckage of a tanker with her car keys and her left leg in its hand.

But with a fourth movie on the way, Linda the actress thinks it might be time to send the franchise to the scrapyard after 25 years.

Linda sat out the third Terminator movie in 2003, but returned to provide a voice-over for Terminator Salvation, which was released in the US on May 14 and appears in British cinemas next Wednesday (June 3).

However, she revealed to fans at Excel's MCM Expo last weekend that she probably would have let the metal icon die after two outings.

She said: "I thought it was perfect with two films. It was a complete circle, and it was enough in itself. But there will always be those who will try and milk the cow.

"I didn't like the third one particularly. I didn't think it had that spark.

"I haven't seen the fourth one but I did some voice work in it. If they can do it and make it good, I wish them all the best. But James Cameron really drove the films forward. It was his vision that really made it soar and it's hard to repeat that."

Linda revealed she "auditioned and auditioned and auditioned" for the role of Sarah Connor, an everyday woman who discovers her destiny as the mother figure of the resistance when a robot from the future turns up and starts stalking her with a gun shop full of weaponry.

She said: "I didn't really look at the script and say 'This is going to be the next major hit'. And it wasn't. It was a slow burn and collected its fan base over a period of time.

"I was actually worried at first that Arnold was going to be in it. I wasn't sure he was going to serve the film. Then I saw how good he was at being that robot.

"He's one of a kind. He's a monolith. He's a force of nature. If he was late on set, it was because he was talking to George Bush Senior, the president."

After Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger became one of Hollywood's big box office titans, while Linda also found herself enjoying a higher profile - while enduring some suffocating typecasting.


She said: "After Terminator, they [Hollywood] only saw me as a lesbian or a cop or a military officer.

"I went into the first meeting with the director from Dante's Peak, and he said 'You've never played a part like this before. It's normal'. Normal comes easy to most of us.

"You have to go in and win this kind of work. People think I'll chew up the scenery and kill all the other actors."

So she's no psychotic ham or hired killer. But that doesn't mean she hasn't got a strategy if she spots a Terminator ambling down her drive.

She quipped: "I think that after playing that part, I have a strategy for anything that comes into my house.

"I've got weapons buried and a flashlight and knives. I'm ready."

Beyond the sequels, the Terminator franchise had a brief life as a TV series. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was cancelled this month, and the new Sarah - 300's Brit actress Lena Headey - was frequently criticised for being less ripped than her movie counterpart.

Linda said: "I'd only seen her in 300 but I was very impressed and she's quite a looker, so I was like 'Yeah!'".

"I saw the pilot episode. But I really don't watch that much TV as I'm so busy.

"It's the hardest thing to step into someone else's shoes and trying to fill them. I was doing a play called Laura, which had once starred Gene Tierney. Every damn review said 'She's no Gene Tierney'."


While Linda is hailed for helping to create a rare female role model in the action world, she was bemused by the interest in Sarah Connor's toned physique.

She said: "Sigourney [Weaver] did it before me [in Alien] and we have [director] James Cameron to thank for that too.

"Never in a million years did I expect the fuss over my body. When everyone started to say 'I want your arms', I was really surprised.

"I was playing a character in a hell of the world's making. She's in so much pain. Why would anyone want to be like that?"

Linda married James Cameron in 1997, but divorced him after two years. She still ranks him as one of the best directors she has worked for.

She said: "It's James Cameron for sure, although not all of him is perfect.

"I remember finishing the first film and I left thinking 'The director is rooting for the machines'. He did not have a way with people at all. But he's such a general and a planner and very inspiring to work with. He's the most invested person on the set. I respect him for that.

"Quite often, though, the best director is someone who leaves you alone to do your best work, and they have a lot to admire about them because they know how to get out of the way."

Another Terminator tantrum made the news in the run up to the release of the fourth film, much to Linda's disgust.


Star Christian Bale - who plays resistance leader John Connor - was videoed ranting and swearing at a crew member who walked into his shot on set. The clip became a huge talking point around the world.

Linda said: "I'm ashamed to call myself his mother.

"You'll never find me acting like that and I wouldn't tolerate that from other actors.

"As far as Jim [James Cameron] went, he was normally the one having the temper tantrum so there was no room for anyone else to have one.

"How embarrassing was that? It's everything that's wrong with LA. Super stars, super egos and super bad manners."

Linda is now juggling stage work with comedy roles, such as the upcoming film Holy Water which follows a Viagra heist. She doesn't think that the world will need a real Sarah Connor anytime soon, but doesn't seem to be a fan of machines anyway, whether they're planning to wipe out mankind or not.

She said: "I don't really think there's a risk of AI taking over from mankind. It's pretty far-fetched.

"Science wrongly-applied can be really bad. It's not AI so much as cloning, and bringing back a prehistoric elephant just because we have the DNA and can do it.

"I just don't do machines. I have a cellphone I never use. I don't watch TV or use computers. I'd much rather go to bed with a good book."

Terminator Salvation opens on Wednesday June 3


TheTerminator said:

Wow, what a great woman! I agree on all accounts!

Saigh said:

"She's in so much pain. Why would anyone want to be like that?"

Because we all have pain and we all want to be so strong, inside and out, to handle it. This was the best example of what a woman could do.

Rachel said:

"Why would anyone want to be like that?"

Well I don't know if anyone would *want* to be like that, but maybe they have no choice, like Sarah Connor herself. And maybe that's why some women, including myself, see her as a physical and gender role model. She didn't wait for the world to order itself around her, she didn't put her head in the sand and hope things turned out all right - she did everything she could to prepare herself and her loved ones for everything bad the world could throw at them. Yeah, I don't think I'll see a Terminator walking down my street anytime soon, but that doesn't mean evil doesn't exist and we shouldn't prepare ourselves to someday encounter it.

Dave said:

She's so right! T3 completely ruined the whole series. T2 was such great movie and the alternate ending where Sarah Conner is sitting there with her grand daughter (Johns kid) means T3 couldn't have happened!

RIch said:

I think that's a little harsh, the terminator franchise has huge potential, any sci-fi fan would reconise that.

It's not about "milking the cow", that's a cynical view of the industry, i as a sci-fi fan want to give them my money to make more stuff about terminator cos i love the terminator franchise, that's how it works!

and i loved the film, restored my faith after the T3 disaster

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