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Terminator’s Linda Hamilton: Why It Was the Right Time to Bring Back Sarah Connor (Exclusive)

The Terminator heroine is back. It’s been 28 years since Linda Hamilton last stepped into the combat boots of Sarah Connor, one of the most fearsome women in sci-fi film history. After James Cameron’s 1984 Terminator and 1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the director stepped away from the franchise while she followed suit — and fled Hollywood to avoid “celebrityhood.” It took Terminator: Dark Fate— and Cameron’s return — to bring her back.

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”He was really the genius behind [it]; the movies didn’t work without him,” Hamilton, 63, exclusively tells Us Weekly in the latest issue about the producer, to whom she was married from 1997 to 1999. “I’m loyal to the original, so it was Jim who brought me on board. That was the selling point: [director] Tim Miller, [production company] Skydance and Jim. I’m super glad I signed up.”

Linda Hamilton Reveals Why She Returned to ‘Terminator'
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in ‘Terminator: Dark Fate.’ Paramount Pictures

However, it wasn’t easy.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, spiritually, emotionally and mentally,” the actress says. “The more demanding, the harder, the greater. They do go hand in hand.”

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Like Hamilton, Connor is in a different state of mind in the new action flick. “She’s more of an outsider than ever. She’s a woman without a country,” the Emmy nominee tells Us. “Obviously, her struggle against machines is deeply a part of her, but she doesn’t really have a love for humanity or any sort of belief. Her mission’s been taken away. She’s lost and hurt.“

For more from Hamilton, watch the exclusive video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters Friday, November 1.

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