After years of bad Terminator movies, last year’s Terminator: Dark Fate had the cards stacked against it. But, surprisingly, it turned out to be the best entry in the series since Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Unfortunately, however, pretty much nobody saw it, with the film estimated to have lost Paramount and Skydance somewhere between $100 and $130 million. Perhaps an omen of its failure was that even Linda Hamilton, Sarah Connor herself, didn’t want to watch it.
In an interview with the AV Club, she spoke about the movie’s production, its box office performance and why she practically had to be dragged into the cinema by 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. 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!’ [Laughs.] It was always a will-she-or-won’t-she thing. I want to support the people I love. They are my dream team, truly. Mackenzie [Davis], Natalia [Reyes], and Tim. It was like Tim and his three muses, you know? And forged by fire, man. We put it all in everyday.”
Hamilton then went on to discuss the film’s box office numbers. In an amusing twist, the movie flopping actually seems to suit her just fine, as while making it, she worried that it’d reignite press interest in her. The interviewer asked whether she thought she’d succeeded in maintaining her privacy while appearing in a Hollywood blockbuster and she said:
“Uh-huh! Really great. I’m not sure how much of that is due to the fact that the public did not go out and see it. I mean, the box office really—I can’t say disappointing, because I don’t use subjective words—but the fact that it didn’t perform at a level as T2 did might impact the public’s interest, quite frankly in New Orleans, where I live. I was just worried about, like, paparazzi up on the levee, the increased visibility and scrutiny and all of that. But in New Orleans, it ain’t about what you do or what you have, it’s about who you are, and that has remained true.”
She also closed out the interview by explaining that while she loves acting, she’d much rather do interesting small-scale work, saying:
“I’m not really big on the huge franchises. I’d much rather do work that is risky and different and that nobody sees. I mean, I’ll do theatre for seven bucks a night for the rest of my career and be very happy. You know, I just want to do the acting part. I’m just a really lazy movie star, and I can’t hold myself up to or live up to or stand up for those that can’t live up to—It’s like, nah, I’m out. I love acting, so that’s what has to remain very clear. I hope I always get to do it.”
With Terminator: Dark Fate underperforming this drastically, it’s likely that the franchise will be put on ice for the foreseeable future. My bet is that at some point it’ll inevitably be completely rebooted to sweep away the tangled series chronology and begin again. But for now, I think it’s safe to assume that after Dark Fate, Linda Hamilton won’t have to worry about killer robots from the future in her life anymore.