Sarah Connor is about as close as we’ll ever get to a female Batman, in that she’s a character who spends almost all her time on screen preparing for a wildly improbable scenario and/or working out. The latter being something actress Linda Hamilton didn’t want to do when she reprised the role of Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate, leading to her repeatedly suggesting that the character be fat.
Now we don’t feel that it’s hyperbolic to say that an overweight Sarah Connor would have been something that surprised fans when you consider who unbelievably jacked Hamilton got when she last played the character in Terminator 2.
For anyone currently thinking of criticising any aspect of Hamilton’s physique in that picture we feel compelled to point out that none other than Arnold Fucking Schwarzenegger ended up complimenting Hamilton on the level of fitness she achieved. In fact, Schwarzenegger was so impressed he granted Hamilton the rare honor of working out in the private gym he had production build him for the movie and even showed her some special poses he honed during his days as a bodybuilder. Their purpose? To show off her biceps during routine, everyday actions so that people watching would be constantly confronted by, the arms.
In addition to getting all kinds of buff, Hamilton was also given a crash course in military combat techniques by a former Israeli commando. While all of this training was, by Hamilton’s own admission “sheer hell“, by the end of it all she was capable of running 8 miles without a break and reloading a shotgun one-handed. All of which allowed to her more convincingly portray the utter badass that is, Sarah Connor from Terminator 2.
Something worth noting about the physical transformation Hamilton made into a hulking, warrior goddess for Terminator 2 is that it was a huge shock for audiences since in the previous film she was simply a waitress with unfortunate hair.
Hamilton had this dramatic change in mind when she was asked to reprise the role of Connor for Dark Fate, noting that she wanted audiences to have the same “holy fuck” moment when they saw her in that movie that they did when they saw her arms in Terminator 2. To this end, Hamilton repeatedly pushed for Sarah Connor to be overweight in Dark Fate, reasoning that a broken, dejected Connor who’d given up on everything would be an interesting take for the character. Amusingly, it’s reported that another reason Hamilton repeatedly suggested this is because she simply didn’t want to work out. Which is, well, a mood.
This idea was inevitably rejected and Hamilton did end up having to once again subject herself to a gruelling training regiment to get in shape, this time training with the Green Berets and a “village” of experts to get herself into the absolute best shape possible. However, something Hamilton refused to budge on was the decision to dye her hair grey (in real life Hamilton’s hair is still it’s natural color) because she was still intent on surprising audiences with her reveal. Specifically with how old Sarah Connor now looked.
Which makes sense given that the character spent 30 years doing nothing but drink and shoot terminators with rocket launchers and we give kudos to Hamilton for wanting to represent that change physically.