Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reunite after 28 years to reprise their roles as the T-800 and Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate, the latest instalment of the popular Terminator franchise. I got my precious five minutes with the two stars who featured in the first two iconic films of the series directed by James Cameron - The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Here’s what they had to say about their journey with Terminator films so far.
Mr Schwarzenegger., I’ll start by asking you... we all landed in Seoul and we were all jet-lagged. But I saw your social media posts. You were at the gym working out and saying, “Jet lag or no jet lag, this is what you got to do.” Is it this kind of rigorous discipline that makes Arnold Schwarzenegger the man he is?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Yes, I mean, you can call it discipline but you can also call it addiction. You know, because I think that I have to go to the gym in the morning. And I have to, when I travel around, in order to really keep up the schedule. You know, because they book us from morning to night to do interviews. So with the time change and jet lag, you don’t have a chance to really relax so you better go to the gym, you pump up to really stimulate your blood and to get the body going.
Also, fans in India who are expecting the Terminator star to arrive in the country for a bodybuilding even in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, will be disappointed to know that Schwarzenegger has no such plans. This manager confirmed that the star will not be coming to India and that apparently the people behind the event used Schwarzenegger’s name as a guest without even asking him. Over to the Q & A with Arnold and Linda now.
You, Linda, were 26 or 27 when the first Terminator was offered to you. Do you recall what went through your mind when you read the script? And did you have an inkling that it would become this cult film that it has become now?
Linda Hamilton: Never had an inkling. As a matter of fact, it was really a B movie. It was! It read like a B movie and I remember that my people, my representatives were very excited about it because Arnold was in it. But I was just not sure about this. Not that I was ever really an A movie actress, but only when I saw it did I understand that it was a good film and that James Cameron was a genius.
You, Arnold, were supposed to play Reese when Terminator was first announced in early ’80s. And then you went on to play the Terminator which became this iconic cult character in movie history. Do you believe that was destiny? Do you believe in destiny? Because that’s one of the questions that this new film questions.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Well, I think that I was offered originally a Reese. But then when I met Jim (James) Cameron, for lunch, and we talked about the movie and we talked about the Terminator character and all that stuff, he said to me, “I would like you to play the Terminator.” And even though I didn’t agree with him at that point, I told him, give me some time to think about it, because I thought that I am playing Reese. The hero, not the villain. He said, “Take your time, just let me know because I think that it would be spectacular if you played the Terminator. You are the Terminator.” So I just think it was his brilliance. I think it was so smart of him to see that because I didn’t see it and to push me to play the Terminator. I think it was an interesting character. Everything that was promised, he kept. He said to me, ‘I’m going to shoot it in such a way that this character would end up being one of the top villains in history. And also one of the top heroes in history.
And it was absolutely correct. It was a brilliant, great character to play. Especially the way he wrote the evolution of it. Even in this movie, the whole idea that he is questioning his own programming, that he grows a conscience, that he lives with human beings, and that he starts adopting human behaviour and stuff like that, but still is a killing machine – I think it’s brilliant.
I believe you’re coming to India next month. And you have a huge fan following in India. I am sure you know about it – you’ve been there before. What’s your message to the Indian fans, especially since you’re coming right after the release of Terminator: Dark Fate?
Arnold Schwarzenegger: You know, I don’t even know yet, a hundred percent, if I am coming or not. But I always enjoy going to India. I’ve done speeches there; I’ve gone there to promote environmental issues, which I think is very important. What’s great about this movie is that it is as entertaining to watch in India as it is to watch in Austria or in America or anywhere else. It’s a universal kind of a story.
I’ll be back.