Star of two iconic “Terminator” is back on the big screen in his iconic role of Sarah Connor, 35 years later. This return was produced by ex-husband of Linda James Cameron. What made the 63-year-old actress to take such a risky step?
Linda, your character has become an icon in sci-Fi kynoselen. Thanks to you, the first two “Terminator” for many were the stories not about John Connor, and Sarah Connor. How do you feel now, when came the film “Terminator. Dark fate” — with your participation?
I’m very proud of! And I feel relieved. (Laughs.) This film and this character is damn difficult. But it was good, though heavy, dirty work. I could not imagine that someone wants to look at elderly Sarah Connor! (Laughs.)
Is it true that you haven’t talked to James Cameron for many years?
— Yes, ever since our daughter became an adult, we had not even talked to, let’s say, on organizational matters. And so when she heard on the answering machine the voice of Jim, I never thought to call him. Only in his third message flashed job offer. And then I called him back: “Hey, what you got there?” and he told me. But I agreed immediately. It was scary, despite the temptation. But anyway, we are together raising our baby together. And thus still would have created their own little tribe.
And for the psychological health of a child is the most important to know that parents are on the same wavelength. And Jim tried very hard to make it so. And in my opinion, very successful. I’m willing to do anything to preserve as much good will in the relationship — what I’ve been doing all these years — for our albeit not joint, but still family. Therefore, it is not in JEM’s relationship was the main obstacle for decision making. The more I really respect his work and achievements.
And you still bothered to accept the offer?
— Many people asked me throughout all these years, if I wanted to come back, but it seemed to me simply unreal. I was sure I will never be able to let the whole world into your life. Still, I too long ago left Hollywood and my life in New Orleans was more than far from being able to reunited with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the “terminator”! (Laughs.) I had to think about it, if I have something in common with this heroine. In fact I was then, long ago, almost 30 years ago, has refused to star in the sequel, because I didn’t see the point. It seemed to me that the image and essence of my heroine exhausted to the bottom… to be honest, this homecoming was the most difficult and yet greatest decision of my life. Perhaps even the most important and serious of what I did…
— When you left Hollywood?
— Actually, I’ve never felt like you belonged in Hollywood. And seven years ago, it moved from Los Angeles to New Orleans. First bought a farm in Virginia. If you could only see her! There is no air conditioning, so summer is hot and winter very cold. I loved this place and their neighbors, and all that surrounded me. But after mom died he moved to New Orleans. And there found a balance in life, felt happy in his world. I knowingly and voluntarily refused from Hollywood, with all its grandeur, scale, grandeur, inflated ego, lips and other parts of the body. Inflated narcissism and self-esteem. And I never thought I’d want all that in exchange for 15 minutes of fame.
And what made you decide?
Especially when you consider that Cameron and Tim Miller, the Director, wasn’t even script, just a concept, an idea… the Main reason is the fact that Jim came up with this project. The fact that in the distant past I came to realize that he was the real driving creative force of the first two “Terminator”. But now I understood the importance of this fact. And then I read the script. And saw finally that it was something really new and unknown to me. And that got me excited. Sarah Connor was as passionate and wild nature in a new and totally changed circumstances. And this is what I’m always attracted to artistic work.
You once admitted that the reason for your divorce with James Cameron became the “Titanic” hit of all times and peoples. (Linda and James were married in 1997 and divorced just two years later, the actress received as a result of divorce, more than $ 40 million. — Approx. ed.)
Well, it is. For the sake of “Titanic” James was ready for anything. This movie became his mistress — and she me, the wife, was thrown. It was very difficult to deal with it. James was scared to death that I can in one day destroy what it does to aspire to. It is unclear how I could do it, and most importantly — why, she as an actress? There was no meaning in his fears, in my opinion. But it was a disaster. Neither I nor he was not ready to such difficulties in a relationship.
And what is Sarah Connor in “Terminator: Dark destiny”?
Well, I tried to fill in all the gaps for twenty-eight years! I decided that it is not necessary to show what happened to my heroine. Everything that happened to her over the years, it should be clear when you look at it. All those internal changes, the force and weaknesses that it has acquired. Sarah is the same in many ways, but has changed its mission, purpose. I left it in the movie “Terminator 2: judgment day” in a pretty safe place, when he and John Connor had hoped that he was able to stop the approach of a devastating future.
But in our new project Sarah is once again in a helpless position. No matter how it tried to honorably fulfill its mission of opposition to the machines and technologies that threaten the future of mankind, it is almost lost faith and hope. Love to the humanity, which he and his son must once again save. Because people are to blame for what happened. So to Sarah, this time a lot of rage and desire to take revenge, that is just the fact that she did not have before.
You in the first two movies provided — that rarely happened with Actresses almost complete freedom…
— Yes, I have identified what changes need to happen with Sarah in “terminator 2…” compared to the first film. When the second film received a Studio green light, I said, “Okay. This woman needs to go crazy… Yes, that’s right. She will be crazy for the reason that she’s the only one available understanding, what a terrible future awaits people.
I asked Jim to register Sarah in the script — a sort of savage in the wilderness, trying to appeal to the humanity in connection with the inevitably approaching catastrophe. “Make her crazy!” I said. And he, to his credit, gave me a stunning canvas in order to paint. That’s why I refused from the following movies — I think that says it all. But decades later it turned out that not all.
In 2002, when he decided to shoot “Terminator 3: rise of the machines”, you were asked…
— Yes, but I declined the offer primarily because this project does not “run” of Jim Cameron. And I perfectly understood the full value of the involvement of Cameron. Just to earn money that was created long ago and which, I think is not very appropriate occupation.
— I wonder what has changed in the process of creating such grandiose blockbusters?
Well, for starters, we did differently was keeping the weapon! Or, for example, I was shocked that, despite our best efforts and preparation, often in parallel, we are exactly the same episode filmed for the second crew with doubles. I upset, as I remember. I think, well hell well hell, I’m the only one so good job! What else are these guys shooting? Why? This does not mean that I’m bad to the doublers. Just very difficult for me to give even a second “life” of her character.
— How did you find working with Director Tim Miller? He said that “the Terminator” for him personally, has always been associated exclusively with you in your role… Maybe it’s just music to your ears?
— Absolutely! And I love Tim! (Laughs.) He’s a great man and a very calm leader. And this is something that I especially appreciate in Directors. And a true connoisseur of action movies. The Director of the action, so to speak. Although at first we had clashes. Very different approaches have both. Had somehow adjust themselves to the platform. He was initially a little scared of my rapid perseverance. But isn’t that what you have to overcome two creative person in this line of work? (Laughs.) At the end of our epic Tim and I just never left. Many years ago I took the decision — as an actor — to do everything possible so that the Director was happy. It’s so easy! (Laughs.)
— Well, now tell us please what was it like to reunite with an old friend and colleague Arnold Schwarzenegger? Presumably, you are very often encountered him in the past years…
— No, not often. But I have always had a passion towards Arnold. And knew him as absolutely amazing, incredibly loyal friend and companion. I attended the inauguration of the Governor of the state of California and was very happy for him. And for myself — being a witness to such an event. But life threw us in different directions. It’s rotating in their circles, and I’m really no longer a number of her friends of many celebrities. So it turned out. And it was a real shock — a meeting with Arnold at the site, and especially the fact that, as it turned out, I still feel the passion! (Laughs.) No, seriously, I think we have become much closer than before.
We had a lot of love and kindness. And it’s just we — Arnold and Linda, not two legends are together again removable! Wow! It is all nonsense and bullshit. It is impossible for your life to look from this angle. (Laughs.) Arnold is such a funny and still very strong. So we have had physical activity in these shots, but he recently did heart surgery… we had fun. Much more fun than ever…
— What are your best memories from filming the first “Terminator” in 1984?
— It was 35 years ago. Crazy. I was sort of snobby — as, new York stage actress, where there! “And this is Arnold, he is an artist?” And many people told me: “don’t go to Los Angeles- you will destroy.” New York is new York, everything is perceived differently. My agent, however, was very excited about this offer — to star in such film as “the Terminator”. I turned the nose. And just on the court has come to understand what great project I got the job. When filming started, I thought, “well, I think it’s quite good.” (Laughs.) By the middle of shooting, I was already fully engaged and fascinated by the process. And when we watched the film, I was entranced: “Jim Cameron is a real genius!” But I realized it just after shooting…