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Linda Hamilton will be back as the gun-toting, mankind-defending badass Sarah Connor when the latest “Terminator” sequel hits theaters this fall, but returning to Hollywood was seemingly more daunting for the actor than defeating a pesky cyborg.
The 62-year-old action icon discussed her decision to step away from acting in a candid New York Times profile published on Tuesday in which she also revealed that during her hiatus from Hollywood, she’s been celibate for “at least” 15 years.
“I love my alone time like no one you’ve ever met,” Hamilton shared, joking that she’d only consider a marriage proposal from her favorite artist, Kehinde Wiley.
“I’ve been celibate for at least 15 years. One loses track, because it just doesn’t matter — or at least it doesn’t matter to me,” she continued. “I have a very romantic relationship with my world every day and the people who are in it.”
After deciding that her life in a Malibu mansion wasn’t “real,” Hamilton relocated to a New Orleans townhouse, where she now lives with her two dogs.
“Do I want to trade this lovely, authentic life for that?” she asked, explaining her reluctance to return to Hollywood. “I didn’t want my neighbors looking at me differently. We’re neighbors because of who we are, not what we do, and I don’t want that to creep into my life again.”
“Terminator” director James Cameron, who shares daughter Josephine with Hamilton, was the one to convince her to reprise her role in the franchise. He wrote her a letter to gauge her interest in playing Sarah Connor again after two poorly received sequels in which she did not star.
After a seven-year relationship and a short-lived marriage from 1997 to 1999, Cameron and Hamilton went their separate ways but remained on good enough terms for the actor to consider the offer ― despite a famously large divorce settlement.
Hamilton was also previously married to actor Bruce Abbot, with whom she shares one son.
Reflecting on her relationship with Cameron, Hamilton said she believes the director actually “fell in love with Sarah Connor” instead of her, but conceded that they were “terribly mismatched as a couple.”
“That relationship was a mystery to all of us — even Jim and myself,” she told the outlet. “I used to say we fit together like a puzzle: Everywhere he’s convex, I’m concave.”
Cameron also weighed in, agreeing that he “fell in love with her initially because I thought she was a little closer to Sarah than she actually is,” but ultimately chalked their connection up to being in a “high-velocity spiral around each other for a long time.”
While she admitted to being “completely devastated” by their split ― Cameron has since married actor Suzy Amis ― Hamilton said the relationship taught her a key life lesson.
“I would never, ever put that much energy again into something that is not working,” she said.
“Terminator: Dark Fate” reunites Hamilton with former co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger in a female-led entry in the franchise that required her to undergo training with the Green Berets and a strict supplement regimen.
But don’t expect to see Hamilton stick around for another “Terminator” film: The actor recently joked to Variety that she’s “going to fake my own death so I don’t have to do another one.”