Hollywood Flashback: 'Terminator' Star Linda Hamilton Called Her Marriage to James Cameron "Terrible on Every Level"

Terminator 2- Judgment Day BTS - Photofest - H 2019
Courtesy of Photofest

James Cameron and Linda Hamilton on the set of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

The actress reunites with Arnold Schwarzenegger for 'Terminator: Dark Fate,' opening Friday — 25 years after the release of the original film, which was directed by her future (and now ex) husband.

With the release of Terminator: Dark Fate on Nov. 1, the mercenary brought to life by Arnold Schwarzenegger proves again to be one resilient robot.

Dark Fate — which reunites Schwarzenegger with Linda Hamilton, who last appeared in the franchise in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day — is the fifth sequel spawned by 1984's The Terminator (and the first since T2 produced by James Cameron).

Schwarzenegger, who was just coming off the success of Conan the Barbarian, thought it an iffy career move to play the emotionless killer. "There was no question it was a gamble," says Lou Pitt, his agent at the time. "But it had the potential to take his career to a different place and another level."

The Austrian bodybuilder, then 37, was wooed into the role by director Cameron, then 30, who he described as "a skinny, intense guy" in his 2012 autobiography Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story. (This was Cameron's second time directing a feature; it came after Piranha II: The Spawning, which had a $150,000 budget.)

The Hollywood Reporter liked Cameron's casting choices. The first line of THR's rave review was: "No doubt about it: Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play 'The Terminator.' "

Later, the review praises Hamilton's "tremendous resiliency."

Arnie liked that he'd be paid $750,000, or $1.8 million in today's dollars — but was less thrilled that he'd have only 17 lines of dialogue and that much of the shooting would be done at night. He wrote that the after-dark schedule was because "control freaks like Jim are big fans of night shooting. It gives you total control over the lighting because you create it."

The Orion release's budget was $6.4 million ($16 million today) and it grossed $78 million worldwide ($193 million currently).

Altogether, the Terminator films have grossed $1.2 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. They also produced a marriage — between Cameron and Hamilton, in 1997. The duo divorced two years later, with Hamilton, in a 2010 interview in U.K. magazine The Lady, calling their time spent together "terrible on every level."

This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.