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Terminator's Linda Hamilton nearly retired before being cast in Stranger Things season 5: "I was tired of being tough"

She hopes the show will give her another "15 minutes" of fame with a new audience

Linda Hamilton in Terminator Dark Fate
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

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It says something about the power of Netflix that one of Hollywood’s greatest action stars was considering retirement until she joined the Stranger Things season five cast. Linda Hamilton, who burst into pop culture as the iconic Sarah Connor in 1984’s The Terminator, was tempted to pass on future acting jobs – not because she wasn’t getting work, but because 40 years of action had taken its toll on her.

While she was on the press tour to promote season three of Resident Alien, people couldn’t help but ask Hamilton about getting cast in the upcoming final season of Stranger Things. Even though we don’t know much about it just yet – including when we’ll get to see it – it seems the show is always on our collective minds. When discussing being cast in Stranger Things season five (like the release date, her exact role hasn’t been revealed yet) Linda Hamilton admitted that she felt “like an actress getting her first meaningful part.”

That might seem odd, considering Hamilton has never really stopped working even when she hasn’t been in the spotlight, but it turns out she was privately talking about retirement at the time because she was “tired of being tough” and powering through the aches and pains that a lifetime of actions films inflict upon someone. “My hip was hurting for a couple of years and I was like, ‘I’m just so tired of being tough and I just want to be able to make plans and make sure I can be there,’ because actors never, ever can be there when they say they’re going to be there.”

She went on to say that, as tired as she is, she’d have come out of retirement to do Stranger Things if she had to. Partly because she thinks it will give her “another 15 minutes with a new audience, which is cool.” Again, we’d argue that Linda Hamilton never left the spotlight, but we could see how Stranger Things, with its massive popularity, might give her a high note to end her incredible career on if that is her choice. After all, just look at what season four did for Kate Bush.


Netflix's Stranger Things is heading into its grand finale - of the main show that is. While you wait, make sure you've watched all of the franchise (including the spinoffs in books and comics) with our Stranger Things guide, know who the Stranger Things season 5 cast, and what Dustin actor Gaten Matarazzo things would make the show better (more deaths). .

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