Linda Hamilton is 62. She looks 62. She is also the leading character of a massive blockbuster action film: Terminator Dark Fate. Let’s reflect on that for a moment. When in the history of Hollywood has there been a female action hero in our age group lead a massive franchise movie? Answer: never.
Could this have been possible 10 years ago? Five years ago? 2 years ago? No way. Sure there is Meryl and there is Glenn, but they are not buffed-out action-movie heroes. There are also women’s action heroes, but can we name one over 50? And leading a big-budget film like this? Amazing.
“There are certainly plenty of fifty, sixty, seventysomething guys out there that just keep cranking along doing action movies and killing bad guys left and right. But there isn’t an example of that for women, and I think there should be” says James Cameron the director of the first Terminator films. We agree.
This is massive. The Zeitgeist has shifted.
This is a tipping point in the culture. Someone in Hollywood greenlit this film and people like us are going to make that company a ton of money. They thought we wanted book club movies. Cute films. Maybe, but let’s have some serious fantasy fun with weapons. Women our age now have their very own action hero and it’s about f%^%$king time. We write all the time about power, we feel powerful, and how we don’t see this translated in the media. Something has changed, someone is paying attention. I cannot stress how huge of a cultural shift this is. Movie companies do not take uninformed risks, at least not at this scale. They know what effect this will have.
What is it like for her to train her body into a weapon again? Hard is not impossible, right? “It was the hardest thing, and the greatest thing,” Hamilton said. “And isn’t that what we want?” This is what I will be thinking about at the gym tomorrow. If she can do, I can do it.
For us guys, we also get Arnold, looking every bit his 72 years, which in itself is great. But the hero is Sarah Connor, just as in the earlier films. She is the one saving the day, she is the determined one. She is the one who never gives up.
From the moment I saw the trailer of her stepping out of the truck blasting the robot bad guy looking utterly badass, I knew this film was going to resonate. She was amazing in T2, one of the best action film roles ever, but this is next level. She is not trying to look 50 or 40 or 30, she is fully owning all of her 62 years and is all the more menacing because of it. This is the most culturally revolutionary thing about this film. She looks 62! That is a strange thing to even say, but for a big-time Hollywood actress to be seen this way is equivalent to Rock Hudson telling the world he was gay in 1965.
We say this over and over. This is key to being empowered whatever the situation. Be yourself. This to me is why Linda Hamilton is so utterly fierce in this film. Yes, she has a machine gun, which as a fantasy fashion accessory is hard to top, but she is owning her age. If she had the usual Hollywood age interventions, it would not feel as visceral as her choice not to have done that. Right off, this is saying “I’m here, this is how 62 looks, get used to it.” That is so badass and so perfect for the character. When I look at Paulina’s Instagram of herself with no makeup, staring at the camera, the impact is so strong because she is a supermodel showing us exactly what she looks like without any interventions. She owns it, that is power. Lauren Hutton, same thing.
We feel that anyone should be able to look however they want, whatever makes them feel most alive in their own skin. There is a huge range of options, and we don’t intend to advise anyone on what is best for them. Everyone should do what they feel best. Although, we aren’t down with machine guns unless one is in an action film killing futuristic robots. Then go for it, kill that sucker.