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Linda Hamilton Reveals Why She Was Considering Retirement Before Landing Her Role In Stranger Things

 A screenshot of Linda Hamilton smiling on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
A screenshot of Linda Hamilton smiling on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Linda Hamilton is an action icon who has starred in some of the best ‘80s movies and action movies, and she’s kept that reputation up for over four decades. Now, The Terminator star is getting ready to play a role in the fifth and final season of Stranger Things, proving once again, that she’s still got it. However, before taking a part in the Netflix smash hit, she was actually considering retirement and she explained why.

With Stranger Things Season 5 in production and Resident Alien just finishing its run on the 2024 TV schedule, Linda Hamilton spoke with THR about her work as of late. While she’s clearly keeping busy, before she got the offer to work on Stranger Things, she was considering retirement, as she explained:

I literally felt like I was an actress getting my first meaningful part [with Stranger Things]. It’s funny, how it recycles. It’s not that I felt forgotten, but I was actually talking about retirement, not because there isn’t enough to do, but just I’m tired of being tough. 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.

That makes total sense. Linda Hamilton has been working consistently since the ‘80s, and starring in four Terminator movies (which she’s confirmed she is done playing Sarah Connor) along with many other wicked action movies is no small feat. As she said, the wear and tear moviemaking can have on someone is physically exhausting, and she wanted to be able to show up for the people in her life and be healthy.

However, those thoughts of retirement were quickly put to rest when she got a call from Stranger Things as she recalled a phone call she had with her agent:

So I had complained to my agent. I was getting ready to do season three of Resident Alien. I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t even know if I’m going to get there. I hurt.’ (Laughs.) And he’s like, ‘Oh, you don’t mean that.’ When I said retirement, cut to two weeks or so later, Stranger Things called him and said, ‘Is Linda Hamilton available from June to June?’ And he went, ‘Yes.’ He didn’t even ask me.

While she apparently wasn’t asked if she wanted to be part of the fight against Vecna and the Demogorgans, her agent just said yes, she was thrilled to take on the role. Even if she had gone through with retirement, she said she would have come out of it for the Duffer Brothers' beloved show:

I’d come out of retirement to do it, yeah. And I think that’s going to give me another 15 minutes with a new audience, which is cool. And Terminator, that’s still going to be the big trump card for most everything. That fan base is fantastic, because they actually treat me like I saved the world.

Even though making massive action movies has taken a toll, as Linda Hamilton said, it’s all been worth it. Her legacy as Sarah Connor is seriously legendary, and her being in Stranger Things is ultra exciting, because it’ll be so fun to see her play into the ‘80s nostalgia while also showing us a new side of her.

At the moment, we don’t know what role Linda Hamilton will be playing in Stranger Things. However, considering she was asked what her availability was for a 12-month period and she’s an action icon, I assume she’ll be playing a pivotal role in the final chapter of the beloved series.

I know I’m happy Linda Hamilton didn’t go into retirement, and I can’t wait to use my Netflix subscription to watch her do what she does best and kick butt in the final season of Stranger Things.