By Derek Lawrence
July 23, 2019 at 09:30 AM EDT
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In the first two Terminator films, Linda Hamilton worked primarily with male costars, from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Biehn to Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick. And while Furlong and Schwarzenegger are both back for Terminator: Dark Fate, the 62-year-old actress is glad to finally be teamed with two “extraordinary women.”

“We forged an incredible story as we went along with each other,” Hamilton tells EW of working with Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes on the sci-fi sequel. “I love the fact that there are circulating elements that shift between the three of us, that each of them has a little bit of Sarah Connor. It was absolutely incredible to take this journey with them, and to ultimately trust and believe in two women as much as I do in these two women. We fortified each other every day.”

For her long-awaited return as Connor, Hamilton spent more than a year training, working to physically transform herself just as she did for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. And she was proud to see the same dedication from Davis, who plays a human-robot hybrid in Dark Fate. “I was very happy to see Mackenzie take the mantle of turning her body into a fighting machine,” Hamilton says. “Hopefully she will get all the attention that I got in 1991 for what she has done to make herself ready, to make herself a warrior.”

Kerry Brown/Paramount

Hamilton had a similar personal stake in Reyes, who plays Dani, essentially Dark Fate’s version of Connor from the first film. “Linda came and read with several different Danis when we narrowed it down a little bit,” director Tim Miller recalls. “And when she read with Natalia, who was in the middle of that session, she gets up and says, ‘Do I get a vote? Because she’s the one.’”

Adds Hamilton, “Natalia left the room and I looked at Tim and just went, ‘Bingo.’ She’s just the most effortless and extraordinary actress. Truly, I think one of the greatest actresses I’ve ever worked with. Because you don’t see her working or doing it, she just comes up with it. She’s very strong and amazing.”

Kerry Brown/Paramount

Terminator: Dark Fate opens Nov. 1.

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