The Two Sarah Conners

So after being addicted to the TV show since its first episode, I finally got a chance to watch the movies. Sarah Connor is played by Linda Hamilton in the movies while Lena Headey is the actress who plays her in the TV show.

Which one of the two do you guys think does a better job? Personally, Headey plays the role perfectly. There’s just something in her facial expression, and especially her eyes, that really sells her as a mother who’s spent the last 10+ years of her life protecting her child and postponing the inevitable Judgment Day.

Linda Hamilton, no question. Watch how she goes from just an ordinary girl in T1 to a hardened, ultra-buff, “do anything to save the world” woman in T2.

I totally disagree with what you said about Lena. In the beginning of the series, I though she was doing a decent Linda Hamilton imitation, and showed some of the strength and resolve that Linda had in T2. But now she’s just way, WAY too sappy all the time.

Gotta give Linda Hamilton credit for her role at the different stages of Sarah C’s life. In the first Terminator movie, she played a young 20-something who was thrust into a time war and only had her 80s sensibility and a future soldier to protect her. In the second movie, we see her character as a woman who spent time in a mental ward after trying to blow up a Cyberdyne factory and went through hell, only to have a lookalike terminator sent back to protect rather than kill her and her son.

I say Linda > Lena, as Sarah Connor.

Linda hamilton hands down.

I remember watching the movies as a kid back to back and having no clue what the happened in either one (yay pre-internet spoilers), and was BLOWN AWAY when She appeared in the 2nd movie. I thought that was so cool her just showing up again and all as I didn’t think she’d be in the 2nd film at all.

Yeah you guys make a good point but she just seemed too low budget action heroish. I guess it has to do with the time the movies were shot too.

In many ways, T2 owes much of its success to Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Conner. And most of Sarah Conner’s change between the two films was** Linda Hamilton’s idea**. Jim called her up and asked her to be in the movie before he sat down to write the script (because he felt Linda Hamilton’s return was crucial–same with Weaver in Aliens). She said that she would under one condition:

“I want to be crazy.”–slightly paraphrasing here.

Jim said, “I can do that.”

I gave up on the TV show after the debut episode, so maybe my opinion is worth exactly two cents, but here goes: Linda Hamilton, totally. The only thing the two actresses have in common is their initials.

I’m going with the OP and Lena Headley. Maybe just because of the extra time we have in the series, but she seems more in depth and real to me than Linda Hamilton’s Sarah.

Lena Headey has two obstacles in comparison with Linda Hamilton.

Her character has to be interesting for ongoing episodes, and have a characterisation that can sustain the extended storylines that isn’t exhausting.

Her character has been written as a concerned mother more than a crazed fighter, but still has to have a little bit of crazed fighter come to the surface occasionally. I’m no actor, but that’s got to be hard to do, especially when you have to base it on whatever has been written in the script.

We’ve only ever seen about 5 hours of Linda Hamilton’s portrayal, in two distinct modes separated by (a virtual*) 10 years. Really, it’s unfair to compare.

*T2 was set in 1995, but released in 1991

Hamilton looked like a woman with a survivalist mentality. It’s one of the few times I could actually buy a Hollywood actress kicking ass. That’s just not something that Headey’s performance has been able to duplicate.

I had not realized until flipping idly through an old issue of People that Headey had played the Spartan queen in 300.
Anyway, I wasn’t watching the movies or the TV show for quality acting, just explosions and robot fights and junk.

The thing about Sarah Conner in T2 is that we meet her in a mental institution and she’s pretty much jacked up to 110% the rest of the movie since they have a T-1000 on their ass. It wouldn’t make sense to have her at that intensity all the time for the duration of a multi-season series. For that reason, I think Lena Headley is good. She sort of splits the difference between 80s New Wave Creampuff Sarah Conner and Jacked-up 90s Militant Sarah Conner.

Yeah, Lena’s not bad. Though it’s sure as hell hard to beat the iconic T2 Sarah—maybe impossible*; you practically have to outright reinvent the character.

*Partially, as noted, because in T2, she was a fanatic on her last nerves. Headey plays the role as obsessive, but mellower. Hard to tell how much of that could be passed off as genuine character development, and how much is just the simple reality of another actor’s take on the role.

Lena’s voice, though…something about it bugs me, though. I don’t know what her natural speaking voice/accent is like, but her speech in SCC just sounds too…I dunno, polished. Artificial, even. Kind of like a vocal “uncanny valley.” Maybe it’s just me.

She’s a brit, she’s putting on her accent. I think she’s suffering from the same “careful pronunciation” Hugh Laurie puts himself through, giving a slightly stilted but nevertheless accurate accent.

It’s pretty tough to beat Linda, especially given how iconic her transformation from delicate waitress in the first movie to hardened kick ass warrior in the second was.

But it’s hard to compare because Lena is practically playing a different character. She’s strong, personality wise, and can kick ass, but she’s a lot more mentally stable, less jaded, and not as tough seeming. And maybe a little too… pretty. Part of this is intentional - we can see that she’s trying to be a little softer, but it would help if we saw her act a little tougher sometimes.

On the other hand, Linda as she is now I couldn’t see playing the role any more. She gotten a little… weird… and hasn’t exactly aged well.