Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in "Terminator: Dark Fate."
CNN  — 

Linda Hamilton said “Hasta la vista baby” to the “Terminator” films after 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

Now she’s back in her iconic role as Sarah Connor in the forthcoming “Terminator: Dark Fate.”

“There is a real gift in that so much time has passed, and that gives me so much more to explore with the character,” Hamilton told EW.

“Sarah Connor is the same person but I wanted to see how the difference in events have changed her and shaped her and send her forward,” she said. “There was meat there. I didn’t want to just recycle the same idea. It’s a woman who has a different mission, a different story, so I wanted to see what we could do with that.”

The actress said it took a few phone calls and weeks before she would agree to reprise the role.

Ex-husband and original “Terminator” director James Cameron even pitched Hamilton big to woo her.

“He called me three times before I even called him back,” Hamilton said. “The third time, he was like, ‘It’s about work,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, hey, what’s up?’ But, even with that and his big sell, it took me weeks to decide that I really could go there and might have something new to say.”

Playing Connor again was “not like riding a bike,” she said – especially trying to recapture that rock-hard physique from past films, now that she’s 62 years old.

“Of course, one assumes if you put in the same hard work, you get the same results, so I went straight back into training really hard and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, you need hormones to put muscle on!,’” she said. “So just starting with the basic cosmetics of the character and all of the things that I had to sort of include in my new reality as Sarah Connor.”

Hamilton said she wanted to honor the beloved past of the character while still presenting something new for the future.

“She’s still a wild card, but a wild card without a real true mission is a lot more unpredictable,” she said. “Basically very hard for her to find her humanity, so once again we get to take a journey on that level, to have some deep things that need to be rediscovered for her survival.”

“Terminator: Dark Fate” is set to open in theaters on November 1.