10 Most Drastic Character Transformations Between Movies

10. Sarah Connor - The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton Terminator
Orion Pictures

Let's kick things off with unquestionably one of the most impressive and effective physical character transformations in cinema history.

In James Cameron's The Terminator, future mother of the resistance Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) was a totally ordinary-looking young woman, a damsel-in-distress with bouffant hair who just scarcely escaped the T-800's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) clutches with her life in tact.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, however, takes place over a decade later, and an institutionalised Sarah is now a lean, physically imposing specimen of a soldier, with the chirpy waitress of her past now nothing more than a distant memory.

Hamilton trained 18 hours per week for 13 weeks with a former Israeli commando to shed 12 pounds of fat and build muscle, less than two years after giving birth to her son no less.

But the results speaks for themselves - Sarah went from a likeable every-person in the first Terminator to an impossibly badass action hero and one of the greatest heroines ever put to film in the second.

It's a staggering transformation but also entirely believable, and Cameron smartly doesn't let her newfound physicality undermine the equally strong characterisation.

While the jury's still out on the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, a returning Hamilton once again looks like she's in terrific shape for the part, no matter that she's 62 years of age.

Contributor
Contributor

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.