Most of the Terminator: Dark Fate headlines have been about the returning talent. Linda Hamilton is returning to her game-changing role of Sarah Connor after almost three decades away. Edward Furlong is back to play an adult John Conner in spite of his domestic violence history, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be there (isn’t he always?), and James Cameron returns as co-writer and producer.
But the trailers also introduced two new characters. A human-cyborg hybrid named Grace played by Mackenzie Davis (Black Mirror’s “San Junipero”, Halt and Catch Fire), and Dani, who has remained a relative mystery.
Den of Geek caught up with Natalia Reyes, the Colombian actor who plays Dani Ramos, at Comic-Con, to learn more about her character’s role, road tripping with Linda Hamilton, and the film’s impressive action sequences.
Natalia’s previous work includes a number of Colombia telenovelas the titular role in Lady, la vendedora de rosas and the crime film Birds of Passage, which was selected for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was Colombia’s entry for the Foreign Film category for the Oscars. Speaking about working on her first big action movie, Reyes said, “I come from a more independent film world, and it was all new, but really exciting and fun.”
“It’s a big action movie and it was really exhausting. We had so much work. The stunts and rehearsals, and guns, and action. It’s action everywhere, and that’s really challenging.” It’s not surprising Reyes felt that way, considering Linda Hamilton herself told Den of Geek how hard she had to work on the set of this movie.
In the original Terminator, Sarah Connor served as the audience surrogate, an innocent young woman on the run from the deadly T-800. Dani, who’s from Mexico City, serves a similar narrative function in Dark Fate. Reyes says Dani is, “Small, but really strong, badass and brave.” Reyes isn’t kidding about that small thing – you might have noticed a height difference between Dani and Davis’s Grace. IMDB lists Davis as 5’10” and Reyes as 4’11”, making Davis look all the more otherworldly in comparison.
Reyes shared that Dani, “says what she thinks, she has a big heart, she works hard, she knows she has to help her family, she has Diego, her brother, her father, her dog. And she has just a little simple life. And suddenly, it’s upside down because this new Terminator wants to kill her.”
As the trailer shows, the new character Grace protects Dani and helps her flee. They’re then joined by Hamilton’s Sarah Conner and Schwarzenegger as a grizzled T-800. “It’s like a road trip of these three females getting together and helping each other and trying to understand why is this all happening,” Reyes said.
Much like Sarah in the first film, Dani has no idea what the larger machinations are or why she’s being chased. But she has a major advantage this time around, in the form of Sarah’s experience.
“Grace and our beloved Linda Hamilton, Sarah Connor, just come and they help me escape, and trying to understand why…I think Linda is back to reveal that. And you can see that in the trailer, that she says, ‘Because I was here.’ She knows exactly how it is like to be chased by a Terminator. She knows how to fight them, so that’s why she’s helping me, and I think that’s the exciting thing about this movie. That we are going to find out why am I so important in the future.”
Keep up with all of the news surrounding Terminator: Dark Fate here. You can also hear a bit about the SDCC panel for the movie in The Den of Geek Podcast highlights of Night 1.
Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!