Linda Hamilton: Appearing in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 ‘Ruined the Show for Me’

Liem Soeng

Linda Hamilton: Appearing in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 ‘Ruined the Show for Me’

With “Stranger Things” Season 5 in production after a year of strike-induced delays, the road to the end of the Duffer brothers’ Netflix blockbuster has officially begun.

In addition to returning stars like David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard, the fifth and final season added ’80s action icon Linda Hamilton to its cast. “The Terminator” star was announced as an addition to “Stranger Things” in summer 2023, before WGA and SAG strikes prevented the new season from entering production. But now that the show is up and running, the actress has opened up about the experience of joining a cultural phenomenon — and the hidden costs of appearing on a series that you enjoy.

In an interview with Us Weekly, Hamilton spoke highly of her time filming “Stranger Things.” But she explained that the experience will likely prevent her from watching Season 5 when it eventually airs

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“When you buy into something, you don’t see yourself in it. So, I think it ruined the show for me. I never watch [a project] once I’m in something,” Hamilton said. “It would completely take me out of the reality of it to see myself in there. So, I won’t be watching.”

Hamilton added that the secrecy surrounding the final season is so intense that she still hasn’t learned how the show will end.

“They have to be very careful with their story,” she said. “So I still don’t know how it ends. It takes a lot of discipline not to know where it will go, but that’s to protect it from all of the people that want to know.” 

While details about the show’s ending remain closely guarded, creators Matt and Ross Duffer have teased that the final season will deliver an emotional conclusion to many character arcs. So emotional, in fact, that Netflix executives teared up after hearing the pitch.

“We have so many characters now, most who are still living. It’s important to wrap up those arcs as a lot of these characters have been growing since Season 1. So it’s a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up these loose ends and doing our final reveals,” Ross Duffer said in 2022. “Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it’s sort of got a little bit from each. I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in sort of the tone of one.”

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