Terminator: Dark Fate boasts a whole new kind of villain in the Rev-9, portrayed by Gabriel Luna. The actor takes pride in following Schwarzenegger’s footsteps, as well as in the role Mexico plays in the film. He chatted with Screen Rant about his role in the film and its take on today’s technology prior to the November 1st release.
Congratulations on the film. Amazing job. You were probably the most menacing and brutal Terminator I've seen yet. What did you take or what did you study from the other performances of past Terminators that helped inform your performance in this film?
Gabriel Luna: With Arnold's performance in the first, I wanted to incorporate, and I wanted to build my physique. It would never be the equivalent of his, but I wanted to be big and strong and imposing.
I also wanted to have a walk that was – I think one of my leg is a little shorter than the other, so I’ve got this kind of pimp limp. But I try to balance my body and walk in a very controlled way. With Robert, obviously he has the iconic sprint, so you want make sure that you do that justice. His head tilted in pursued, the way he kind of looks under his brow, all of that was important.
But then I wanted to just kind of work out my own thing and be who I am and be in my physical body and space. How do I move? How does this character move within me, or how do I move within this character? And just build all the shapes.
That’s very smart, though.
Gabriel Luna: Very important, yeah. My mama says I have a good smile, so I had to use it.
Terminator has a lot of history in Mexico.
Gabriel Luna: Yes. I love that you know that.
That's where Sarah Connor ends up at the end of the first film, and it's a theme throughout the Terminator franchise. Can you talk to me about the importance, for you, of Dark Fate taking place in Mexico?
Gabriel Luna: I'm glad that's the case because it's usually, as you mentioned, that place of sanctuary for her; the place where she goes when she needs to lick her wounds. And now we start the film there; usually they end there. We realized that even there, no one was safe. Even that place that was supposed to be a safe place is no longer safe. And that is just kind of cool element of it.
Beyond that, I just love that it offered an opportunity for us to have these really great Latin American actors. It certainly opened up the window for me to take this role and inhabit the character; the title role of the film – or title character, I should say. Also, it's just another chance for me to play a character where kids can be like, “Oh, man, that looks cool. I want to be like that guy.”
That's exactly right. Like, T2 when I was a kid was a big deal. I'm so happy that people nowadays are going to see this and be like, “Oh, that's cool. Terminator.” With James Cameron coming back, is there added pressure for this Terminator film?
Gabriel Luna: Yeah, there is. There have been a few swings and misses recently, and there totally was pressure. But it either burst pipes or it makes diamonds. It's good fuel, pressure and fear, as long as you you channel them in the right way.
With technology the way that is – we have Siri and Alexa and all these things – we could go down to this Dark Fate thing. What piece of technology do you think it'll be that drives humanity towards a dark fate?
Gabriel Luna: I think it's over sharing. I think it's this this constant exchange of information. Arnold and I were talking; we had this meeting with the Marine Corps General, and he invited me. And we had this kind of summit where they were talking to all these great professionals in the entertainment industry, trying to be available to us so that we could better show what their experiences are. We were using them to give us information about how to better depict their experience, and one story was just frightening.
It's like the biggest threat now is this cyber warfare. The fact that you can get a 30 second clip of anyone saying anything, like they could take this interview of me and take my image from the countless images that are on the internet, and they could build a whole video of me doing and saying things that I never said that are so lifelike, it's imperceptible that they didn't actually happen.
You can have world leaders disseminating false information, having never said those words; have it be this total reconstruction of a 30 second clip of their voice in their voice pattern. Stuff like that is terrifying.
Man, I was just thinking about cellphones.
Gabriel Luna: Exactly, dude. Exactly. But also, a big problem I have is that predictive text is taken away my ability to be the badass speller that I've always been. I told someone else earlier that I won every spelling bee for, like, five years in elementary school. Now, sometimes, I second guess spelling words that I've known my whole life.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019