Who Is Gabriel Luna? Meet the ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Actor.

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Gabriel Luna didn’t want to look like a chump in front of Arnold. The minute Luna landed the first audition for the upcoming film Terminator: Dark Fate, he started training.

He remembered watching Arnold as a kid—on a TV VCR that had been wheeled into his Texas school’s gym class. Arnold had made a video to promote George H.W. Bush’s “Presidential Fitness Test.” Luna still has the image in his head of Arnold pumping out pull ups. At the time, Luna could do only three.

Since then, Luna had fallen into some poor fitness habits. He had been drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes and doing all kinds of stuff he didn’t need to be doing. “I knew I’d eventually have to stand in front [Arnold],” Luna told Men’s Health in our October cover story. “My motivation was: I want him to see me and see a formidable foe. I don’t want him to see me and think, I could squash this guy with my hands.”

Luna isn’t small. At 6’1”, he’s an inch taller than Robert Patrick who played Schwarzenegger’s ice-eyed foe in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. But in the new Terminator, Luna will play the next generation: Terminator Rev-9. He needed to convince audiences that not only could he throw down with perhaps the most legendary character in all of action cinema, but that he could do so while appearing technologically new.

Director Tim Miller thought Luna was perfect for that role. “With the advances of AI, it doesn’t make any sense for this terminator not to be more human than human,” he told Men’s Health. “Which is why I picked Gabe—because he has this wonderful facility. He’ll be charming one moment and then go dead in the eyes and be the most crazy motherfuckin’ serial-killer-looking dude ever.”

Luna was born Austin in 1982, when a 35-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger released Conan the Barbarian. (Luna was 35 during the filming of the new Terminator.) Before Terminator, Luna appeared in True Detective and ABC’s Wicked City, though probably his best-known role remains Ghost Rider in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The character will get his own series on Hulu in 2020.

After weeks of training, Luna finally met the man himself, The Terminator. When asked about the experience, Luna said he had been overwhelmed, given Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood history. “But he doesn’t place himself on a pedestal that way,” Luna said. “He always makes sure to look at people eye-to-eye. And in doing so, I think you disarm the craziness?”

Still, when Arnold gets into character and stares you down—that’s an eye-to-eye we’re sure few actors are able to match. We can’t wait to see how Luna handles it.



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