She’s best known for facing off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise Of Machines, but what happened to actress Kristanna Loken after Judgement Day?
Becoming the T-X
A model of Norwegian-German descent, Loken grew up on a fruit farm in upstate New York, before entering showbiz.
She started off in soap operas and kid shows like Boy Meets World, then became a regular on the episodic TV circuit in everything from Law & Order to dreadful ‘Baywatch on bikes’ series Pacific Blue. Her big break came when she was plucked from amongst 10,000 actresses to star as the villain opposite Arnie.
She had honed her fighting skills on the TV show Mortal Kombat: Conquest, but packed on 15 pounds of muscle and studied Israeli combat technique Krav Maga.
The latter proved to be a blessing and curse. “One day I got locked out of my house and I decided it would be viable to just punch through the window,” she said later. “It didn’t work the first time, so I got frustrated and I really nailed it the second. There was blood everywhere. It was so stupid and I’m going to have a scar on my hand for the rest of my life.”
While she got decent reviews for her performance, T3 was panned by the critics and Loken’s career didn’t soar in the way she might have expected it to. Part of that might have had to do with her decision-making, ill-advisedly signing up to two movies directed by notorious hack Uwe Boll.
BloodRayne and In the Name of the King may have seen her act alongside Ben Kingsley and Jason Statham respectively, but both were mega-flops.
Instead she turned to TV, starring in sci-fi action series Painkiller Jane where she also met future husband Noah Danby.
An open and honest interviewee, Loken revealed that she had been in relationships with women before she married Danby and after they split 18 months later in 2009, she started dating her female personal trainer.
“I think for me, really, everybody is so quick to attach a label,” she told AfterEllen.com at the time. “If you’re with a man, now you’re considered straight. If I’m with a woman, I’m a lesbian. I think labels are very confining and restrictive, and I think people should just be able to be happy with the person they choose, regardless of the gender and the title.”
She also spoke about the need for people in same sex relationships to speak up.
“I’ve had problems with people I’ve been with who haven’t necessarily fully accepted themselves or have been afraid of what the public would think. I think that just breeds contempt and discrimination from others who might have issues,” she explained.
“I think it’s up to us to give voice to that, no matter what job you have or what you do. You don’t have to stand on a rooftop and sing it, but you should do things in a way that makes other people proud of who you are and what you stand for, and not be afraid of that.”
She has since returned to dating men, being seen out with former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa in 2015, a man 27 years her senior.
She’s now in a relationship with JP Morgan managing director Jonathan Bates and in May 2016, she gave birth to the couple’s first child Thor.
Loken has parlayed her Terminator role into a successful livelihood on the convention scene, as well as indulging her love of horse-riding and working for South Africa-based children’s charity MyLifE.
While she cropped up on shows like Burn Notice and reprised her Boy Meets World role in the sequel Girl Meets World, she spends most of her time kicking ass in straight-to-DVD action B movies like Bounty Killer and Mercenaries.
In 2016, she starred in Beyond The Game along with one of the greatest C-list movie star casts ever assembled, including Billy Zane, Eric Roberts, Caspar Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Kevin Sorbo (TV’s Hercules), Michael Madsen (obviously) and even legendary 1980s screen martial artist Cynthia Rothrock.
On the plus side, it’s probably better than Terminator Genisys.
Image credits: Rex_Shutterstock, Getty, Facebook/Kristanna Loken