It took some convincing for Sigourney Weaver to tackle the role that would change her career.
Looking back on her audition for the role of fierce ET-battling Ripley in 1979’s Alien, Weaver says she wasn’t exactly gunning for the job.
“I remember that [director] Ridley [Scott] built an entire set for me just for the audition,” she told PEOPLE on Wednesday at the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World, which is based on the 2009 blockbuster Avatar film. “I was from the theater. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be in a movie! I think I was the only person they tested. What was so helpful to me is that we did a run-through of several scenes. Ridley went out of his way to make sure that I had a very real world in which to be.”
Scott recently told Entertainment Weekly that actor Warren Beatty had recommended Weaver for the role.
“I went and met with her. She appeared — she had an afro, she had high heels on, [so] she was like, 7-foot-6. It felt like I was going out for dinner with Mummy.”
The star joined her Avatar castmates Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, along with director James Cameron, at the grand opening of the new Disney “land,” which allows visitors to explore the lush alien world of Pandora, a “physical, tactile, olfactory, full-sensory experience,” as Cameron describes it.
“The extraordinary beauty of this place, I think people will come away with a lot of information about how fragile an ecosystem is,” Weaver says. “It’s just in time. I think President Trump should come down. I think it’s something we all need. The rest of the world is so ahead with all of this. Other countries are not climate deniers. I think it’s a fantastic experience where people can understand these issues from a new perspective.”
Although Weaver’s scientist character died at the end of the first Avatar film, she is signed on for the sequels — but remains tight-lipped about exactly how she is resurrected.
“Can’t tell you!” she said with a laugh. “But it’s awesome.”
In Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) — an upcoming Netflix release that had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival — UTA partner Jeremy Barber has a surprise cameo in the film during a scene at MOMA for the art opening for an artist played by Judd Hirsch.
Though he doesn’t speak, he shares the screen with a slew of legends — Hirsch, Dustin Hoffman and and Sigourney Weaver, playing herself. THR has learned that Barber’s role in the scene goes a bit deeper than his non-speaking cameo. According to a source, Weaver only agreed to appear in the film if her longtime rep Barber joined her onscreen. He clearly said “yes,” which helped out his other longtime client, Baumbach.
And it wasn’t his first time: Barber also appears in the director’s 2010 release Greenberg as “Musso and Frank’s patron.” That’s more credit than he gets in Meyerowitz, which is no credit. Nobody really needed to see their names flash up on the screen inside the Palais when the film premiered on May 21.
Baumbach’s dramedy, about a fractious clan of New York intellectuals, stars Hoffman as an emotionally withholding pater familias, a sculptor who’s never quite achieved the success he feels he deserves. Emma Thompson plays his latest wife and Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller play his two sons, who are half-brothers and rivals. They reunite when the patriarch is hospitalized.
The film received a more than four-minute standing ovation, and Barber was right there in line with the rest of the cast in prime VIP seating, front and center inside the famed Cannes theater.
We knew that Sigourney Weaver’s mysterious Alexandra will be the primary antagonist in Marvel and Netflix’s The Defenders, but we weren’t sure excatly what role she’d play in prompting the four heroes to team-up to put a stop to her machinations. The prevailing theory has always been that she’s somehow connected to The Hand (perhaps even the human vessel of The Beast?), and it sounds like that will indeed be the case.
During an interview with International Business Times, costume designer Stephanie Maslansky seemingly confirmed that Alexandra commands The Hand:
“I think that she’s clearly a baddie, and she’s the head of an ancient organization which is grounded in the comics. I hope that her wardrobe reflects that kind of ancientness. I hope I haven’t said too much. I hope Marvel doesn’t come after me.”
Though Maslansky doesn’t mention this ancient organization by name, it’s pretty obvious who she’s talking about. Not a huge surprise by any means, and we clearly still have a lot to learn about this character, but there you go.