Category: Interview

Sigourney Weaver on Her Alien Audition: ‘I Wasn’t Sure I Even Wanted to Be in a Movie’

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.

Source: people.com

Sigourney Weaver Turns Tables, Lands Her Agent a Role in Netflix Film

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.

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

The Defenders first look: Meet Sigourney Weaver’s villain — and learn her name

Come as you are, Defenders. There’s a new enemy in town.

Meet Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra, the villain of Marvel’s The Defenders impressive enough to draw the attention of Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). She’s an “utter badass,” showrunner Marco Ramirez says of the character, who is the perfect fit for the Sigourney Weaver, of Alien and Avatar fame. “Sigourney is the kind of person you can buy as the smartest person in the room, who you can also buy as a person holding a flamethrower. Her character is a very powerful force in New York City. She’s everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous.” He pauses. “I’m sorry. I can only say a bunch of adjectives right now.

A flurry of adjectives sounds about right for Alexandra, and not just because Marvel’s keeping further details about her character under tight wraps, so much so that probing Ramirez for more on Weaver’s character is like trying to stick a needle through Luke Cage’s unbreakable skin. After all, she (or whatever she’s fighting for) has to walk a very difficult, spoiler-ific line when it comes to the team-up series. “We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together,” Ramirez says, “but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.

For now, EW has the exclusive first look at Alexandra sitting high above the New York skyline, dressed in angelic, rabbit-in-a-snowstorm white and looking up at… someone?… Or something? She has no code name and no comic-book history, but Ramirez teases that she brings an “intellectual sophistication” that matches former big bads like Daredevil‘s Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). In that case, may we suggest Queenpin as a moniker?

Source: ew.com

The Badass: Sigourney Weaver Still Larger Than Life

   

If you’ve ever been to the McKittrick Hotel, the site of Punchdrunk’s immersive theater (and mandatory stop for visiting relatives) Sleep No More, you know it can get creepy at night. But even on an afternoon this summer—empty of all Eyes Wide Shut masks, bellhops lip-syncing to Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” or impromptu nude dance sequence in blood baths—the McKittrick still has a looming, menacing presence. Or maybe I was just nervous. After all, I was there to meet Sigourney Weaver, and a dark, semi-abandoned haunted house might have been the wrong call. Why couldn’t I have picked a well-lit coffee shop to interview the star of all the Aliens and Ghostbusters?

If I was skittish, Weaver, already posing for photos when I tentatively tiptoed into an empty bar area, seemed entirely at ease. “Don’t let me forget, they have my meat in the freezer,” Weaver reminded no one in particular between poses. “I really can’t forget to take the meat with me when I go.” Directly following our interview, Weaver would be driving back to the Adirondacks, and the possibility of leaving the meat (never clarified as to how much there was of it, or what kind) was causing her more anxiety than a Hitchcockian faux-tel. Weaver—68 years old and 6 feet tall without heels—can make herself at home in even the most inhospitable of environments.

The notion that Sigourney Weaver is the embodiment of the “DIY and take no shit” authority figure for a generation of young women might sound, in retrospect, like a backhanded compliment. But for those of us who grew up as tomboys in the 80s, Weaver stood as shining beacon of some other way to be. While other girls wanted to be Princess Leia or Jasmine, there were always a few of us who wanted to be Ripley. Or later on, Katharine Parker in Working Girl, a woman so ahead of her time in office politicking that she managed to mash-up Claire Underwood from House of Cards and Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, a solid two decades before either existed.

I think it’s a perfect time to be different,” Weaver tells me on the topic of beauty standards, as we slide into a dark and quiet booth in the red-curtained bar room. “I think it’s our time.” She notes her obsession with watching the Olympics. “You see the glorious range of what women look like, how strong they are. I think this is all changing on screen, as people want to see themselves reflected a little bit more. They don’t want to see some little stick figure up there all the time.

Full interview: observer.com

 

Sigourney Weaver: ‘I’m asked to play awful people all the time’

Sigourney Weaver: ‘I’m a weird duck... I was always too tall to be the girlfriend.’

Sigourney Weaver has four films coming out between now and 2022 – three Avatars and an Alien sequel – most of which have yet to be filmed, and which the 67-year-old has prepared for by cramming in as many small films as she can in advance. This is a psychological as well as an acting necessity, a way for Weaver to fine-tune before the onslaught – and which, in the case of A Monster Calls, has resulted in an almost unbearably poignant movie. The film, adapted from the Patrick Ness novel about a child who loses his mother, is so finely wrought that when Weaver first read the script, she thought, “I don’t think I can be part of this, it’s too painful. And then you realise this is your job, to tell the story.

Weaver is bright today, in a studio just outside New York, with that friendly but slightly patrician air she puts to good use in the roles she does best: the ostensible villain who isn’t all that she seems. For someone as open as Weaver, she plays repressed very well, most notably Janey in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, but going back as far as Katharine in Working Girl, and even to Ripley in Alien, the film that established her as an actor able to convey large internal movement via the smallest surface ripple. These roles are often characterised as “cold”, which feels to Weaver like a gendered term designed to debase their humanity. “The male perspective may be that it’s a cold person. But in fact, like in Ice Storm, Janey was disconnected: she couldn’t focus on the present and her family. Bored and lost. But I would never have gone to ‘cold’.

If she is optimistic about human nature, it is not only a requirement of her job – to inhabit another psychology requires deep levels of empathy – but of what appears to be her generous disposition. A small example: I am 30 minutes late after a train debacle, something that, with an actor of Weaver’s standing, would customarily cause upset on a par with the sky falling in, but is instead met with concern. Standing up from the lunch table to her full 6ft, and in a tweed jacket that speaks to an idea she has of England, she projects an amused frankness that she later describes, with some embarrassment that it should need to be clarified, as “normal”. One can be the sort of actor who shouts and screams and throws tantrums, but “honestly,” Weaver says, “life is too short”.

In the new movie, directed by JA Bayona and co-starring Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, Weaver plays a woman whose adult daughter is dying of cancer; an unsympathetic figure, at least as she is seen through the eyes of her grandson. It is a fairytale of sorts, what Weaver calls “a unique blend of allegory and harsh, harsh reality”, and one that, in the context of her career in sci-fi and dystopian drama, is in some ways the most frightening landscape of all. A Monster Calls covers the triptych of worst nightmares: of a child losing a parent; of dying oneself and orphaning one’s children; and, the worst of all, suffered by Weaver’s character (and the thing that makes her tight-lipped demeanour so interesting), that of losing one’s child. “It’s not that she’s cold – it’s that she’s not sharing, because she can’t,” she says.

The film is set in England, and for reference Weaver drew on her own mother, born and raised in Essex, a graduate of Rada and the West End stage before she emigrated to New York and met Weaver’s television producer father. “She had the most beautiful speaking voice,” she says. “When I began shooting, I sometimes sounded like her. I really was uncomfortable. And I really needed to find the grandmother’s accent. It’s not a Manchester accent, but we didn’t want to be posh.” (The class setting is one of the few aspects of the film that doesn’t quite add up, though the film’s dream-like texture largely forgives it.)

Full interview: theguardian.com

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