Sigourney Weaver says sci-fi ‘reflects how powerful women are’

What does the future hold for us?”
“It’s fantastic that they’re writing good women’s parts in these movies, because I think [the genre] reflects how powerful women are,” she continues. “I feel very fortunate that I got to play her, but I have to certainly acknowledge the writers…. 18). You know, who are we? “And maybe we’re more powerful on screen than we actually are in the world — and certainly in the halls of Congress — right now. That role, of course, was Ellen Ripley in Alien, a film Weaver tells EW she didn’t hesitate to do. She was just a character, an everyman, a young person who’s put in this extraordinary situation.”
Since then, Ripley’s been referenced again and again by actresses who take similar leading roles. Believe me, when we did the other   Alien [sequels], I saw how hard it was to write a woman in a heroic, straight, unsentimental, authentic way. For a long time, it felt like there weren’t those roles, or if there were, there was a great emphasis on sexuality. Ripley doesn’t have time to try to be sympathetic, you know?” She laughs. Most recently, Charlize Theron — whose Furiosa in   Mad Max: Fury Road   drew comparisons to the Alien   heroine   — also brought up Ripley in   an interview with   Variety   about   her bloody, boundary-pushing role in the action-heavy thriller   Atomic Blonde, saying she “would be remiss not to acknowledge” Weaver’s work, along with Linda Hamilton’s as Sarah Connor in the   Terminator   franchise. So many people in the business would have said, ‘Well now we have to make her more sympathetic.’ And then it’s suddenly this token scene that shows we’re actually   feminine   after all, and that’s frankly bulls—, because that doesn’t happen in real life. Show Full Article “If she’s still a relevant character, I think it’s because I didn’t have any of that dragging me down.”
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Aside from introducing action heroines to the big screen, Weaver also became the first actress to be recognized at the Academy Awards for purely sci-fi work, receiving a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1987 for Aliens. What does it mean to be human? Previously: her thoughts on the   Avatar   sequels, the   Ghostbusters   reboot backlash, and her hints about her mysterious character on   Marvel’s The Defenders   (out on Netflix Aug. “There weren’t any preconceptions… Since the part was written for a man, I thought the writers were especially smart in the fact that they didn’t turn Ripley into a   female   character. Since then, A-list actresses like Amy Adams (Arrival), Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow), and, of course, Theron and Lawrence have migrated to the genre — a trend Weaver says doesn’t surprise her at all. “I thought, ‘I’d done so much Off-Broadway weird stuff, this is just the film equivalent of that,’” she recalls. Sigourney Weaver was relatively fresh out of drama school when she landed the role that would change her life, launch a franchise, and inspire a long line of big-screen heroines. While speaking about playing Katniss in   The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence cited Ripley as a model for her performance. Now we’ve sort of found a balance.”
Weaver spoke with EW for a feature in this year’s Comic-Con issue. “I’m very flattered when actresses talk about Ripley,” she says. “I think part of it is the desire for actors and actresses to be in something that a lot of people around the world want to see,” she explains. “Science fiction is a very undervalued space critically, and it makes sense to me that young people are very interested in the questions that science fiction poses to us as a species. For her part, Weaver credits the Alien   films’ writers’ consistency with depicting Ripley. Kate Beckinsale, who helms the   Underworld franchise, adores Weaver’s work as the heroine so much   she nicknamed herself after her.