'I'd rather have a small part in a movie I love than a bigger part in one I don't care about.'
'I'm having a wonderful time producing. There are good producers and bad producers. I've learned the hard way what not to do. The ultimate aim is to produce things I'm not actually in. I'm not looking for vehicles for myself. It's not a vanity company.'
'Some of the most intense affairs are between actors and characters. There's a fire in the human heart and we jump into it with the same obsession as we have with our lovers.'
'I'd rather work with a first-time director who's passionate about the material. I've done enough movies with old and jaded people who are just like, "Let's get this over with."
'I've always regretted having such a serious career because I'm really more of an idiot.'
'In Hollywood, if you are a man and speak your mind openly, you're considered a man in full. But, if you are a woman and do the same, you're nothing but an annoying bitch'.
'Usually all Hollywood wants you to do is what you just did. After The Ice Storm (1997) I was offered a thousand "Ice Storms" and so on. You always get offered the same thing again and again, if you're not very careful. It's up to you to swing back and forth.'
'I think I get sent the roles Meryl's [Meryl Streep] not doing.'
Prayers for Bobby (2009)
Crazy on the Outside (2009)
The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
WALL·E (2008) (voice), Baby Mama (2008)
Vantage Point (2008), Be Kind Rewind (2008)
The Girl in the Park (2007), Infamous (2006)
The TV Set (2006), Snow Cake (2006)
The Village (2004), Imaginary Heroes (2004)
Holes (2003), Tadpole (2002)
Heartbreakers (2001), Company Man (2000)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
A Map of the World (1999)
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)
The Ice Storm (1997), Copycat (1995)
Jeffrey (1995), Death and the Maiden (1994)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
Alien³ (1992), Ghostbusters II (1989)
Working Girl (1988)
Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
Half Moon Street (1986), Aliens (1986)
Une femme ou deux (1985)
Ghost Busters (1984)
Deal of the Century (1983)
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
Eyewitness (1981), Alien (1979)
Madman (1978), Annie Hall (1977)
'I've never been babe material'
It's hard to believe that Sigourney Weaver – credited with creating the first female action hero – turns 60 next year. It will also be 30 years since she emerged from deep space hyper-sleep in a white singlet to blast the "bitch" in Alien.
Ask her how she feels about turning 60, and she laughs. "Bring it on," she says, sounding not unlike her fearless alter ego, Lt Ellen Ripley.
Does Weaver ever tire of being defined by Ripley? The image of Ripley in a grubby white singlet is burned into the public psyche. "I certainly wouldn't have had the career I've had without Ripley, and even if the public continues to see me as Ripley, directors send me all sorts of things.
I think if you're used to playing a babe, it's much tougher to make the transition to other roles. I guess I was lucky that I wasn't babe material, or maybe just briefly in Ghostbusters." Can she really not know that, among male sci-fi fans, Weaver is the ultimate babe?
What is going on with the veteran actress and Stanford University graduate who made history as the first woman to be nominated for both best actress and best supporting actress (for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl respectively) at the 1989 Academy Awards and yet miss out on both awards?
“I’ve had two movies come out recently. Vantage Point was No.1 at the box office. It’s a thriller with a very good premise. And there’s a film by Michel Gondry called Be Kind Rewind with Jack Black and Mos Def. And in about a month, I have another film out with Tina Fey called Baby Mama, which is very funny.”
The New Yorker declares, however, that she does not intend to reprise the role of Ripley for a fifth Alien movie! (The four were Alien in 1979, Aliens in 1986, Alien³ in 1992, and Alien: Resurrection in 1997.)
Avatar Role: Dr. Grace Augustine
Sigourney was born Susan Alexandra Weaver, on October 8, 1949, in Leroy Hospital in New York City. In 1969, Sigourney enrolled in Stanford University, majoring in English Literature. She also participated in school plays, especially Japanese Noh plays.
After completing her studies in 1971, she applied for the Yale School of Drama in New York. Despite appearing at the audition reading a Bertolt Brecht speech and wearing a rope-like belt, she was accepted by the school but her professors rejected her, because of her height, and kept typecasting her as prostitutes and old women (whereas classmate Meryl Streep was treated almost reverently).
However, in 1973, while making her theatrical debut with "Watergate Classics", she met up with a team of playwrights and actors and began hanging around with them, resulting in long-term friendships with Christopher Durang, Kate McGregor-Stewart and Albert Innaurato.
In 1977 she was cast in the role Shelley Duvall finally played in Annie Hall, after rejecting the part due to prior stage commitments. In the end, however, Woody Allen offered her a part in the film that, while short (she was onscreen for six seconds), made many people sit up and take notice. She later appeared in Madman and, of course, Alien.
The role of the tough, uncompromising Ripley made Sigourney an "overnight" star and brought her a British Award Nomination. She next appeared in Eyewitness and The Year of Living Dangerously, the latter being a great success in Australia that won an Oscar and brought Sigourney and co-star Mel Gibson to Cannes in 1983. The same year she delivered an honorary Emmy award to her father, a few months before her uncle, actor Doodles Weaver, committed suicide.
That year also brought her a romance with Jim Simpson, her first since having broken up two years previously with James M. McClure. She and Simpson were married on 1 October 1984. Sigourney had meanwhile played in the poorly received Deal of the Century and the mega-hit Ghost Busters. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her tour-de-force performance in the play "Hurly Burly". Then followed Une femme ou deux, Half Moon Street and Aliens. The latter was a huge success, and Sigourney was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
She then entered her most productive career period and snatched Academy Award nominations, in both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, for her intense portrayal of Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey and her delicious performance as a double-crossing, power-hungry corporate executive in Working Girl. She ended up losing in both, but made up for it to a degree by winning both Golden Globes. After appearing in a documentary about fashion photographer Helmut Newton, Frames from the Edge, and reprising her role in the sequel Ghostbusters II, she discovered she was pregnant and retired from public life for a while.
She gave birth to her daughter Charlotte on 13 April 1990, and returned to movies as a (now skinhead) Ripley in Alien3 and a gorgeous Queen Isabella of Spain in 1492: Conquest of Paradise, her second film with director Ridley Scott. She starred in the political comedy Dave alongside Kevin Kline, and then a Roman Polanski thriller, Death and the Maiden.
In 1995 she was seen in Jeffrey and Copycat. The next year she "trod the boards" in "Sex and Longing", yet another Durang play. She hadn't performed in the theater in many years before that play, her last stage performances occurring in the 1980s in "As You Like It", "Beyond Therapy", "The Marriage of 'Bette and Boo'" and "The Merchant of Venice". In 1997 she was the protagonist in Grimm's Snow White: A Tale of Terror, The Ice Storm and Alien: Resurrection. Her performance in "The Ice Storm" got her a BAFTA prize and another Golden Globe nod.
She also gave excellent performances in A Map of the World and the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest. Her next comedy, Company Man, wasn't quite so warmly welcomed critically and financially, however. She next played a sexy con artist in Heartbreakers and had a voice role in Big Bad Love. Sigourney starred in Tadpole and The Guys, the enthralling September 11th one-act drama she played on stage on late 2001. She remains a remarkable and enormously talented actress, and is still one of the world's great beauties.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history for 1995 (#81) and 2007 (#74). Ranked #71 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997] #13 of Sci-Fi's Sexy 50, by Femme Fatales magazine. 
Ranked #20 on E4's 100 Greatest Movie Stars. She was the second highest female on the list behind #13 Audrey Hepburn. Her performance as Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986) is ranked #58 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006). Her performance as Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" quadrilogy is ranked #8 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
In the film Alien: Resurrection (1997) Sigourney actually managed to sink the basketball into the hoop backwards on the first take, even though she wasn't supposed to or intended to. The shot was almost ruined because Ron Perlman broke character because he was so amazed.
Her salary for Alien: Resurrection (1997) was more than the entire cost of the original Alien (1979) movie. In many of her roles her character has had to deal with artificially intelligent spaceships. In the "Alien" movies, she battles them. In Galaxy Quest (1999), much to her character's chagrin, she repeated whatever the spaceship said. In addition, on an episode of "Futurama" (1999), and in the film WALL·E (2008), she had the chance to voice a spaceship.
Dana Barrett, her character in the Ghostbusters films, is the only character among the leads who did not appear in the animated adaptation, The Real Ghostbusters (1986). Suffered nightmares for two weeks after reading the script for The Village (2004).
She is one of the elite eleven thespians to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Lead Acting Academy Award in the same year for their achievements in two different movies. The other nine are Fay Bainter, Teresa Wright, Barry Fitzgerald (he has been nominated in both categories for the same role in the same movie), Jessica Lange, Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore, Jamie Foxx and Cate Blanchett.
Along with Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Janet Leigh, Jodie Foster (who won), Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair, she is one of the few actresses to have been nominated for an Oscar for a performance in a horror movie.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1985 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for David Rabe's "Hurlyburly," but lost to a co-star, Judith Ivey.
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Attended the Yale School of Drama, the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT., and graduated from Stanford University in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in English.
Changed her name after reading "The Great Gatsby". Afraid to travel in elevators. Speaks fluent French and German. Singer/songwriter Mike Garrigan wrote a song entitled "Sigourney Weaver" that pays tribute to the actress.
Sigourney Weaver: 'Avatar will change
what people want in the cinema'
The star of the Alien films and Avatar talks about
feminism, 'wild men' and why being tall stopped her
from playing romantic roles
By Ed Pilkington | Excerpt: guardian.co.uk
One of the first things that people think about when the name Sigourney Weaver pops into conversation, along with her braininess and patrician elegance, is her height. You only have to think of the scene in Infamous when she dances with Toby Jones playing Truman Capote, in which his head reaches somewhere around her navel.
Then there's the story about how she acquired her name. She was christened Susan, but when she was 14 she decided it didn't suit a person like her who was 6ft tall in her shoes.
So she seized on the name Sigourney, having spotted it in The Great Gatsby. Sigourney seemed to her to be long and curvy: much more appropriate for someone her size. I knew all that well before I met Weaver in a hotel in Los Angeles. So it sounds silly to say this, but I was, well, surprisingly surprised by how tall she is in person. As I entered her suite, she rose to greet me. Then she carried on rising. And then she rose some more. When finally she came to a halt, standing before me at full stretch, I knew how it must feel to be Ronnie Corbett.
The impressive thing about Weaver is not her height per se, but how comfortably, proudly even, she wears it. She is dressed in a black evening grown and high heels that accentuate it, as if saying to the world: "If you have an issue with my height, then that's your problem, buddy!" I ask her whether being tall has been a plus or minus in her career, and am surprised yet again, this time by her answer. "Height has absolutely kept me from working with conventional directors," she says.
Leave it to Weaver
by Kathy Heintzelman | Excerpt:
For someone who was told at the Yale School of Drama that she had no talent, Sigourney Weaver sure has come a long way. “I wanted to prove them wrong. It activated in me some sort of spite,” she tells writer Margy Rochlin in MORE’s December/January cover story.
Today, after multiple Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and worldwide recognition as an actress who can shine in anything from drama to comedy to sci-fi, she's about to unveil her work in one of the year's most anticipated films, James Cameron's 3-D thriller Avatar—and she's reveling in the wealth of roles being offered to her.
Weaver loves the fact that when she first played the now-iconic role of Alien's Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, "I didn't have to be a superwoman in a tiny outfit doing bizarre things," she tells MORE. "My impression is that [today's young actresses] want to be more glamorous, like, ‘Why can’t I be smart and powerful and sexy?’ Well, to me what was sexy about Ripley was that she was who she was." She also reveals that her Alien screen test involved "a scene that's not in the movie, where the captain and Ripley have sex. I said to [director Ridley Scott], 'That is so ridiculous. Who's going to have sex with that thing running around?' ”
Sigourney Weaver: Avatar and Her Career
By Karen Durbin
Photo: Gilles Bensimon
Styled by Kate Lanphear
When Sigourney Weaver stars this year at the age of 59 as Dr. Grace Augustine in James Cameron’s $200 million science fiction megapic Avatar, she’ll be punching a longawaited hole in the celluloid ceiling for women: parity at last with Eastwood, Ford, and the rest of the male stars who can headline a Hollywood blockbuster even though they’re - gak - middle-aged.
But for Weaver, setting this landmark will be an anniversary. In 1979 she became the first female action hero when she played Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the only woman and sole survivor of a doomed starship crew in Alien, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror epic.
"It had nothing to do with feminism," she says wryly. "Men decided to make Ripley a woman for commercial reasons." Cameron’s 1986 sequel, Aliens, made her role more soulful as well as explicitly feminist and pertinent to women’s lives. The movie’s famous ad, featuring a battle-smeared Weaver cradling a huge gun in one arm and a frightened little girl in the other, graced bulletin boards in women’s offices around the country.
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