Cheat Sheet: Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver (née Susan Alexandra Weaver)
Date of Birth:
8th October 1949
Place of birth:
Manhattan, New York City, USA
Acting, being tall, being the Queen of Sci-Fi
Alien, Ghostbusters, Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, Working Girl, Galaxy Quest, Avatar
What you probably already know:
Well, this bit should be easy. You already know Sigourney Weaver for starring in Alien. And for starring in Aliens. And Alien 3. And Alien Resurrection. And Ghostbusters. And Ghostbusters II. And Galaxy Quest. And WALL·E. And Avatar. Know who we mean yet? For more than thirty years, Weaver has been the most prominent female sci-fi/fantasy star in Hollywood – her closest competitors are Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich, which is fairly illuminating in itself. Nominated for three Oscars in three years – two of them for sci-fi films, for God’s sake, that NEVER happens – and relentless in her pursuit of onscreen badassery, Sigourney Weaver is officially the coolest warrant officer ever to duke it out with an Alien Queen while wearing an exosuit.
When she’s not off-world, six-foot redhead Weaver has popped up in many more of the last three decades’ most well-received films. In 1988 she became the first actress ever to win two acting Golden Globes in a single year, receiving the Best Actress award for her real-life role as gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist and Best Supporting Actress for appearing alongside Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford in Working Girl. She was also nominated for the same awards at the Oscars, becoming one of an élite group of actors (the list, which includes Cate Blanchett, Al Pacino and Emma Thompson and Julianne Moore, is now up to eleven) to be nominated for both the Best and Best Supporting Oscars for two different films in the same year. Well done her.
What you might not know:
When she’s offscreen (and not making crap films like her recent efforts Abduction, The Cold Light of Day and Red Lights), Weaver has established herself as something of an environmentalist – her iconic role as Dian Fossey sparked a passion for great big monkeys which has seen her become president of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. She has also turned up at the UN to campaign against deep-sea trawling (probably just worried they’ll wake up Clover and she’ll have to deal with it) and has masterminded some sort of poverty campaign which we don’t understand because we got distracted by watching her sink that basket again.
Lad. Her commitments to a) the environment and b) being a proper actress haven’t tempted Weaver to disdain the genre which made her name – she’s popped up in everything from Futurama to Paul, and her role as chain-smoking scientist Dr Grace Alexander was one of Avatar‘s few saving graces (ha!). She’s expressed an interest in coming back for Alien 5 and Ghostbusters 3, and despite her character very obviously dying just before Avatar‘s ridiculous final scenes James ‘I’m never making anything but films about catmonkey Smurfs ever again, so there’ Cameron has confirmed that she’ll be back for the sequel as “no one ever dies in science fiction”. We’ll look forward to Alien 75, Ghostbusters 106 and Galaxy Quest A MILLION, then!
Sigourney Weaver quote:
“I’ve always thought that a lot of the problems in the world would be solved if a spaceship did arrive, then anyone with one head and two arms and two legs would be your brother! It wouldn’t matter where they were from or what they believed or anything. It might be good for us.”
What to say at a dinner party:
“After thirty-five years in Hollywood, Sigourney Weaver shows no signs of slowing down or passing on her laser crown to the next generation of sci-fi heroines. And if you suggest it she’ll inject a foetus into your face.”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“Is it cold up there, Siggy?”
Avatar 2‘s due out in 2016, so you might as well dust off your Alien box set….