Abduction's Sigourney Weaver works her badass fame
LOS ANGELES—Sometimes, when Sigourney Weaver is out and about minding her own business, strangers come up to her with special requests. Occasionally they recite to her her own dialogue from one of the many famous movies she’s appeared in. But other times they want her to speak the lines—right then and there, while she’s perhaps holding her dry cleaning. Guess which one, from a certain sci-fi sequel featuring a mean, toothy extraterrestrial, is the runaway favourite?
“ ‘Get away from her, you bitch!’ ” she says cheerfully in an L.A. hotel room. “But, you know, I don’t stand on the street corner repeating it.” Besides that small line from Aliens, she has also been asked to say “ ‘I am the Gatekeeper!’ and things like that” from Ghostbusters. Such, it seems, are the often curious responsibilities of being a movie star for more than 30 years.
Moments ago, Weaver walked into the room to talk about her new movie, Abduction (now playing), looking—at 5-11—rather magnificently tall. It reminded one of just why she so often plays smart, cool ass kickers (such as ET-fighting spaceship officer Ellen Ripley in those Alien movies), and how very good she is at said kicking. So good that surely she must steal roles originally written for, dare it be said, men?
“All the time,” she says, smiling not just a little. “There was a young journalist who just said, ‘Are you insulted by that?’ I didn’t say ‘Darling!’ but I wanted to say ‘No!’ Our world has changed and women are now in fields that used to be male. I think that a lot of Hollywood writers still make stories with too much testosterone and then the smart people casting the movie go, ‘You know what would help this is if we made it a woman’s part.’ ” She has but one stipulation. “As long as they don’t change the part. I like to play the part exactly as it was written for a man because I can bring my own womanliness to it. I don’t need them to write in some little snivelling scene or whatever. You know, I can bring all that.”
Weaver’s Dr. Bennett in Abduction was written for, that’s right, a man. Dr. Bennett is shrink to Nathan (Taylor Lautner), a teenager with anger issues who quickly has other things, like bad men with big guns, to worry about. On-set, Weaver spent quality time with her young castmates Lautner and Lily Collins. “We were making pictures of each other on Photo Booth,” she says. But perhaps the film veteran has something to offer such tender costars. “I think I do need to reach out and show them that I’m kind of a goon. ’Cause some of these kids have Alien posters on their walls. You know, I’m just the actor.”
And despite the fact that her character, Grace, appeared peacefully deceased at Avatar’s end, one hopes the goon will nevertheless be making those sequels with director James Cameron.
“Don’t worry. As Jim says, ‘No one ever dies in science fiction.’ ”
Meanwhile, Weaver plays an Uzi-wielding villainess in Mabrouk El Mechri’s The Cold Light of Day with Bruce Willis. Does she, by chance, kick Willis’s ass?
“I’m afraid I do,” she says, sounding not at all afraid but in fact much pleased.
Watch the trailer for Abduction.