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Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver, co-star of the "Imaginary Heroes" Movie!

Though she is a classically trained dramatic actress and has played a variety of roles, Sigourney Weaver is still best known for her portrayal of the steel-jawed, alien-butt-kicking space crusader Ellen Ripley from the four Alien movies. The formidably beautiful, 5'11'' actress was born Susan Weaver to NBC president Pat Weaver and actress Elizabeth Inglis. Her father had a passion for Roman history and originally wanted to name her Flavia, but after reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby at the age of 14, Weaver renamed herself Sigourney, after one of the book's minor characters. After being schooled in her native New York City, Weaver attended Stanford University and then obtained her master's at the Yale School of Drama where, along with classmate Meryl Streep, she appeared in classical Greek plays. After earning her degree, Weaver was only able to find work in experimental plays produced well away from Broadway, as more conventional producers found her too tall to perform in mainstream works. After getting her first real break in the soap opera Somerset (1970-1976), she made her film debut with a bit part in Woody Allen's Annie Hall in 1977. She had her first major role in Madman which was released just prior to Alien in 1979.

Though the role of Ripley was originally designed for Veronica Cartwright (who ultimately played the doomed Lambert), scouts for director Ridley Scott saw Weaver working off-Broadway and felt she would be perfect for the part. The actress' take on the character was laced with a subtlety that made her a new kind of female action hero: Intelligent, resourceful, and unconsciously sexy, Weaver's Ripley was a woman with the guts to master her fear in order to take on a terrifying unknown enemy. Alien proved to be one of the year's biggest hits and put Weaver on Hollywood's A-list, though she would not reprise her character for another seven years. In between, she worked to prove her versatility, playing solid dramatic roles in Eyewitness (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), while letting a more playful side show as a cellist who channels a fearsome demon in Ghostbusters (1984).

In 1986, Aliens burst into the theater, even gorier and more rip-roaring than its predecessor. This time, Weaver focused more on the maternal side of her character, which only served to make her tougher than ever. Her unforgettable performance was honored with a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and was followed up by Weaver's similarly haunting portrayal of doomed naturalist/animal rights activist Diane Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist (1988). The role won Weaver her second Best Actress Oscar nomination, and that same year, she received yet another Oscar nomination -- this time for Best Supporting Actress -- for her deliciously poisonous portrayal of Melanie Griffith's boss in Working Girl.

After 1992's Alien 3, Weaver had her next big hit playing President Kevin Kline's lonely wife in the bittersweet romantic comedy Dave (1993). She then gave a gripping performance as a rape/torture victim who faces down the man who may or may not have been her tormentor in Roman Polanski's moody thriller Death and the Maiden (1994). During the latter half of the decade, Weaver appeared in Alien Resurrection -- perhaps the most poorly received installment of the series -- but increasingly surfaced in offbeat roles such as the coolly fragile Janey in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm and the psychotic, wicked Queen in the adult-oriented HBO production The Grimm Brothers' Snow White (both 1997). In 1999, she starred in the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest, making fun of her image as a sci-fi goddess while continuing to prove her remarkable versatility.

Weaver's first high-profile project of the new millenium saw her swindling Ray Liotta and Gene Hackman as a sexy con-woman teamed up with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Already into her fifties, Weaver proved she still possessed plenty of sex-appeal even alongside a substantially younger starlet like Hewitt. She played up her sultry side some more in the well-received 2002 indie-comedy Tadpole, but changed gears a bit in 2003, playin Sigourney Weaver g a villain in the family sleeper hit Holes.

In 2004, Weaver could be seen as part of the ensemble cast in M. Night Shyamalan's summer thriller The Village. Weaver has been married to stage director Jim Simpson since 1984. When not appearing in films, she continues to be active in theater. Sigourney was born on October 8, 1949, in New York.

Weaver and Rickman Make Snow Cake

Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, who together starred opposite Tim Allen in 1999's sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest, have joined director Marc Evans' Snow Cake. Production Weekly reports that the quirky drama will start shooting next month in Canada.

Set in the middle of winter in Wawa, Ontario, Snow Cake is an engaging and original story which explores the odd friendship between a high-functioning autistic woman named Linda and Alan, a quiet, brooding man traumatized after being involved in a fatal car accident. Alan comes into Linda's life following a personal twist of fate.

Weaver can currently be seen in writer/director Dan Harris' Imaginary Heroes, playing in New York and Los Angeles. Rickman is Professor Snape in the "Harry Potter" films and next voices Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The tough and daring Sigourney Weaver talks Imaginary Heroes, Alien 5 and more

Few actresses over 50 can embody dignity, toughness and sex appeal all at once. Sigourney Weaver does this in spades. Her career has been all over the map, from the blaring guns and screaming spaceships of Ripley's life in the Alien series to the sexy and possessed Barrett in Ghostbusters to the broad comedy of Heartbreakers, there aren't a whole lot of roles out of Weaver's range as an actress.

Her latest work in writer/director Dan Harris' harrowing new film, Imaginary Heroes, is one of her most emotional parts yet. As Sandy, she tries her best to keep herself and her son's life together as she begins to unravel herself. After the suicide of her son Matt (Kip Pardue), Sandy undergoes a life exploration of sorts. She grows closer to her other son, Tim (Emile Hirsch) and even has a run in with the law. The role puts Weaver's skills to the test, evoking comedy, drama and the bizarre all at once.

In person, Weaver embodies all the same talents she has as an actress. She's sexy and keeps herself in excellent shape. She's also approachable and friendly, immediately putting you at ease. Talking to her becomes conversational even amongst the most awkward journalists. Modesty is another trait you can add to the list as, even at this point in her career, Weaver possesses no high and mighty attitude.

The first question is about her approach to this "irreverent mom" character in Imaginary Heroes. "You guys always think that there's a system," she says with a laugh. "Well, it was such a wonderful script, and I think very different from Ice Storm in the sense that it was from the kids' point of view much more and it was much more irreverent, much more ruckus, I think, inside. The music of Ice Storm is very like the movie and the music of our movie is very much like our movie. I listened to a lot of Jim Morrison, that helped. I just felt like, here is a woman who'd kept a lid on herself for years and years. Not in a good way, not even in a suburban proper way, but just had closed down and then this event that happens, this loss of her older son, and then, at that point, what the hell? You've already blown it, so you just then have to do what you can do to go from one day to the next… I guess I found that very touching. It's every parent's nightmare that that would happen, but their responses were not what we, you know, the Hallmark card responses… When I saw Jeff Daniels and he was my husband, my God we, we did the first scene where we set the place at the table for the missing son and it just sort of told you everything you needed to know about that marriage…
While Sandy's rage gets pretty extreme at some points in the film, Weaver says that she can certainly identify with that on some level. "Oh yes. (Laughs) You have to, if you're a mother, with today's schools and everything. I haven't had to go quite as far as Sandy, but I would've. In fact I, you know, when people are unfair to your children, it really is a very primitive response and you have to kind of try not to be quite so primal about it. But I think that's an instinct every parent feels when someone underestimates your child, or when the bureaucracy's treating all kids the same, and just the way our educational system works sometimes feels very unfair to kids. I always hated authority figures anyway, so in that sense, it was really easy to play Sandy. I always hated teachers and heads of school…"

"I'm very square. I'm very old fashioned, I think. Actually, I wouldn't let my daughter see this movie. Because I think it doesn't glorify drugs, but it certainly doesn't condemn them either. I think, for a 14 year old, seeing what people do at these parties where there are no parents, would look intimidating and kind of cool. I feel I'm very lucky because my daughter is a pretty communicative kid and I think the whole thing is an improvisation that parents do. I think you have to trust your instincts ultimately and I think the terrible thing about Matt in our story is that I lost Matt years and years ago. For some reason, because he was closer to his father, I didn't speak up. I think I could see how unhappy he was and I didn't say anything because he sort of belonged to Ben. And I think that's another interesting thing in our story, that I bet that happens to a lot of families. Certain kids gravitate to certain parents because they're very similar or whatever and I think that's fascinating, frankly."

Sandy's relationship with her son Tim is an interesting one that is pretty atypical of a mother/son relationship seen on film. "Sometimes, I think because she is so lonely, that she puts more on Tim than she should and it is probably a burden to him, but he is sort of her lifeline. I think they have a great relationship in a lot of ways and I think that their senses of humor are very well matches. There are some parents who don't laugh with their kids very much. I can't imagine. My daughter is so funny and has been since she was about six months old. Even at three weeks old, I used to look at her face and she was making herself smile. Nothing was happening, she was just thinking things. I was like, 'Oh good, she's going to be like my uncle Doodle.' I had this crazy comedian uncle, Doodles Weaver, and I thought, 'Oh, she's got that Weaver gene. She can make herself laugh.'

"She's a very kind of raw person, and I'd never played anyone like her before. I listened to a lot of rock music. I think also, I used to hang out at Filmore West when I was in college. I think there were a lot of parts of myself that I never developed that I funneled into Sandy. So that did make it enjoyable, but I think, you know, it was certainly challenging, because again, what they are going through is so difficult and so painful and the way they try to escape is so naïve. I really liked her, but I never… I don't think you ever really know what you're doing. You don't have time to go, 'Oh, this is the right choice, I'm gonna ace this scene.' You don't have time for that. You're always insecure and you're always, you know, just flinging yourself into the void and then it's on film."
Weaver's intense connection with Hirsch and her interesting sort of disconnection with Jeff Daniels as her husband Ben carry Imaginary Heroes through its character journeys. "Tim is a very different part and, you know, we had so many scenes together and I think I clung onto Emile as a lifeline just like Sandy does. I knew that that was what was gonna give us wings. If we could reach each other, the rest of the movie would make sense. In fact, that happened with all of us. Those first scenes with Jeff, because he brought so much more to Ben than I read in the script. That's the one character which I thought was quite underwritten, but in a good way… Jeff, God, he's just roiling inside, if that's that word. So much going on and he says so little, and it's just like this huge undersea mammal that every now and again comes to the surface and comes back down again. It's really an amazing performance. The actors give you so much. And that combined with the script… It is, to me, a mysterious process. I'm not exactly sure why it works. But I think its fun to do it in an independent film situation, because there's no time. You totally have to fly on your instincts and you have to totally commit, and you do a scene one angle and then you move on because that's all you have time to do, and I think that's great."
Most audiences will never know or suspect that Imaginary Heroes was written and directed by a man in his mid-twenties. "Young man and an old soul. Yeah, I mean, I don't know when he wrote the script, but he sent it to me when he was already 21. And then I got to meet him, and I immediately wanted to do it. It didn't bother me that he was a first time director or any of that, because it was such a masterful script, that I thought the only person who should direct this is whoever wrote it. And then I met him, and of course he looks even younger than he actually is and he's such a gentle, smart guy. I think I have very strong, inappropriate maternal feelings for him. He doesn't need a mother because he's very mature, but I just adore him. He really is a great director. He's going to have a great career and I feel very fortunate that I got to be in the first film."

With the Alien films, Weaver broke down some longstanding barriers for women in action films. Before that film, most women in action films were portrayed as little more than eye candy, a romantic interest to support the plight of the male lead. We asked Sigourney what she thinks it take for women today to be taken seriously as action stars. "Well, I think that they should talk to their writers, because the main way to have a good woman action hero is to forget that she's a woman and not put in these scenes where they, and I haven't seen some of these pictures, but they always seem to be trying to be too many things. Try to be vulnerable, try to be beautiful…

"What was good about the Alien movies is they weren't really about Ripley, they were about something else and Ripley brought her humanness to it, but I think that I was lucky, because they just wrote her as if, I mean it originally was written for a guy, and then they just made it into a woman without making these changes that make you sympathetic, you know? I'm very suspicious of all of that. It just seems to me a good character is a good character. And character is character. Integrity is integrity and courage is courage and it has nothing to do with sex… I am frustrated by the fact that women action heroes are still in these ludicrous costumes… Women are amazing everyday doing all these amazing things, and they just seem to be so special. And it's cursed if it's too special. It should just be, it should be nothing for us now to have women in charge. But then, I thought we'd have a woman president by now."
Continuing on the Alien tip, we ask Weaver about her prior comments about possibly doing another Alien film with Ridley Scott. "What I was saying probably was that Ridley Scott and I have talked about doing one more where we go back to the original planet and see what these creatures came out of. But, I think that it would be probably unlikely that a major studio would go for it, only because one of the lead characters would be a 55-year-old woman. I don't think the audience would care at all, because I don't think we're as ageist as the business is. So I think that we'd be game, but I don't think that either of us, we're both so busy, I'm not going to sit down and write the whole script. And I didn't rush to see Alien Vs. Predator, which looked kind of awful to me, like a video game. But I just hope that the Alien won. The Predator's such a stupid looking creature." (Laughs)
I tell Weaver that she still looks like she could "still kick alien ass" to me. She smiles at me, pats me on the knee and says, "Thank you, darling." I blush. I next tell her that, in fact the aliens didn't really win in AVP to which she responds with a shocked expression. "I am offended. I should take a shower. And I invited Tom Rothman to the show tonight."
While a fifth Alien film is still far from concrete, Weaver does seem to have legitimate interest in making it. Note to Fox: Call up Weaver and Scott ASAP! "Well, it would have to be Fox, because they own it. I think Ridley would have to stamp his foot a few times. Would they do it? I don't know. Maybe they would give us a pretty low budget to do it, but I think we could do it for, I could do it for… The first one we made for $14 million, of course that was in the dark ages of 1978, but you know, I don't think it takes a lot of money, you just have to think. I'm never out here long enough to call Ridley and say, 'So what's happening? What are you thinking about?' We do feel that there's no rush really. The planet will still be there. I just have to unemployed long enough to come up with that idea. It would be fun. I miss those clothes." (Laughs)

Besides the Alien series, Weaver was also one of the stars of Galaxy Quest, which has enjoyed a strong following, particularly on video. In the past, Tim Allen had talked about potentially doing another one. "Wouldn't that be fun? One time the producer wrote me and said they were going to do a second one and I thought that was exciting… You know, one of the things that happened on the first one was that they re-cut it at the last minute because they wanted it to go up against Stuart Little, so it was actually much more sophisticated and had other scenes in it that, I don't even know if they're in the DVD. I don't think DreamWorks quite knew what they had and we never did an overseas tour, and really I thought it was one of those movies that you could absolutely show all over the world and anyone who'd ever seen Star Trek would love it. But, as far as I know, I think Tim went to Australia and that was about it, which was a shame."
Next up for Weaver is a re-teaming with another one of her Galaxy Quest co-stars, Alan Rickman. "I'm doing a wonderful movie, working again with Alan Rickman. We're doing a movie called Snowcake, which is an English script, independent film. Alan plays a guy traveling through the northeast of America and there's a terrible accident and someone is killed and he comes to my house to tell me about it and, as it turns out, I'm on the spectrum. I have autism and that's just one of the things about this character. She's many, many out there things, but one of them is she's OCD and she's on the spectrum and very up-front about it. He has to spend a number of days with Linda because there's a wake at her house and, of course, she never lets anyone in her house. She cleans the whole kitchen every time she makes a cup of tea.

"So she suddenly has 75 people in her house. It's a very unusual, beautifully written script. It's not about autism per se, but I would say it tries to show you that people with this condition are maybe not that comfortable in our world, but they have worlds of their own which we are not part of, which are amazing. It's a great story about Alan's time in this town. He plays a character named Alan, and he has a romance, not with me, and a few other things, but it's a beautiful, beautiful script by a first time screenwriter and it's an English production. We're going to start hopefully in January six hours north of Toronto or something really cold, and I can't wait to work with Alan again."

Sigourney Weaver talks about the possible future of the Alien series

Sigourney Weaver can be credited as the actress who gave birth to the modern female action hero. Before Linda Hamilton stopped judgement day and Uma Thurman killed Bill, Sigourney Weaver kicked an Alien's butt in 1979's Alien, directed by Ridley Scott. Since then, Weaver has appeared in three sequels, helmed by different directors each time. The most recent was in 1997's Alien Resurrection. Weaver was not involved in this year's Alien Vs. Predator and, up until now, it has seemed as though her involvement in the series was over. Don't be so sure.

I had the great fortune of talking with Mrs. Weaver at the press day for Imaginary Heroes yesterday, the new film by first time feature director Dan Harris co-starring Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams. When the subject of another Alien movie was brought up, Weaver showed no hesitation in discussing her hopes of doing another film.

"Ridley Scott and I have talked about doing one more where we go back to the original planet and see what these creatures came out of. But, I think that it would be probably unlikely that a major studio would go for it, only because one of the lead characters would be a fifty-five-year-old woman. I don't think the audience would care at all, because I don't think we're as ageist as the business is. So I think that we'd be game, but I don't think that either of us, we're both so busy, I'm not going to sit down and write the whole script. And I didn't rush to see Alien Vs. Predator, which looked kind of awful to me, like a video game. But I just hope that the Alien won. The Predator's such a stupid looking creature. (Laughs)

I told Weaver that she certainly looked like she could take on an Alien to me and that I would suspect a studio would jump at the chance for Scott and her to do another. "Thank you darling," Weaver says with a grin, patting me on the leg. "Well, it would have to be Fox, because they own it. I think Ridley would have to stamp his foot a few times. Would they do it, I don't know? Maybe they would give us a pretty low budget to do it, but I think we could do it… The first one we made for $14 million, of course that was in the dark ages of 1978, but you know, I don't think it takes a lot of money, you just have to think. I'm never out here long enough to call Ridley and say, 'So what's happening? What are you thinking about?' We do feel that there's no rush, really. The planet will still be there."

I next informed Mrs. Weaver that, in fact, the Aliens really don't win in Alien Vs. Predator and that they are, in fact, given the shaft compared to the predators in the movie. She looks at me with a shocked expression. "You're kidding? Well, that makes me mad at Fox. The actress who played the Ripley character, I saw her in Raisin in the Sun and she was wonderful. She's beautiful, beautiful girl. I am offended. I should take a shower. And I invited Tom Rothman to the show tonight."

Now Weaver just has to make one more to right the wrong. "I just have to unemployed long enough to come up with that idea. It would be fun. I miss those clothes." (Laughs)


Weaver in The Woods

Alien star joins Shyamalan's next.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sigourney Weaver (the Alien series) has been cast in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's new thriller, The Woods. Weaver joins Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard and William Hurt in the Disney pic, which begins filming this fall for a summer 2004 release. Shyamalan, Scott Rudin and Sam Mercer will produce.

It's also beginning to look like previously announced cast member Ashton Kutcher has dropped out to do Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown instead.

THR says that The Woods is a period suspense pic that "revolves around a close-knit community that lives with the frightening knowledge that a mythical race of creatures resides in the woods around them."

Sigourney Weaver has also starred in Holes, Tadpole, Ghostbusters and Working Girl. She previously worked with William Hurt on the film Eyewitness.

Sigourney Weaver stars in 'Tadpole'

Sigourney Weaver thrives on changing from mainstream Hollywood fare to smaller Indie fare, such as her latest film Tadpole. A popular favourite at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Weaver is luminous as a teenager's stepmother, whom the former is in love with while having been seduced by the latter's best friend. This delightful charmer was shot in handheld digital for a miniscule amount of money, and Weaver loved the technical challenge. In this far ranging chat Weaver talks tadpoles, digital technology, September 11 and yes, will she or won't she return to the Alien franchise?

Question: So why do you feel that you were willing to play Eve as opposed to the flashier seducer?

Answer: vYou know, I had just done Heartbreakers, which was all about seduction, and I just thought that it would give me a chance to try something I hadn't done before, which was a subtle kind of development in this woman's life where she's gotten married finally, she hasn't had a chance to have her own family. She has one stepson, who she is devoted to and I think she's going through a mid-life crisis or something. But, you know, she's going through a very subdued stage in her life and Oscar kind of brings her out of it, I think, and also manages with his father to communicate that perhaps he is spending too much time on his book, and not enough time with his wife. So that it has a happy ending for her. But I just thought it was very interesting. It's not certainly the focus of the story, but I thought it would be a challenge for me.

Question: So she feels that something is missing from her life?

Answer: She does.

Question: Could you relate to that aspect of the character?

Answer: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it's rare when you have everything going perfectly all at the same time, you know, and I think she's caught up in her work and spending more and more time at work and they are just going in separate directions and he, Stanley, my husband, is quite unaware of how things are, except that she is going to bed earlier and earlier. I just thought it was interesting. There are just a few clues in the script and I thought I could just piece something together.

Question: There's something that the director, Gary, has said that you were when you first talked to him, you were interested in hearing about how the whole digital thing was.

Answer: Yes.

Question: Why are you so interested in that?

Answer: Well, it was one of the reasons I wanted to do the movie was to see what a digital film would be like since it's the way of the future, and I found the freedom of it and the fluidity of it was wonderful, although I also found the times that I was wishing for this particular script that we could make a movie that was not more conventionally shot to look at, but just had more money, frankly. You know, I thought it deserved a bigger budget than the $20,000.00 or whatever it was that we did it on. I love working quickly. I don't like to do thousands of takes, and I don't want to do thousands of set ups. I think there might be a perfect set up to capture a - you know, some times you can, it starts with a master and ends with a close-up, whatever it is, I just like that way of shooting, which is often a low budget way of shooting. I was a little concerned about lighting, or lack of lighting because I knew that Eve had to look rather attractive to merit his, you know, falling in love with her or whatever, or his obsession, and I still had concerns because there were many scenes where one was not lit, and also you were surrounded by cameras, and as an actor, I think I would feel like in a scene was one perfect place to be looking at it, to hear the story get told. Maybe it turned to theatre, I don't know, but I always feel like there's one more seat in the house, and when you have five cameras, but the end it felt like everyone who could hold a camera, was holding a camera. It's hard to edit and, again, I think some times these are friendly shots, and you don't figure out where the perfect place to be in the room is, so. But I thought it was very interesting, and I certainly feel that if the quality of the image can improve, that it's the way to go.

Question: Do you feel that Tadpole, despite its digital imagery, an interesting reflection of New York?

Answer: I think it's kind of a postcard to New York. I think Gary, our director, loved the city and grew up in the city, and it was a real treat for me, you know, we worked downtown. We worked on the west side. We worked in the subway. We worked in Grand Central. I mean I thought it was just a love letter to the city in a lot of ways. And also, kids in the city are quite sophisticated.

Question: Have you ever been the object of -- someone obsessed with yourself?

Answer: I certainly hope so, but" [Laughing]

Question: Yeah, yeah.

Answer: Well, I, um, I don't think my husband was ever obsessed with me, but he certainly loved me. I'm not sure if obsession is a good thing. I remember having a crush when I was 15 with a camp counsellor. I mean hopefully it wasn't too obvious but it was a very powerful thing. I never acted on it but I remember it very well and I feel lucky that I actually had a crush on someone who wasn't going to do anything about it, you know. Because I realize now how vulnerable I must have been.

Question: Has your 12-year old daughter ever said to you, I'm"in love?

Answer: Well, now they have this disconcerting habit of, you know, everyone is hot. Oh, he's so hot. He's hot. You know, and it's like, why can't you just say cute or something. And now the way they dress; it's a great age. It's so funny. They really think they know everything and some times, I think she does know more than I do about most things. Um, in the sense that she is very intuitive about stuff, but I haven't hit that where she - there's actually someone real involved.

Question: Do you ever think that - what do you do cool to her? I mean cool mom because you get to be in a movie?

Answer: Well, she - she is a princess. She has a small part doing about September 11, called "The Guys." She's very good. And Jim, my husband, is directing and he said, do you want a line, you know, we were improvising and she said no. And I thought that was very cool of her. We had to take her out of camp for two days because we have to do a re-shoot that involves her, and she said I really don't want to leave camp. Everyone's going to know that you're my mother. And I said, oh, I said, well, I don't know what to say. I guess that's a bad thing. She said no, it's not. It's just that I'd rather everybody didn't know. And, so, I think that probably the younger people, what they're doing is more cool than what I'm doing, even though we're doing the same thing.

Question: Now, how is it going from Tadpole to a movie about September 11?

Answer: I would say that September 11 was a test movie to do and we already shot it and there was a problem with the back focus of this one panavision, so we had to re-shoot. I would say the most disturbing parts of it. And that's hard. It's sort of a spoken memorial before these guys and that was really important to us, and now I'm not sure we can do that.

Question: You've been here in New York for a long time, this is where you are from.

Answer: Yes. I am more of a New Yorker than ever and just actually, sometimes I fantasize about living somewhere else, where it's maybe not quite so crowded or stressful, blah, blah, blah and after September 11th, I guess I could just not imagine living anywhere else.

Question: What makes you more of a New Yorker now?

Answer: I just feel that getting out there physically and protecting New York, putting my arms around everyone and protecting them, I just think it . . . to see this happen to our city and our community.

Question: Were you here when this happened?

Answer: I was here, I was midtown. I guess I feel very possessive about New York and I'm still wheeling frankly, from what happened. I'm sure we all are.

Question: What about your daughter? Was it something like, "Can we get out of here now mom?"

Answer: No I don't think so. She certainly didn't like us to watch too much of it on the news. So we tried to watch it kind of secretly. I think a lot of parents were doing that anyway. And she certainly wanted to move past it. But she'll bring it up every now and then. My husband is from Hawaii and his father who was also born in Hawaii was a teenager when Pearl Harbor happened, right before church and he ran up and got on the roof of his grandfather's house and watched the planes go over and Jim was saying yesterday that it changed his father's life forever and I think it is going to probably change my daughter's life forever. And the older generation's children.

Question: We all went through it, but you are in the entertainment industry right but I mean, does it change your attitude about what kind of movies you want, what kind of work you want to do or is it a see change or is it like, "Okay, now life is back to normal. "

Answer: It certainly wants to make me want to work less. Like I said, I don't want to leave New York and leave my family. I don't like the distance. I just did a movie in California and it's kind of excruciating to be away from them so I think there is that sense. If anything happens, I would be here with them.

Question: You have gone from big Hollywood from what you have done in a substantial part of your career, a lot more in character driven pieces. Is that simply a direction for you?

Answer: Well I think it is two things. One, I think I have always tried to do the smaller films. I like to jump around and there is something really nice for acting in a smaller film. So I have always tried to do the smaller films. But I think now, I think Hollywood's movies certainly involve a younger generation for the most part and so I think . . . like I have just done a big Hollywood movie, Holes for Disney. So I love going back and forth.

Question: Is Ripley ever going to rear her ugly head? Does that come out in your interviews.

Answer: I have people coming up to me on the street talking to me about when is the next one, I've actually spoken to Ridley Scott a number of times. He would like to do five and I have to say that because it six months away from home, I have very mixed feelings about it. I don't know. Maybe that will change.

Question: So you're not ruling it out?

Answer: You know if I can physically perform her task, or have a very good stuntwoman, I love what happened to Ripley. I love playing an alien.

Question: What do you think about, sort of the last couple of years the most interesting development has been the rise of the female as the action hero. There are just tons of movies more and more now, Wonder Woman and all these things. Do you sort of take any pride in being a sort of a trailblazer in a scene that allows young females to kick butt?

Answer: I am all for it, especially for my daughter's generation. I have to say I have been a little disappointed because I don't think they give them a lot to work with and I feel very luck in Alien that I had, I feel like I had a lot to work with, with the character and I feel Laura Croft and stuff. I feel she's terrific, but it's not about anything. And I was very disappointed for her. You get a great actress like that, give her something to play, just never get hurt. So I was a little frustrated. You've got to dig in and you've got to be about something more than good versus evil.

Question: Are you playing the warden in Holes?

Answer: I am.

Question: Are you playing a villain? She's awful.

Answer: Awful. Louis the writer, Louis and I have quite a bit of sympathy for the warden because in fact, she's also cursed because she's had to dig as a child, she's had to dig her whole life for this treasure so her life has never started. So I can really feel how misunderstood she is but she does do some evil things.

Question: Not playing evil right?

Answer: I find it hard. By the time I got to a scene where I have to really express that the boys are expendable, it was very hard for me. Now that I am a mother, it was so hard for me. I did, maybe it's cheating. Maybe you're better to play a villain just straight out but I kept looking for things in the character that had happened because of the life that she went through. Not to excuse her, but just to help me understand how she got to here from there, you know.

Question: What of your work has your daughter seen?

Answer: What has she seen? Of mine?

Question: Yeah.

Answer: Not a lot. She certainly hasn't seen the Alien movies.

Question: Really?

Answer: She's not good with the scary stuff. So she has seen Heartbreakers. She's seen Galaxy Quest. She's seen Ghostbusters, 1. Tried to get her to watch Girls, she was not that interested. She's too young. That's about it. I think I've gone through them.




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