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Sigourney Weaver - Idol Chatter
Sigourney Weaver - Idol Chatter

Our favorite alien annihilator opens up about getting older, gorillas, and The Guys.

Siggy, baby, how do you do it? At 53, you're looking even hotter than when you killed your first alien at a mere, bikini panties-wearing 29.
Well, thank you, I'm quite happy to be my age—I think women at this age have accomplished a lot and know what they want. And, anyway, [when I was younger] I felt like I just looked like a little scone with raisins for eyes. [laughs]

But I gotta tell you that even though I ended up loving your new film with Anthony LaPaglia, The Guys, I was kind of dreading going because of its 9/11 subject matter...
I think people do dread seeing it, but when they get there, it's not
the experience they were dreading at all, because it's a very simple, intimate story about two people that puts a human face on what's become such a politicized event.

And it's even a family affair with your husband [Jim

Simpson] directing and your 12-year-old daughter making a cameo appearance.
Well, first of all, no one got paid anything, and we could get our children for cheap. [laughs] Although my daughter does want to be paid something—she's still asking.

So will she be continuing in her mother's grand tradition?
No—the other day she said [deadpan], "There's too many ups and downs." [laughs] I don't quite know what she meant, because I've tried to appear like a normal working person, but I guess I'm not that good an actor.

Nonsensewhy, you're so good you were even double Oscar-nominated in 1988, for Working Girl and Gorillas in the Mist. By the way, are gorillas easier to work with than actors?
[laughs] Actually, one of the reasons I think I was able to work so well with the gorillas was that it was so much like coming into a new group of actors: There were some who made it clear they didn't want you there and some who couldn't wait to see you. But I had pure joy shooting through my veins working with them--I've really wanted to go back and see them again, but every time I've been asked to go [back to Rwanda], something happens over there, and my husband says, "You're not going."

You mean, Alien's kickass Lt. Ellen Ripley is bossed around by her husband?
She's so utterly unlike me—I'm such a baby! I wasn't even that interested in the part, quite frankly, because [back then] I was such a snob that I just wanted to do, like, Shakespeare and work with Mike Nichols and that was about it. I was always just gonna be in the theater and, like, get a job at the Guthrie and be part of the company playing maids and princesses and murderers. Actually, I've tried to follow that model in my film career—I've always just wanted to be a journeyman actor.

And what a journey: Forget out-there stuff like Ripley and Ghostbusters, even your post-40 career as a mother in films has been outré. There was the sexually promiscuous mom in The Ice Storm and then last year's Tadpole, where your stepson lusted after you and
And I've had to fight for those roles—I think producers, because I'm often taller than they are, are reluctant to put me in a homey situation, and those are the roles I think I'm decent at. Like, I felt so at home and did some of my best work in A Map of the World with that house, that mess, those kids. But, believe me, I am not the mother they call. [laughs]

Yeah, well, you're Ripley. So tell us, sexy onehaving killed aliens, bred aliens, even become an alien, do you ever dream of them?
Only once and it was the silliest! I was on a cruise ship, and there was a rumor about this thing running around so, of course, I had to say, "Excuse me—I don't want to alarm anyone, but I think it might be this alien." So they said, "What should we do?" And I said, "Well, I think the best thing to do is to just take a big bath towel, get underneath a deck chair, and hide." [laughs] It's not very Ripley, but what can I say? I'm a pussycat.

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