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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Roussel

Sigourney Weaver: Queen of Sci-Fi

Sigourney Weaver, the Queen of Sci-Fi!

Sigourney Weaver was the first actor to receive the Best Actress Oscar nomination for a sci-fi movie - Aliens in 1987. Her character Ellen Ripley has been cited by many actors as their inspiration for their characters including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Beckinsale and Charlize Theron.

Can we stop to appreciate just how incredible it is, that an actor has made a career on the back of sci-fi movies? When only fifty-sixty years ago, sci-fi was a pulp genre? A laugh, but not to be taken seriously. When Doctor Who and Star Trek was in their slightly deranged, definitely entirely overacted phase.

Here are just a few of her sci-fi credits:

2017 - The Defenders (TV Mini-Series) 2016 - A Monster Calls 2016 - Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 2015 - Chappie 2012 - The Cabin in the Woods 2012 - Red Lights 2009 - Avatar 2008 - WALL·E 2004 - The Village 2002 - Futurama (TV Series) 1999 - Galaxy Quest 1984 - Ghostbusters 1979 - Alien

Kick-ass Heroine

When Sigourney Weaver came onto the scene in Alien, she created not lead a serious sci-fi film which is still today a classic, but she also created an archetype. The kick-ass sci-fi heroine.

There have always been women in sci-fi but they were there to serve a male ideal. The Doctor Who girls who existed to be rescued; Barbarella, the incredibly sexy but naive alien and a various line up of Captain Kirk's latest love-interests.

When you challenge someone to come up with a strong female character, they say Ellen Ripley. The fact that Alien was released forty years ago and this is still our primary example is saying something. Sigourney Weaver stood out as a sci-fi actor who was a woman, taking the role seriously and professionally. It changed the audience's perspective of sci-fi and the women in it.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sigourney Weaver said:

“It’s fantastic that they’re writing good women’s parts in these movies, because I think reflects how powerful women are. And maybe we’re more powerful on screen than we actually are in the world — and certainly in the halls of Congress — right now. For a long time, it felt like there weren’t those roles, or if there were, there was a great emphasis on sexuality. Now we’ve sort of found a balance.”

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What do Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray have in common?

Let's be honest - Bill Murray is not the thespian of our time. The joy of Bill Murray is that he's Bill Murray. Any scene becomes funnier because it has Bill Murray in it. Case in point, his cameo in the movie Zombieland. It wouldn't have worked with any other actor.

Something similar is happening with Sigourney Weaver. Except she's actually a good actor (no offense, Bill).

Any movie that wants to show how self-aware it is will hire Signory Weaver. That's why she has cameos in Futurama, Wall-E and Cabin in the Woods. Because any true sci-fi nut has the opportunity to say, look, it's Sigourney Weaver!

Sigourney Weaver is sci-fi; she's as important to the genre as spaceships and aliens.

Enjoyed this? Let me know if there are any other actors you'd like me to look at!

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