Sigourney Weaver Talks Alien

Weaver and Cosplayer

Collider has an amazing interview where Sigourney Weaver sits down and talks Alien, it’s sequels, and the legacy it left behind.  Some highlights from the interview reveal that having Ripley survive wasn’t at all about creating the strong female character that we’ve all grown to love and admire.  Weaver reveals the true purpose of Ripley’s survival,

 “They didn’t decide though to make a young woman the survivor because of any feminist philosophy.  They thought nobody would ever think that this girl would end up as the survivor.  So they basically did it as a plot twist.”

Another great part in the interview is one of my favorite stories that I’ve heard a thousand times, but hearing it from Weaver’s mouth makes it all that much more amazing.  The story about the breakfast scene in the first Alien movie, also known as the chest burster scene.

We all read the script. We knew something was going to come out of John Hurt’s chest. He had a line that said ‘Oh my GGGGGOOOODDDD’. It was pretty big on the page. We all knew what happened. We get down to set and everyone is wearing a poncho. [Writers] Dan O’ Bannon and Ronald Schusett, who were around the whole time, were over in the corner [giggling away] like it was Christmas morning. But none of that tipped it off to me. It wasn’t until we actually started. We didn’t rehearse. Ridley wasn’t in favor of rehearsing even when there were special effects involved. So we started to have that casual conversation about breakfast and what we’re going to do and what we’re going to eat when we get home and then John Hurt just started coughing and I completely forgot we were making a movie. I thought he was choking and when his chest filled with blood, we were all just stunned. It was so real to us and he was so convincing. That was the first take and then without any time at all — the second take — they must have changed something in him quickly, some sort of piece but there was no big setup and then suddenly this thing burst out of his chest, stood on the table and flew off. There’s a master of everyone [looking stunned] — they’re using the master because that’s exactly how [we felt]. We couldn’t believe what we had just seen. I still to this day having been in movies where special effects play a crucial part, I can’t believe that a couple of guys got under the table with a few rubber tubes and made that happen.

And as a glimmer of hope she also adds a little information into a sequel to the film Alien Resurrection. The fourth film in the series, that despite being written by Joss Whedon, had mainly negative reviews.

I feel there’s a longing in certain groups of fans when I meet them for the story to be finished because we really left it up in the air and I feel a bit badly about that because I was part of that decision making process. I didn’t want to make four and five in a bundle. I think it’s hard to make these films all in a big lump. You need time to sort of let things resonate so I can imagine a situation where we could at least finish telling her story. I think that would be very satisfying at least to me — although I haven’t done anything about it; but I can understand why that could happen and I certainly know young filmmakers who are interested in doing that. So we’ll just have to see what happens.

A fifth Alien movie isn’t completely out of the question, and the franchise has shown to get a lot of support from Hollywood.  As well as the three immediate sequels to Alien there were also two Alien Vs Predator movies and Prometheus which was a type of prequel.  There is also a lot of hype to the upcoming Alien: Isolation video game which will follow Ripley’s daughter as she faces the same creatures her mother once did.  If the game is a hit who is to say Hollywood won’t turn their attention back to Ripley for one more acid blood showdown?

The article has more great parts, like when she was first introduced to (the recently passed) H.R. Giger’s design sketches for the Alien.  So if you’re a fan of the series I highly recommended visiting the site and reading the rest of the interview.

Collider: Sigourney Weaver Talks the Longevity of the ALIEN Franchise, Her Initial Trepidations to Play Ripley, and Whether She Would Return for a New ALIEN Sequel

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