Friday, December 11, 2009

My Weekend Crush

Before any gal raided any tomb. Before any gal cocked any shotgun with one arm. Before any gal killed Bill or Lycans or resident zombies, there was Ellen Ripley kicking serious alien ass in space. Sigourney Weaver is the original action heroine. All others that follow owe her a debt of gratitude and continued respect for the trail she blazed, flame thrower in hand, right down the middle of the macho male landscapes of action and adventure. We trusted Ripley, all razor cheekbones and determined jaw, to save us from fates worse than simple death. This year marks the 30th anniversary of that first “Alien” bursting though its first chest and straight into the pop culture vernacular.

While Sigourney made starred in four “Alien” films over the span of 18 years – which have gone on to gross more than $550 million worldwide – she never let those films alone define her. Instead she chose a career of variation with the one consistent being her striking ability to convey competence, strength and calm. In fact, I think the only thing she can’t play is a ditz (unless she is spoofing one à la “Galaxy Quest”). While it’s easy to linger on her dramatic roles – from “Gorillas in the Mist,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Year of Living Dangerously” – let’s not forget that she can be very, very funny. From Dana/Zuul in “Ghostbusters” to the corporate ice queen in “Working Girl” and the First Lady in “Dave,” Sigourney can deliver a one liner with pinpoint precision. (Oh, oh, and let’s also not forget the crazy adoption agency lady in “Baby Mama” and the ship’s computer in “WALL-E” either.)

Now, having just turned 60 this fall, Sigourney’s career comes full circle as she returns to space, this time in the enormous (big doesn’t cut it at $300 million and counting) budget film “Avatar.” Which seems only fair; talent like hers was made to share with the universe. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. That shot in “Alien Resurrection?” That was nothing but net.

19 comments:

Norma Desmond said...

Great weekend pick, even though I will not be seeing Avatar.

RHEA said...

She's 60?! No way!! How in the world is it that at 60 she looks better than me at 26?!

Gender Blank said...

Excellent choice!!! She's been on my list for quite some time.

Lee said...

Yay, perfect pick! We're the same age, but she's much, much cooler. And more beautiful. And more talented. And . . . I'll stop gushing now.

scribegrrrl said...

God, is she gorgeous. I read somewhere that when she was first starting out, she had a Brechtian troupe -- she's as smart and socially conscious as she is sexy! And let's make it a Tank Top Friday: http://www.afterellen.com/blog/scribegrrrl/my-favorite-part-of-dinah-shore

Minnie-sota said...

Right on for Ellen Ripley and Sigourney Weaver.

the crustybastard said...

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! nothing but net is right!

love her!!

WannabeVirginia W. said...

That was awesome shot. I don't remember that in the movie! I might need to rent the movie this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Long time fan of Sigourney. Definitely a whole weekend of crush worthy.

Making Space said...

Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Sigourney Weaver - no words. OMG. How the hell did I not know who I was back in the 80s? OMG. Thank you thank you thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ummm I would have gone with Amelie Mauresmo this week.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes. Sigourney, you amazing woman, you own my heart forever <3

Hoot said...

I think you already know how I feel. -Al

Melissa said...

She looks fan-freaking-tastic for 60 and so naturally beautiful, that's very refreshing to see.

Carol said...

I bow and scrape, in an embarrassing way, to Ms. Weaver.

She's a smart cookie, socially aware, aging gracefully. That's a role model in my book.

And whenever I wanna feel pumped I watch that backwards b-ball shot. That's just plain awesomeness on a stick, that is.

leda said...

and she is unthinkable in "Death and the Maiden"

Anonymous said...

OT: Can you do a blog about Sharon Isbin? She was playing herself on S2 (?) of TLW. There's a photo of her for Tank Top Tuesday on her website. She is utterly talented and I believe is a lesbian although I couldn't find a reference to that on her website or wikipedia. She founded the Guitar Dept. @ Juiliard School of Music. She reminds me a bit of Jennifer Beals and Dana Delaney. She also graduated from Yale University.

FrannyMae said...

In one of the many extras for "Alien Ressurrection", SW discusses how she learned to do the over-the-shoulder shot with coaching from a former UCLA player. She says she got to the point where she could make it in one out of six shots, so she in no way expected to get the shot in one take. The funniest comment comes from Leland Orser who looks right into the camera and goes "Sigourney Weaver is a stud". You got that right, Leland honey.

My favorite SW line is in "Aliens", immediately after the bit about nuking the site from orbit. Paul Reiser squawks "It's a multi-billion dollar installation!". She looks at him deadpan and goes "They can bill me". Heh.

On a completely different topic, I second the nomination of Sharon Isbin for inclusion. Yes, she's gay, and one hell of a musician.