What is there to say about Sigourney Weaver that would introduce her appropriately? If you don’t know her then I’m assuming you grew up in on a space ship in a cryogenic sleep, wait that’s ALIENS, or you were in cut off in another dimension by a powerful being named Zuul, sorry that’s GHOSTBUSTERS. Well, from WORKING GIRL to FINDING DORY, Sigourney Weaver has played many roles.
Her newest role is that as the mysterious Alexandra in the Marvel and Netflix series THE DEFENDERS. The show is available for streaming on August 18th, so before you check it out here are some quick insights on her character and the series from Sigourney herself.
Without giving anything away did you get to do some training before filming the show?
I have a red belt in karate; I wouldn’t say they used all of my skills because that’s not what they do in the show. What they do in the show is so amazing and they didn’t have me doing all that much. But it’s such a physical world that you’re in so it’s a pleasure to participate in the way that I could. Then they have these, frankly amazing people, do such extraordinary things. For television you would think it is CGI, but they are all doing it for real.
I think she has all those skills. I think she has a number of ninjas who will protect her so I don’t really need to get sweaty herself but I think in the past she has done all of those things. But now she has a protective group.
What about your character and her journey resonated with you?
A lot of her journey resonated with me; I am a New Yorker, and I do love the arts. I think she wants to be a mentor to Elektra and I think she would love to mentor all of the four of the heroes. Unfortunately they have this pesky tendency to be idealistic which I feel they will grow out of but they haven’t at this stage, so this makes them unfortunately, my enemies. If I have the time to win each of them over, but when they come together it’s very hard to isolate them.
In past Marvel and Netflix shows the antagonist has gotten a lot of dedicated time to learn about their background. Are we going to learn about Alexandra’s background?
I think we build the information in each show, but I think they purposely don’t want you to know too much about her. It is written, somewhat, form the Defenders point of view. You get glimpses of her life; I think pretty intimate glimpses into her life. Ultimately, it’s about these forces coming together so there’s more to her but I honestly haven’t seen the shows so I don’t really know how much you get to see.
Your character is always so elegantly and immaculately dressed – did you have any input in that at all or was she written this way? She is into the finer things in life so it seems like she does dress for the occasion.
I was lucky, each of the characters has a color and I was surprised to find that my characters color was white. Thought in the end I came to really love it. It is very elegant; it’s someone who doesn’t get her hands dirty. I was very lucky, the clothes this year had a lot of weird things going on like feathers, and strange colors and they all go very well with white. So I had a lot to do with picking her concept.
I don’t think she ever pretends to be anything other than she is. I think she sort of thinks it’s a shame these guys are so young and they can’t really see how the world works. So they’re going to try to make a difference where they can and it’s like “they’re so talented, if they came to work for me they could really get somewhere.”
As an established actress, what drew you towards this role?
I’ve been fortunate to play a lot of different things, but I’ve never played anyone like Alexandra. I haven’t played a New Yorker since I did “I witness” with Bill Hurt a thousand years ago, so to play someone who is a patron of the arts, who is at these events, and sort of New York citizen who knows and loves the city and its history I just loved all of that. So I felt they approached me with very much the right attitude, in terms of wanting to create an older heroine who is very complex. She isn’t just one or two things, during this series we’re not going to see the end of what she is. I think she is a character who has mystery in her life and you never get to say “she’s this” because she’s also the opposite.
THE DEFENDERS is available for streaming on August 18th on Netflix.