Follow TV Tropes


Creator / Sigourney Weaver

Go To
"Get away from her, you BITCH!"
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens

Susan Alexandra "Sigourney" Weaver (born October 8, 1949 in New York City, New York) is an American actress.

She starred in the Alien movies, making her one of the first actresses to headline a successful action film franchise. She even got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the second movie, Aliens. Yes, a sci-fi/action/horror film, something that then and now is practically unheard of.

Her reprise of the Ripley character is culturally significant; although mothers in films were respected before Aliens, after Ripley's courageous rescue of Newt from the taloned grasp of the Alien Queen in 1986 filmmakers began taking mothers seriously as warriors. Weaver also holds a Black-Belt in Goju-Ryu karate, so she is not a Mama Bear you'd want to mess with in Real Life either.

Also played Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters (1984) and its sequel, anthropologist Dian Fossey in the film adaptation of Fossey's book Gorillas in the Mist (for which she got another Best Actress nomination; she also got a Best Supporting Actress nomination the same year for Working Girl), Dr Helen Hudson in Copycat, and Grace Augustine in Avatar. She also has a short, but essential, role in The Cabin in the Woods. In 2012 she starred as an academic professionally debunking alleged paranormal activities in Red Lights.

Star of Political Animals, a 2012 USA Network miniseries centering on a Secretary of State who could not more obviously be a redheaded version of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

She's also the daughter of Sylvester Weaver, who was a television pioneer and the creator of Today. She is married to theatre director Jim Simpson, and they have one child, daughter Charlotte.




Video Games


  • Action Girl/Lady of War: One of the codifiers for women as leads in action films.
  • Actor Allusion: A scene in Heartbreakers plays a musical theme from Alien in the background.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Sigourney is very anti-gun and that is the reason there is a lack of them in Alien3. Ripley in fact never holds a gun once in the movie.
    • It was her idea in Heartbreakers to dress the housekeeper up like Mrs Danvers from Rebecca.
  • As Herself: She's the first person to do it in a Pixar film, as the marine institute in Finding Dory uses her voice as an automated tour guide. Amusingly, she's actually credited as "Sigourney Weaver" rather than the usual "herself."
  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • The reason she has a cameo in The Cabin in the Woods? She wanted to do a scene with a werewolf.
    • She was convinced to do Alien: Resurrection after reading the scene where Ripley discovers the seven failed attempts at cloning her, as well as getting a love scene with the aliens (something she had been pressing to do since the third film).
    • A major reason for signing onto Heartbreakers (besides finding the script funny) was Max singing "Back in the USSR" in a Russian restaurant.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Half Moon Street is known entirely for the plentiful nudity from Sigourney, as she plays a woman who moonlights as a hooker.
    • Heartbreakers is also known for both Sigourney and Jennifer Love Hewitt walking around in form-flattering dresses.
    • She spends the climax of Alien in very tiny skivvies, complete with the camera dropping to crotch level.
  • Billing Displacement: Exploited for Alien where she is billed second after Tom Skerrit. She was an unknown at the time and the cast were killed off based on how famous they were. As the film turned Sigourney into a star, this effect is lost on modern viewers.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Sigourney's role as Dr Grace Augustine calls back to her role in Gorillas in the Mist. Both Dian and Grace are scientists who came to study an exotic land, and end up fighting to protect the local wildlife.
    • Any contemporary appearance in the sci-fi or horror genre (such as The Cabin in the Woods or Rakka) is most like due to her most famous role.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: As the Planet Express Ship in an episode of Futurama.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Caused a bit of friction on the set of Aliens, and a main reason why there are none in Alien 3.
  • Doing It for the Art: "I'd rather have a small part in a movie I love than a bigger part in one I don't care about." She also says she'd rather work with a first time director who's enthusiastic about the project, rather than a veteran who doesn't care.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Shaved her head for Alien3. In fact one of the reasons she signed on for the film was David Fincher suggesting Ripley be bald. But her young daughter didn't like her being bald, so she wore a wig when off set. Months later when re-shoots were to be done, her hair had grown back and she refused to shave it off again. So an expensive bald cap was made.
    • She dyed her hair red for Avatar.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: She and Meryl Streep were classmates at Yale's Drama School.
  • Fake Nationality: Egyptian in Exodus: Gods and Kings, helped by Brownface.
  • Happily Married: Married to director Jim Simpson since 1986. We mention it primarily because he directed her in the play The Guys (about the immediate aftermath of 9/11).
  • I Know Karate: Literally, as stated above, and she gets to use it to beat up Simon Pegg and Nick Frost single-handedly in the finale of Paul.
  • Memetic Badass: There's a reason she's what you think of when you hear Mama Bear. This was also a major reason for her playing the Big Bad in The Defenders (2017), as Jeph Loeb stated they needed to find an actor you could believe couldn't be defeated by any less than the whole team.
  • Money, Dear Boy: The other reason she gave for returning for Alien: Resurrection. The salary was $11 million, more than what the first film had cost to make.
    "They basically drove a dump truck full of money to my house."
  • Motherly Scientist: In Gorillas in the Mist and Avatar.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Real-Life Relative: Her mother Elizabeth Inglis provided the picture of Ripley's aged daughter Amanda in Aliens.
  • Shout-Out: Her name comes from Sigourney Howard, a character from The Great Gatsby. The name "Sigourney" means "The Conqueror" in Norse.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: She starred in Holes because it is her daughter's favourite book. After finishing the book, her daughter actually ran and told her "You have to play this awful person!"
  • Star-Making Role: Alien got the ball rolling and Aliens solidified it.
  • Statuesque Stunner: One of the things that impressed Ridley Scott when she auditioned for Alien was her height (she's 5'11, and was wearing boots with heels to the audition), along with her confident attitude.
  • Throw It In: She ad-libbed the "you're more like a game show host" line from Ghostbusters1984.
  • Typecasting: A large amount of movies in The New '10s have featured her playing the head or someone who works for an evil organisation.
  • Unkempt Beauty: She is made up this way in some of her roles, particularly when playing an Action Girl.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With James Cameron. She claims to have based her portrayal of Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar on him, saying he is a real Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Bryan Singer's original vision for X-Men: The Last Stand would have had Sigourney playing Emma Frost. If that's hard to picture, her character in Heartbreakers is quite similar.
    • Ripley was originally going to be shown fully nude in the climax of Alien as she changes into the spacesuit. The alien was even going to be Distracted by the Sexy for a moment. Producers were anxious about the film getting banned in other countries and had Ripley wearing underwear (other scripted nude scenes were cut as well). Sigourney initially felt it was a cop-out, but later said it was for the best (imagining the amount of lewd fan mail she'd have inevitably gotten).
    • An early idea for Alien³ was to be a two-part movie - with Sigourney only making a cameo appearance in the first part (Ripley being left comatose) and focus switching to Michael Biehn as Hicks. Some drafts considered dropping her altogether, as they weren't sure whether Sigourney would commit to a third film.


Video Example(s):


"Get away from her, you bitch!

In Aliens, Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) says the iconic line against an Alien Queen. In Paul, the line is said TO Sigourney Weaver.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActorAllusion

Media sources: