She's known for playing tough-as-nails characters, including an ambitious Wall Street executive in Working Girl, a straight-shooting botanist in Avatar and, of course, the first female action hero in Alien. So Sigourney Weaver was thrilled to flex her comedic muscles for a guest role in the French TV show Call My Agent!.
"It was great fun," says Weaver (who's fluent in French) of portraying an exaggerated version of herself in the hit Netflix series. "It's always a shock to see how people might imagine you and in this case, they painted me as a very big, glamorous star," adds the actress, 71, who shares daughter Charlotte with her husband of 36 years, director Jim Simpson.
Here, Weaver talks longevity and looking ahead.
How did you land on Call My Agent!?
I'd been a fan since a French friend told me about it. I never dreamed I'd be in it. It was a secret wish I never mentioned to anyone except maybe my husband. So I was very surprised when I received the offer — it was the first time in my life I've ever said "Yes" without reading the script!
And what was filming in Paris like?
To be in Paris, speaking French with a French team — I just felt so fortunate. It was one of the most fun things I've ever done.
You play a bit of a diva in the show. Any truth to that in real life?
No, that's the last thing in the world I would want to be. That would take so much work! But it was great fun to pretend to be. You have to have a sense of humor about yourself.
What kind of relationship do you have with your agents?
I know agents get people dates and things like that, but my relationship with them is quite different. They go with me to openings but if called and said, "I want to find a new husband," they'd go. "We don't want to get involved in that." And I love my old husband anyway. Laughs
How have you handled lockdown?
I was lucky to be in New York City with my husband and daughter. No matter what people say, it's a great city and the people really do watch out for each other. And my daughter turned 30 with us, which was probably not ideal for her, but there have been some good things in spite of the tragedy, like some wonderful family time.
Do you prefer starring in films or TV shows?
An hour-long series is a huge commitment and a lot of work, and I want to be available for other things that come my way. Or maybe I'm just lazy! Laughs
How does being in your 70s feel?
I think people in their 70s are in very good shape for the most part. So I feel very fit and strong, and that's a great joy. I'm very excited.
Have you experienced any ageism in Hollywood?
I try not to believe in the cliche that actresses don't work after 40. I was only the romantic lead in a few movies, so the parts I'm offered are often characters. What's available to me now is even more interesting than it was before!