Weaver, Sigourney: Honored with Career Achievement from San Sebastian Film Fest

Actress and multiple-Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver is honored with the career-achievement Donostia Award at the 2016 San Sebastian Fest.


“It’s exciting in the U.S. now that it looks like we are finally going to have a woman president,” Weaver said at a brief news conference Wednesday morning. “It’s overdue. I think a lot of the progress we made is now coming to fruition. We have women in all walks of life, armed services and other jobs.”

More Work as Actress

That, she argued, was increasingly reflected on the big screen. “I don’t think I’ve ever had more work,” she said, calling out a journalist who asserted a lack of great women’s roles in Hollywood.

“Men have more roles, but I don’t think they have better roles. I don’t envy Russell Crowe. Great stories have great women’s parts,” Weaver said, adding to applause from the assembled reporters: “I’m often asked to play roles that traditionally would have gone to men. I think it’s a good time for women.”

Alien Sequel Postponed

Weaver re-confirmed comments at July’s Comic-Con that Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel has been postponed.

“He has got work to do, and I have things going on. I hope we do get to do it,” she said. “It’s one of those things we wanted to do this past year, but I think Ridley Scott didn’t want them all coming out at the same time.”

Juan Antonio “Jota” Bayona, the Spanish director of A Monster Calls, described Weaver as a “perfectionist,” recounting how she was concerned with every detail of her performance as Grandma in the film, down to her painted fingernails.

Weaver returned the compliment.

Working with Great Directors

“I’ve been lucky to work with great directors like David Fincher” she said. “Jota is up there with Fincher. He is extraordinary, but he is his own director, very Spanish, filled with passion and honesty. His connection to material is instinctive. Fincher’s approach is more intellectual.”

Weaver, who has also worked with directors Peter Weir, James Cameron, Woody Allen, Ang Lee, Roman Polanski and Mike Nichols, paid special tribute to Weir.

Peter Weir

“Peter helped me understand how to adapt to the chaos of film because I’m from theater,” she said, adding: “It was always to me about the story, and just as important in film. It was to work with a director with a strong vision and who was a fighter. Lots can happen on a film that can try to undo your work. It’s the way the business is.”

Weaver recalled that she came to San Sebastian in 1979 with the original Alien, at a time when festivals weren’t so ready as today to accept genre movies.

“Sigourney has done everything: comedy, sci-fi, drama. She has done so many films that I asked many times about how she did things on other films,” Bayona said.

Distributed by Focus Features, A Monster Calls” opens in the U.S October 14.