Sigourney Weaver's Avatar Character Inspired by Her Teachers
08.04.09 by BJSprecher
Despite having appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, actress Sigourney Weaver has become forever linked with Ellen Ripley, her character from the Alien series, and because of this has herself become an icon of tough, resourceful woman in cinema. Weaver returns to science fiction this December in James Cameron's long-awaited return to feature filmmaking, Avatar, a 3-D smorgasbord of alien landscapes and fantastic creatures.
During the Avatar panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Weaver said that a lot of the credit for her career and for her portrayal of Dr. Augustine, a botanist studying xeno-plant life on the far-off world of Pandora, can be attributed to the strong women who inspired her in her youth:
... to wonderful women teachers in my school who devoted their lives to trying to help us (women) feel like we could do science. And one of the things that moved me most about Dr. Augustine was that Jim (Cameron) created this brilliant woman scientist who had thrown everything over to study the flora and fauna of Pandora and to understand the Navi way of life.
And, for me, it was such a treat just to even begin studying the plant life. It was very meaningful to me — I never did that well in science, but I was always so eager to learn it, and I feel I got a second chance.
Avatar was written and directed by Cameron and also stars Sam Worthington, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, and Giovanni Ribisi.