Image from Smarttalk.com
By David Borzo
She’s a three-time Academy Award nominated actress who has starred in some of the biggest movies of all time – including the biggest film ever made, James Cameron’s Avatar. Sigourney Weaver has been in over 60 films, starting with a six second role in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall in 1977, to her starring debut in the blockbuster Alien. She later reprised that role in Aliens, garnering both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. The Alien(s) films (four in all) is just one of the franchise series Sigourney has been in – the Ghostbusters’ run have also been huge hits (with Ghostbusters III on the drawing board for 2012!)
As the final speaker for the 2011 SmartTalk Connected Conversation™ series, Sigourney Weaver certainly brought the star power to the Des Moines Civic Center. And she also served up a vigorous dose of her personal passion – protecting the environment; she spoke at length about the impact our modern world makes on our environment. This was the main thrust of Sigourney’s presentation, with a lot of facts and figures to digest, and a passionate call to arms.
She may have been at her best with the SmartTalk crowd though, when she declared her love and dedication to the power of women. She said that while she knows that she has many male fans, she is really working for that woman; that Mom in the back of the theater who needs an escape from all her work…just a few hours of diversion. Sigourney also shared her thoughts on motherhood, saying that if you need things to get done – really taken care of – take it to a mom. Women are amazing task-masters and make good things happen, especially when the health of their children and grandchildren are concerned.
As a woman who has had her own struggles, first as a nearly six foot tall and gangly high school misfit, trying to fit in (as she shared recently on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show) to her challenges of balancing career and family. Sigourney compared her life to baking a cake; wondering for years if she was ready; always checking if she had reached that balance. “Am I ready yet?” She found the answer finally at the age of 50, and it was yes; she was ready, she had finally found the balance.
Now, at 61 she has the symmetry of family, fighting for the environment and for making movies. A lot of movies: after 35 years she is still one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood with no less than seven films out or due out in 2011 – and another five so far slated for 2012. And as for her ecologically minded work, she has just been awarded the prestigious Rachel Carson Award from The National Audubon Society, for her dedicated and vocal advocacy for the protection of our ecology. She’s putting her star power to work for all of us, actually.