Sigourney Weaver: Extraordinary Role Mommy

Picture 78.pngI recently got the chance to interview one of my favorite leading ladies of all time – Sigourney Weaver! As one of the most versatile actresses on the planet, Weaver has appeared in everything from sci fi blockbusters to dramas and comedies (“Working Girl” is by far, one of my fave movies of all time). Last year, she took on a challenging role when she starred in the Lifetime original movie Prayers for Bobby. The film is based on the book, Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son, by Leroy F. Aarons, which shares the true story of the life and legacy of Bobby Griffith, a young gay man who killed himself due to his mother’s and community’s religious intolerance. The film stars Ryan Kelley as Bobby Griffith and Sigourney Weaver as his mother, Mary.
“Prayers for Bobby” was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards (Outstanding Made for Television Movie; Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie – Sigourney Weaver). Sigourney Weaver was also nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award, as well as the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Award.
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The film was recently released on DVD and Weaver hopes it will be shared at libraries and schools across the country. She says the movie shows how a parent’s judgement can be detrimental to their child’s personal growth and self esteem. “Mary was frightened and put off by Bobby’s homosexuality – she lost her courage. Children need the courage to trust them. I’m hoping it will help send that message. Her story absolutely hits home.”
Weaver revealed that she battled self esteem issues as an adolescent and that’s part of the reason why she has tackled such powerful roles in her career. She says, “One of the reasons I’ve played so many strong roles is because I was 6 feet tall when I was 11. I was really dorky and terribly self conscious – it was a miracle that I became an actress. My parents ultimately gave me the encouragement I needed to set me free.”
While she’s won numerous awards and has incredible range as an actress, Weaver confided, “I was rejected by the Yale Drama school – they said I wasn’t talented.” Despite this early setback she says, “Something about these terrible experiences can actually be quite productive and set you in motion.” She also says that in light of her personal childhood experiences, she relates to individuals who feel like outsiders. “I have often felt like that and it’s not a good feeling. I think we’re now in the era of not fitting in.”
While her career has spanned more than three decades, Weaver has managed to juggle motherhood too. “I think my daughter is a sweetheart,” says Weaver who adds that her daughter doesn’t like her talking about her in interviews. “She’s a lovely, outgoing, wonderful person and I find that I’ve learned many lessons from her. You’ve got to be there when she needs you and you better not be there when you’re not needed. You can’t be a helicopter parent. You need to trust your child to make good choices about difficult topics.”
If you’re as a big a fan of Sigourney Weaver as I am, you’ll be thrilled to know that she’s featured in seven movies next year! She says, “As an actor, I’m trained for the theater, I can play small parts and big parts so I get sent everything. These days, men and women are interchangeable. I’ve starred in five science fiction films – all big ones. I’ve got seven movies coming out this year – horror, sci fi, action, dramas. I’m really having a blast.”
And that dear readers is why Sigourney Weaver is truly an extraordinary Role Mommy!
Time for a giveaway…
We’ve got five DVD’s of Prayers for Bobby that we are giving away. Comment now with your email address and you could be a winner! All winners will be randomly selected.