Sigourney Weaver Asked The Defenders Creators to Steer Clear of Female Villain Stereotypes

What kind of villain will Sigourney Weaver play against Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Iron Fist) for Marvel’s The Defenders? More like a complicated adversary, says the actor.

I was super pumped when we found out Weaver would be taking on The Defenders for Marvel’s Netflix series. They’ve all been keeping fairly quiet about the character, known only as Alexandra at this point, though Weaver said “I really love my character” last year.

We’ve had our first trailer but now Entertainment Weekly is revealing a few new tidbits. “I’m not a villain,” Weaver specifically told them. “I’m an adversary.”

Choosing the word ‘adversary’ isn’t just the Oscar-nominated actress quibbling about semantics. Calling Alexandra a villain implies heartlessness and cruelty — traits that, the actress says, are lazy labels too often applied to female foes, and not applicable to her latest role. ‘With my work in general, I try to avoid terms like ‘ice queen’ that are often thrown at women who aren’t completely sympathetic,’ she says, adding that when she took the part, she worked with writers to make sure Alexandra avoided the trope. ‘I encouraged [them] to not think in those terms, because I find them completely meaningless, and to help me understand who I was from a really un-cliché-ed point of view. I think we succeeded in that.’

Yes! Yes! Yes! Showrunner Marco Ramirez called Alexandra a “survivor” and added, “She has the long game in mind…As such, I think she’s seen a lot of beauty in humanity and in the world, but there are certain things that to her are expendable, and that’s a really dangerous worldview.”

To that end Weaver described her character’s relationship with the street-level heroes. “There are things she cares about deeply, but she probably doesn’t care about the same things the Defenders care about, so that puts them on a collision course,” she said. “In many ways, she’s an admirable person.”

EW also revealed a Comic-Con poster for the team-up series as well as a new stylized Punisher image by Joe Quesada.

The Defenders starts streaming on Netflix August 18.

4 Responses to “Sigourney Weaver Asked The Defenders Creators to Steer Clear of Female Villain Stereotypes”

  1. I’m WAY less inclined to Sigourney Weaver as a villain after seeing her turn in The Assignment, but that movie had a lot of problems and her phoned-in performance might have been related to a grander garbage scheme.

    Who is Alexandra? Dun Dun Dun. Any guesses?