Tags: Hollywood | sigourney weaver | supporting roles

Sigourney Weaver's Supporting Roles: 3 Times She Shined Without Being Lead Actress

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 10:08 AM

Although she helped create one of the most memorable lead characters in movie history with Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" series, Sigourney Weaver has often been willing to take on supporting roles to help bolster the star power of films.

Here are five times Weaver has shined in films without being the lead actress.

1. Dana Barrett, "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Ghostbusters II" (1989)
Weaver got the call and happily obliged to play Dana Barrett opposite Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis in the supernatural comedy "Ghostbusters." A single woman who lives in a haunted apartment, Dana enlists Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray) and his fellow Ghostbusters to help save the day, and strikes the fancy of Venkman in the process.

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The film is a comedy, of course, but Weaver gets to show display some of her acting range after Dana becomes possessed by an evil spirit.

2. Katharine Parker, "Working Girl" (1988)
Weaver was so convincing in her role opposite Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford in director Mike Nichols' romantic comedy that she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Weaver plays Katharine Parker, an idea-stealing female executive whose demeaning behavior toward her secretary, Tess (Griffith), comes back to bite her when she's laid up after breaking her leg in a skiing accident.

"Weaver is the ultimate witch as the high-powered Katharine Parker, a breezy, insensitive sexist who pretends to help her new secretary while stealing her brilliant ideas," wrote Rita Kempley in The Washington Post in her 1988 review of the film.

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3. Gwen DeMarco, "Galaxy Quest" (1999)
Weaver returns to outer space – not as the butt-kicking Ellen Ripley – but blonde bombshell Gwen DeMarco in "Galaxy Quest," a comedy satire about what happens to the stars of a "Star Trek"-like TV show years after the show completes its run and the actors make a living on the convention circuit.

Tim Allen plays Jason Nesmith, the William Shatner-like star of the show, and Weaver's DeMarco is his sometimes love interest on screen and off. The movie cleverly employs a show-within-a-show concept when an alien race recruits the actors to fight off an evil enemy, thinking that the characters they're playing are real.

"Sigourney Weaver actually gets to be funny (she played more or less a straight man role in 'Ghostbusters'); her character’s frustration at the limits of her role are believably amusing, and Weaver herself is stunning as a blond bombshell, quite the opposite of her usual image," wrote Cinemafantastique Online's Steve Biodrowski in his review of the 10th anniversary edition of the film.

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Although she helped create one of the most memorable lead characters in movie history with Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" series, Sigourney Weaver has often been willing to take on supporting roles to help bolster the star power of films.
sigourney weaver, supporting roles
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2015-08-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 10:08 AM
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