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Ellen Ripley, the intergalactic explorer played by Sigourney Weaver in four Alien movies, has long been considered one of the greatest — if not the greatest — action heroines of all time. Yet in the 37 years since Weaver first boarded the Nostromo in 1979’s Alien, Ripley has also been a minority representative in the male-dominated action genre.
The playing field has begun to shift in recent years, however. Both DC (Wonder Woman) and Marvel (Captain Marvel) have hotly anticipated standalone female superhero movies on the horizon, and with this week’s release of Rogue One, the past two Star Wars movies have featured a woman in the lead (after last year’s Force Awakens).
“The tide is turning, but hasn’t it been a long time coming?” Weaver asked Yahoo Movies at the New York press day for her latest film, the tearjerking YA adaptation A Monster Calls. “I think it’s a long time coming in the real world, too.”
Weaver continued, “I’m very excited about it. It just shows how much our attitudes have changed because of course Ripley for the longest time was so unique in the whole lexicon of film women. And now she’s not. I love that.”
In September, Rogue One star Felicity Jones, who happens to costar with Weaver in A Monster Calls, told us that her portrayal of Rebel Alliance leader Jyn Erso was inspired by Ripley.
“I’m very flattered by that,” Weaver responded. “I can’t wait to see it because I know she’s going to be wonderful… She has a lot of character, which I think makes her very watchable. I’m very excited about that.”
A Monster Calls opens in select theaters Dec. 23. Watch the trailer: