Marvel has never messed around with casting. From the star-studded lineup of the MCU, to the gritty and more realistic heroes and villains of their Netflix universe, each character has been painstakingly chosen to the point where you almost can't see someone else as the character. Last year, Sigourney Weaver joined that universe in a then unknown role. We have a little bit more information now, especially after Hall H checked out the first episode of The Defenders.
We had the chance to sit down with Sigourney and other members of the cast and crew to chat about the show. In her case, we wanted to take the opportunity to learn a little bit more about what it's been like to join the Marvel family, and to see if we could get her to share any tidbits about her character. When she first came on, she had a little bit of catching up to do on the world that she was stepping into.
You know I had heard of the shows and that they were great, but I didn't know them. As a New Yorker, there's so much to see all the time. I loved Daredevil and Jessica Jones, though. There's great acting and wonderful writing, and it's nice to see New York as kind of a character in these shows. I think that continues through Luke Cage and Iron Fist. They approached me about creating a new character, and I was very excited because often when they create an older woman you're having to deal with people who have an idea that they're an ice queen or something like that. But we all wanted her to be a very believable person in New York. Someone who led a New York life and had something of a kingdom, if not an empire, there. Then there's also these four young people who are so idealistic - we don't have the same priorities - but she could easily bring them into her organization, because they're obviously so talented. It's just that pesky idealism that they have. It complicates things for her.
Obviously Netflix has been pretty tight-lipped about all things The Defenders, but in an effort to get the few bits of news we could, we tried going the character angle. Though the MCU has struggled to deliver a compelling villain (save a few obvious exceptions), the Marvel Netflix team has done a great job creating villains that are deplorable, terrifying, and completely believable. When asked if her character was paid the same courtesy, she had this to say -
Well I don't think we see ourselves as villains. Perhaps antagonists. But we have our own good points, especially in our relationship (she and Elektra). We have a very sincere relationship in many ways, and I thought it was very organic and believable considering the world that were in. I think there are all these wonderful things going on all of the time, and the writers are very good about combining the fantastic and the organic.
Sigourney Weaver has been a part of several empires in the geek world. She's used to fandom on both the fantasy and science fiction sides of things, but Marvel and superheroes are a whole new territory. Despite all of the other worlds she's been a part of, Weaver steps into this new project as a fan.
First of all I'm a fan myself, and I'm a fan in particular of the small end of the Marvel universe. Because I feel like these stories, you know, as a New Yorker, they portray a New York that I have lived in. They portray real New Yorkers and the madness and wonderful diversity of our city. There's a liveliness to our city. So I was thrilled to be able to come in as such an interesting and compelling character that is almost unlike any of the other characters that I've been asked to play.
The Defenders head to Netflix August 18th