“Hollywood goes crazy over what we have to wear.” So sighed Sigourney Weaver, one of four actresses who participated in EW’s panel today about big (and small) screen action heroines. “It takes education,” added Zoe Saldana (Star Trek). “Instead we fight against a room full of men over whether we should wear pants [in an action sequence] when they think I can do it in a shirt and Gucci boots.”
Lapses in judgment over constumes aside, all of the panel — which also included Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) — agreed that the sci-fi genre seems to be the most accepting of female superheroes. “They don’t try to control women in sci-fi,” Weaver said. “We just squeaked through.”
Reflecting on her groundbreaking role as Ripley in the Alien franchise, Weaver said, “I never thought about being a woman. I thought about being a person…they weren’t trying to write a woman action hero. It was about character. I got really lucky.” And, in a plug for the upcoming movie she’s in from her former Aliens’ buddy James Cameron, “There is a hero in each one of us…which is also what Avatar is about.”
In explaining how she got cast in Fox’s Dollhouse, Dushku said she prodded creator Joss Whedon “to make me the most kick-ass, multi-dimensional character he’s ever written. He delivered.” So when asked why Hollywood hasn’t been able to create a Wonder Woman franchise for the big screen, Dushku said confidently, “I’m not available.” That’s because Dollhouse is coming back for a second season this fall.
Saldana had an answer for why Hollywood will probably cast a 25-year-old hottie as Wonder Woman if and when the movie ever becomes a reality: “Sixty-five-year-old men want to see 25-year-old women,” she lamented. “They are the ones predominantly cutting the checks.”