How Hollywood Sexism Killed Sigourney Weaver's Hopes Of Directing

Lots of actors can find themselves taking a shot at directing during their careers. It's a natural transition from working on movies trying to realize a director's vision to wanting to put your own vision on screen.

It's a career transition that's certainly made easier by acting experience, but not one that's always smooth by any measure. Many have been extremely successful in their transition, like Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, and Charlie Chaplin. Many others completely fail, like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sally Field, or Johnny Depp.

Sigourney Weaver, best known for her time as Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" franchise of films, is another actor who has shown some interest in directing. Weaver has shown herself to have great instincts in terms of filmmaking through her game-changing performance in "Alien," where she takes a character from a relatively simple script and turns it into an iconic feminist hero. She's shown her dedication to the art form through the constant rehearsal of her final showdown in "Aliens." I don't think any real fan of cinema wouldn't be interested in what a Sigourney Weaver directorial debut could bring to the table.

Sadly, according to Weaver in a recent New York Times profile, she doesn't think she'd be able to deal with the sexism of Hollywood executives well enough to direct.

Incredible sexism

Weaver has had some trouble changing her perception in Hollywood before, which she spoke about in a recent interview with Glamour. After her fantastic performance in "Alien" opened the eyes of people around Hollywood to her acting ability, she found she was getting offered the same kind of role over and over again. It was all strong, serious, heroic women in action settings. While Weaver was happy with those roles, she wanted to show she could do it all, including comedy, which she eventually got a chance to do in "Ghostbusters."

"Took me a long time, really until 'Ghostbusters.' [Director] Ivan Reitman thought of me for that. I'd never met him before. I basically had to turn into a dog on his couch in his office," said the actress, adding: "I love the fact that actors can transcend whatever box they're going to be put in and keep going."

Unfortunately, directing is not a box Weaver has any interest in peeking inside of. According to the New York Times interview, she thinks directing "would be fun," but doesn't think she could handle the sexism of studio heads.

"Whenever I used to go to Hollywood and have to deal with these different studio heads, I was never comfortable. I always felt incredible sexism there, and a kind of resentment that they had to listen to me because I did have this power and I was smart enough to put several sentences together."

The fact that Weaver can feel this based on relatively few encounters with Hollywood's top executives proves just how prevalent that disgusting sexism is. The dinosaurs in charge of these studios need to get out of their own ways because they're surely robbing us of many competent and intelligent women being able to head up films.