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Sigourney Weaver Reveals 'Aliens' Set Concern Left Her Bleeding After James Cameron Dismissed It

The 'Avatar: The Way of Water' star said a hazardous scene in the 1986 classic left her 'bleeding like stigmata.'

Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in "Aliens"
20th Century Fox

Sigourney Weaver talked about reuniting to work with Academy Award-winning director James Cameron for the long-awaited sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water, and how a "crazy" demand on the set of Aliens made her bleed.

The actress previously teamed up with Cameron in Aliens–the 1986 sci-fi sequel to 1979's, Alien–and recalled the dangerous scene while on Tuesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Weaver discussed achieving some of the physically demanding scenes from The Way of Water and confirmed Cameron doesn't ask his actors to do certain stunts without proper training.

Kimmel then asked:

“Has he ever asked you to do something crazy that you said, ‘No, I will not do?’”

Without hesitation, Weaver replied:


You can watch the full interview here.

Sigourney Weaver on Avatar: The Way of Water, Working with James Cameron & Making

Weaver recalled a specific scene in Aliens when her character, Ellen Ripley, attempts to free a trapped child named Newt, played by Carrie Henn.

The scene required Weaver to rip apart an alien nest that held Newt captive.

When Weaver first touched the nest, its composition of "just sort of spun glass"–as explained to her by Cameron–made her apprehensive about tearing it apart with her hands for fear of getting lacerations.

But the director assured her "it won’t cut you" and even fiddled with it and came out unscathed.

Things didn't turn out quite the same for Weaver when the cameras started rolling.

Said, Weaver:

“Then ‘action’—I do it, and I’m bleeding like stigmata."

The bloody incident left her with a new MO when approaching scenes that require caution.

“I always say yes—but I always make sure.”

Weaver has worked on four Alien movies–Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien Resurrection (1997).

Despite her injury, Weaver has no hard feelings toward Cameron after fulfilling his demand on set.

When asked by Collider which was her favorite Alien film to do, she said it was the second in the franchise, Aliens, which was directed by Cameron.

"The best-constructed story for the character to tell was in Aliens, just because Jim [Cameron] has such an amazing sense of structure of story," said Weaver in the interview from May 2021.

"To take this character out of hyper-sleep, have no one believe her, have her be exiled into this limbo land where no one believes her and her family’s dead."
"The whole set-up for Ripley in Aliens and then what she ends up doing and what it, finding this new family by the end. The whole structure of that story, to me, was gold."
"I always felt that I could jump up and down on it. It was such a great, supportive arc for the character."
"In that sense, the second one for Ripley is probably the most satisfying."

Avatar: The Way of Water stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald.

Weaver originally appeared in 2009's Avatar as protagonist Dr. Grace Augustine, who dies in the movie.

She and Cameron confirmed in 2014 she would return to the franchise but as a different character.

In the sequel, Weaver plays Kiri–Jake and Neytiri's adopted 14-year-old daughter.

The 73-year-old actress learned free-diving along with the rest of the cast and also filmed scenes underwater.

Here's the official trailer.

Avatar: The Way of Water | Official

Avatar: The Way of Water had a budget of $350–400 million, and it is considered one of the most expensive films of all time.

The film hits US theaters this Friday.