Sigourney Weaver on Her ‘Alien’ Audition: ‘I Wasn’t Sure I Even Wanted to Be in a Movie’

Project Casting

Looking back on her audition for the role of Ripley in 1979’s Alien, Weaver explains she wasn’t always excited for the acting job.

“I remember that [director] Ridley [Scott] built an entire set for me just for the audition,” she told PEOPLE on Wednesday at the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World, which is based on the 2009 blockbuster Avatar film. “I was from the theater. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be in a movie! I think I was the only person they tested. What was so helpful to me is that we did a run-through of several scenes. Ridley went out of his way to make sure that I had a very real world in which to be.”

Scott recently told EW that amor Warren Beatty had recommended Weaver for the movie role.

“I went and met with her. She appeared — she had an afro, she had high heels on, [so] she was like, 7-foot-6. It felt like I was going out for dinner with Mummy.”

Weaver, 67, laughed on Wednesday when told what Scotta said: “I was in hooker boots!”

The star joined her Avatar castmates Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, along with director James Cameron, at the grand opening of the new Pandora park, which allows visitors to explore the alien world of Pandora.

“The extraordinary beauty of this place, I think people will come away with a lot of information about how fragile an ecosystem is,” Weaver says. “It’s just in time. I think President Trump should come down. I think it’s something we all need. The rest of the world is so ahead with all of this. Other countries are not climate deniers. I think it’s a fantastic experience where people can understand these issues from a new perspective.”