Sigourney Weaver & Alfred Molina On Technology and Acting

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Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver interview

Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina take on the action genre once again with ABDUCTION starring Taylor Lautner. The two actors broke into Hollywood more than thirty years ago on two of the most iconic action films in movie history (Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark). When it comes to shooting an action film today, the two actors disagree on whether the new technology has changed the craft of acting.

Before Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver owned the title of female bad-ass with the Alien franchise. She returned to the genre with her Aliens director James Cameron in Avatar, and has since taken on more "active person" roles in mainstream films such as John Singleton's Abduction as a CIA agent.

CineMovie asked the veteran Hollywood actress whether the technology and the less cumbersome equipment on set has made it easier to shoot action scenes since her days of her first movie role in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979). The 62-year-old classically trained theater actor, said she "felt a little rusty" returning to the action genre but it was "nice" to take on an action role every now and then. The new technology eased her return and said she was "grateful" for CGI and motion-capture as a great improvement over green screen. Motion capture allows interaction with other actors rather than having to act opposite a tennis ball.

"It's much more actor-centric if you do it the James Cameron way. The actors absolutely inform the work and the soul of the pictures. They're going to need actors more than ever to make that stuff work."
She adds that actors should "relax," because the acting jobs are not going away because of the advancements of film technology. Next, Weaver continues her foray into more "active roles" as she refers to it, with The Cold Light of Day alongside the new Superman Henry Cavill and a vampire comedy with Amy Heckerling.

Like Weaver, her Abduction co-star Alfred Molina broke into Hollywood with an action-packed role in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).  The theater actor turned movie star admitted during our sit down for Abduction that he knew nothing about film technology when he filmed the Harrison Ford film almost thirty-years-ago. During Raiders, he marveled at the snakes in the pit scene with Harrison Ford. Before CGI, live snakes were used on set with only a glass partition separating the lethal snakes from it's star, explained The Sorcerer's Apprentice star. He is glad CGI can now replace snakes.

By the time he played the villain Doc Ock in Spiderman 2 (2004), he had become well-versed in making a special effects-heavy film. Unlike Sigourney, Molina feels acting hasn't changed over his thirty-year career.
"From an acting point of view, the job is really the same. The relationship between the actor and the camera are the same. We're telling stories."

However, he does say something has been lost with the new technology.  He recalls Spielberg under the lens of the camera on a dolly during the Raiders shoot watching the action. With the advent of video playback shortly after Raiders, the set camaraderie changed and it lost a "bit of romance," he says.  With video playback on sets today, the director is one hundred yards away "sipping cappuccino." He misses the days when directors were in the trenches.  Nowadays, the production crew and the actors huddle around the playback after each take which has made productions "twice as long," budgets go up, and credits go on "forever." It's a lot more "industry heavy."    

Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina can be seen in action in Abduction which is now playing in movie theaters.

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