We have Sigourney Weaver to thank, in part, for the Jean Smart-issance – The A.V. Club

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Jean Smart

Jean Smart
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

In all fairness, we should be thanking Sigourney Weaver for the roles she’s taken. Be it Ripley or Dana Barret or Avatar’s Dr. Grace Augustine, there isn’t a single project that Weaver’s presence doesn’t improve. But sometimes, though, we must share some gratitude for the roles she didn’t take. In a chat with Bowen Yang for Variety, HBO’s actor-in-residence Jean Smart, coming off a hot-streak in Mare Of Easttown and Hacks, did just that.

During their talk, Yang’s questions turned to Watchmen and Smart’s experiences as Silk Spectre, a job she got because Sigourney Weaver turned down the job. She says:

I was sort of shot from guns because they hired me two days before I started. I’ll be really honest: I had Sigourney Weaver to thank for turning down the role. So, thank you, Sigourney. I knew nothing about the graphic novel. I knew nothing about the story at all. I started reading the pilot, and I said, “Oh, my God, this is amazing.” I’d never really done that science-fiction genre, and the fact that Damon was able to use that tragic part of our history that almost no one knew about — that was what was so shocking, that I had never heard of the Tulsa massacre. That’s why I think he said no when I asked him to do a second season because I think he put everything into that.

Weaver as Silk Spectre, huh? Yup, sounds pretty good. Of course, as exciting as that casting sounds, it’s really Smart’s over-it attitude that brings the character to life. So while it probably would’ve been great, we’re more than satisfied with the Watchmen we received.

Watchmen isn’t the only iconic role Weaver missed out on. Blue Velvet, Body Heat, Broadcast News, and Jurassic Park are just a few of the jobs Weaver came close to, says NotStarring.com. Take the site with a grain of IMDB trivia (especially the idea of Blue Velvet with Weaver as Dorothy instead of Isabella Rossellini). Still, it’s undoubtedly a fun list of what-ifs. So, thank you, Sigourney Weaver, for not being in these movies.

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