Sigourney Weaver Teases Alexandra’s Agenda In The Defenders

Sigourney Weaver plays Alexandra, the villain of The Defenders who we still know very little about.  However, it’s obvious she’s not a clear-cut big bad. The trailers suggest she has a specific agenda and peculiar interest in one of The Defenders.

Danny Rand and Alexandra has the potential to be one of the most interesting in the The Defenders. Not only because of Iron Fist’s direct connection to The Hand, who are the sworn enemy of Ku'n-Lun. But also because of Madame Gao, who we know has been alive long enough to see the previous incarnations of the Iron Fist. It's not yet clear how all of this pieces together, but Weaver offered a few clues at San Diego Comic-Con.

“I consider Iron Fist an innocent,” Weaver told Player.One. “I have been around a lot longer than he has and he’s very idealistic and very passionate. Given enough time I’m sure I could win him over to my point of view. I’m sure that’s true for Luke Cage -- I could put a lot of resources in Harlem. If I had the time to win each of them over, I could, but when they come together it’s very hard to isolate them.”

The Defenders takes place over the course of just one week. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but Weaver teased Alexandra isn’t one to get her hands dirty--after all, each main cast member of The Defenders has a color and hers is white.

“I was surprised to find my character's color was white, though in the end I came to love it. It’s very elegant and [for] someone who doesn't get their hands dirty. I don't think she ever pretends to be anything other than she is. I think she thinks it's a shame that these guys are so young, they can't see the way the world works and they are going to try to make a difference where they can and they are so talented but if they came to work for me, they could really get somewhere.”

Because Alexandra’s one to work more behind-the-scenes, we may not see her amid fight scenes and action as much as fans may have hoped.

“I think she has all those skills. I think she has several, a number of, frankly ninjas who will protect her so that I don't really need to get sweaty myself,” Weaver said after revealing she has a red belt in karate. “But I think in the past, she has done all those things but now she has a protective group around her which we all deserve in this world.”

Alexandra does have a secret weapon in Elektra, whom we know from trailers does come back to life as a mysterious entity known as “black sky.” The purpose of Black Sky is still unclear, but Alexandra doesn’t only think of Elektra as a weapon, she cares at least a little bit.

“It was very natural to believe in Elodie [Yung] and try and take her under my wing up to a point and I think that my character is very sincere about the relationship. I thinks she wants to be a mentor to Elektra and I think she would actually love to mentor all of the four heroes. Unfortunately, they have some pesky tendency to be idealistic which I feel they will grow out of but they haven't at this stage so they become unfortunately my enemies.”

What will be most interesting to see after The Defenders debut is who Alexandra aligns with. The Hand has weaved through the entire Marvel-Netflix universe. Why haven’t we seen or heard about her until now? A recent Defenders teaser revealed Alexandra and Stick are “old friends.” But so far, it’s been Madame Gao as the mysterious force that seems to tie everything together. When I asked Weaver if Alexandra will overshadow Gao, she said, “I certainly hope so.”

“I think Madame Gao is awesome. We have a very interesting relationship. There’s never any security in the world and it’s a lesson one has to learn again and again.”

There are still so may questions to be answered about The Hand, Madame Gao, Ku’n Lun, Stick and the ancient opposing forces that seem to be running New York City. However, when The Defenders ends, it may be up to the fans to put the pieces together about Alexandra.

“I think we build the information with each show. But I think they purposely don’t want you to know too much about her because it is written from The Defenders’ point of view. You get glimpses into her life, I think pretty intimate glimpses, but ultimately it’s about these forces coming together.”

Any theories about who Alexandra is and why she wants to destroy New York? Let us know in the comments and check out our review. The Defenders arrives on Netflix Aug. 18.


Detroit's Joseph David-Jones Reflects On The Horror And History

Detroit tells the true story of the 12th Street Riot, with a focus on the events leading up to and after the massacre at the Algiers Motel. It serves as documentation of a brutal series of events that have been swept under the rug since 1967 -- 43 dead, over 1,000 wounded, 2,500 businesses burned or looted, police officers unpunished -- just one of many such incidents in African-American history.

Helmed by respected director Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, both of 2008’s Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, the film is gaining traction because of the talent involved and affecting narrative. But this is not your average documentary or historical adaptation. The incident and its aftermath are horrendous, but the trailers evoke an elevated feeling of cinematic horror. While the subject matter is poignant, timely and undoubtedly visceral considering Bigelow’s track record, it’s hard to watch, let alone take part in creatively.

“She’s shot this in its period, the 60s, which is most of the time in film is very stylized, but she shoots this so real and gritty it’s almost like a war film or something,” actor Joseph David-Jones told Player One. He plays Morris, a singer with the group The Dramatics who performed at the historic Fox Theater during the riots. “[It’s] a horror movie watching this trailer. They don't pull any punches. It’s very very gritty, raw and real and in your face and it puts you right amidst the chaos that was going on in Detroit at that time.”

David-Jones, who recently appeared in the latest season of Nashville, says it was the bond between his castmates, particularly his fellow band members, that helped him wash off all the heavy material and keep his spirits high.

“Every day people would be getting like, you know, we’d be at the hotel and all the terrible things that were going to happen there. Being able to come back and be around your friends and brothers who were going through the same things as you, it really helps you not be weighed down by it,” he said.

Before his casting, Davis-Jones did know about the Detroit riots, but wasn’t aware of the Algiers Motel murders. As a young actor working with people like John Boyega, Anthony Mackie and Kathryn Bigelow, he still says the biggest thing he learned from the experience on set were the details of the 1967 riots and how history seemed to carry these deaths away without consequence.

Joseph David-Jones just finished filming Roman Israel, Esq. with Denzel Washington.PHOTO: PHOTO BY JSQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY. STYLED BY MELISSA WALSH.

Joseph David-Jones just finished filming Roman Israel, Esq. with Denzel Washington.PHOTO: PHOTO BY JSQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY. STYLED BY MELISSA WALSH.

“I had no concept for it,” Davis-Jones said. “Whenever you are doing something like this where it’s a true story, you're playing people who really existed and something as heavy as this, there is always an added pressure and added responsibility to do justice to the person you are playing and to the story itself. So it was just a lot more responsibility on me to really be present in the moment and connect with the emotions of it all.”

The cinematic devices Detroit uses to tell these stories may be controversial, but Jones says the one thing he hopes people gain from the film is a level of understanding.

“The main thing that we are trying to get people to take away from this is empathy and understanding of where this all began and what we as black people have to go through and what it’s like to be a black person in America today and back then. Because I think they’ve changed but they haven’t changed that much. It’s about empathy, understanding, and forming a commonality and community,” Jones said. “It's not just a black movie or a black issue, it's an American issue. I feel like everybody is going to get something from it, even if it's just a better understanding of the people around you.”

History is set in stone, but the future isn’t. Jones is optimistic moving forward that films featuring African-American actors won’t always focus on black trauma.

“We are starting to see more of a shift toward us as leading men and women that are powerful, that aren’t about a history of us being abused and being victimized. I get it, sometimes it's hard to see those types of things, even though it’s important to learn and know your history, but I think it is changing,” he said.

For more on Detroit, read Newsweek’s review