Why Sigourney Weaver's Character In The Defenders Isn't Really A Villain

sigourney weaver the defenders netflix marvel
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of Netflix)

The next installment in Netflix's world of Marvel action will debut next month with The Defenders, and sci-fi veteran Sigourney Weaver is on board to play Alexandra, who will be making life complicated for the heroes of New York City. We haven't had a lot of details about Alexandra so far, but she basically sounded like another villain, a la Kingpin and Kilgrave. According to Sigourney Weaver, however, Alexandra isn't really a traditional villain. She had this to say about her Defenders character:

I'm not a villain. I'm an adversary. . . With my work in general, I try to avoid terms like 'ice queen' that are often thrown at women who aren't completely sympathetic. I encouraged [them] to not think in those terms, because I find them completely meaningless, and to help me understand who I was from a really un-cliché-ed point of view. I think we succeeded in that.

In her chat with EW, Sigourney Weaver revealed that Alexandra won't just be a boring baddie who is evil for the sake of being evil. Rather, Alexandra will be an adversary to Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand in The Defenders. She'll have an agenda that simply doesn't line up with what the Defenders are willing to allow, and the two sides will clash because of it. That's not to say that viewers won't come to consider her the bad guy of the series, but it sounds like she'll be a new brand of antagonist for a Netflix Marvel project. Given that The Defenders will be a new brand of Netflix Marvel series, I'd say that she could be fantastic.

Sigourney Weaver isn't the only person behind-the-scenes on The Defenders who believes that there's more to Alexandra's story than outright villainy. Showrunner Marco Ramirez also spoke out about Alexandra's motivation, saying this:

Above all else, she cares about living. She's about self-preservation, and self-preservation at all costs... She has the long game in mind, and she isn't thinking about this chess game, she's thinking about six chess games in the future. As such, I think she's seen a lot of beauty in humanity and in the world, but there are certain things that to her are expendable, and that's a really dangerous worldview.

Alexandra's priorities certainly sound different than those of the various Defenders. They've all shown that they value the lives of the people in their territories, whether that's Hell's Kitchen or Harlem. Sigourney Weaver's character seems inclined to sacrifice just about anything for the sake of a win in the bigger picture. Even if her goals are somewhat sympathetic, I'm guessing we might not be on board with her means to an end.

If Alexandra is truly playing multiple games of metaphorical chess, it's easy to see why all four of our heroes are going to need to team up to save the day. The four of them have done well enough in their own solo series, but Alexandra is shaping up to be a villain who can't be toppled by just one of them. Even if they're not all happy about working together, they're going to need each other if they want to win and survive the battle.

All things considered, we still don't know to much about Alexandra. Fortunately, we don't have all that much longer to wait before we see her in action. The Defenders will debut on Friday, August 18 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix. Check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover your other viewing options, and our Netflix guide for your streaming options. Our breakdown of what we know so far about The Defenders is worth a look as well.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).