Sigourney Weaver honoured at Spain’s Goya Awards

On a starry evening in Valladolid, Spain, the highly esteemed Sigourney Weaver ascended the stage to accept the International Goya Award, a testament to her monumental contributions to the realm of cinema. Bestowed by the Spanish Film Academy, the award honored her for a remarkable career that has spanned decades, replete with portrayals of independent, complex, and strong female protagonists.

At the age of 74, the venerable actress, widely recognized for her iconic role as Ellen Ripley in the “Alien” franchise, made history as only the third artist to be presented with the prestigious accolade. The Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars, had introduced this honorary category in the previous year, 2022, and it had been previously awarded to luminaries in the acting world such as Cate Blanchett and Juliette Binoche.

Surrounded by the luminaries of the film industry, including Hollywood staples like Penelope Cruz, Weaver addressed the audience during the Goya Awards gala with heartfelt words. “Always looking for stories about and for women, to remind us… of how powerful women are in all kinds of surprising ways,” she shared, her voice resonating with the gravity and passion of someone who has always pushed the boundaries on behalf of women in film.

As the photographers captured the ceremony’s highlights, the presence of Cruz and esteemed director Pedro Almodovar was noted, both having been significant figures in the landscape of Spanish cinema.

An unexpected and endearing moment of the night came when Weaver acknowledged the contributions of Spanish actress Maria Luisa Sola, who has voiced her characters in over 30 films, beginning with her role in Alien. With humility and humor, she suggested, “The excellent actress who dubs me should be up here, too,” a comment that was met with applause and laughter as she mentioned that her performances always seemed better when dubbed in Spanish.

The Goya Awards jury lavishly praised Weaver’s versatility, stating that her charisma and talent had graced the silver screen in a plethora of roles. From dramatic portrayals, such as her Tony-earning turn as naturalist Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist,” to her comedic foray in the classic “Ghostbusters,” Weaver’s diverse capabilities as an actress have consistently captivated audiences worldwide.

The ceremony also had its share of other significant moments, including the recognition of “Society of the Snow.” Directed by J.A. Bayona, the film narrates the harrowing true story of a Uruguayan rugby team’s airplane crash in the Andes mountains in 1972. The production was triumphant, walking away with a dozen accolades and being the evening’s most celebrated work.

As the celebrations drew to a close, the audience reflected on the night’s festivities and the powerful impact of films and their creators on culture and society. The Goya Awards once again highlighted the excellence of cinematic achievements and the transformative power of storytelling through the moving image.

Weaver’s recognition at the Goya Awards is not just about a single performance or individual contribution; it’s a celebration of her enduring legacy as a vanguard in the portrayal of powerful female characters. Her impact has been profound, both on and off-screen, and the Goya’s acknowledgment speaks to the indelible mark she has left on the fabric of cinema.

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