Sunday, August 12, 2007

BabelCon Installment 5: Catwoman and Stunt Woman

I really enjoyed meeting Lee Meriwether and her daughter, Leslie Aletter. Lee has had a remarkable career. She has played Catwoman on Batman, as well as Losira on the original Star Trek. She was even Miss America in 1955—and rumored to be engaged to one of my Yankee idols, Joe DiMaggio. Yes, that puts her in Marylyn Monroe territory! I enjoyed watching Lee relate to all of the fans. She never expressed annoyance or exhaustion. She always smiled, and she made sure to include me, even though I was the least famous at the Con. She’s still got the Miss America poise. I watched her and took mental notes, hoping that I could give fans the same respect and kindness that she did. One thing that I noticed right off when I first met Lee wasn’t necessarily her beauty (She’s still got it!), or her marvelous bone structure, but her eyes. They were kind and confident. (I’m an eye person. Those of you who have read A Prophecy Forgotten have probably figured that out.) Lee and I did an exchange. I got an autographed picture of her as Catwoman, and she got an autographed book from me.

Lee’s daughter, Leslie Aletter, was also in attendance. She sat next to me. She’s a Hollywood stuntwoman. She was Sigourney Weaver’s stunt double in Galaxy Quest and in Alien: Resurrection. Amazing woman, and incredibly fit. My first thought when I met her was, “Wow! I need to get in shape!” She is toned and very attractive. We began talking about the weight of Hollywood actresses, and it’s actually becoming a problem for stunt doubles. Think about it. A stunt double needs to be fit and with incredible muscular power, i.e. heavier than a waif. So here is the question. How does a stunt double lose enough weight to pass for the anorexic actress from far away without fainting on set because of lack of food?

What is interesting is that Ms. Aletter was not in “weight loss” mode when I met her. She weighed more than the waifs, and she looked INCREDIBLE! Anyway, I was very impressed by her because she does things I just don’t think I could do. For instance, she was the one holding the flame thrower in Alien: Resurrection, and she had to have a fuel line put through her costume to do the part. I’ve got pyro-phobia—there’s no way I’d do that! And she’s hung from flying helicopters, etc. Yikes! Those of you who heard me speak in Ft. Walton Beach know all about my heights issues. This woman was kind and impressive—just like her mother.


Charles Gramlich said...

Hi Michelle. Found your blog through the Babel con site. Was good to meet you there. I enjoyed your talk.

M. B. Weston said...

Thanks! I really enjoyed giving the talk. It's really great when everyone in the room has seen all the movies that I use for examples!