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Sigourney Weaver on mom power: To get anything accomplished, 'ask a mother'

She's fought aliens in the "Alien" saga and she nearly became one in "Avatar," but in her first TV series role, Sigourney Weaver is playing someone really foreign to her repertoire: A regular person. Who just so happens to be a former first lady, a onetime presidential candidate and current U.S. secretary of state."Usually I'm playing people who I have to say in a nice way are quite eccentric or t

She's fought aliens in the "Alien" saga and she nearly became one in "Avatar," but in her first TV series role, Sigourney Weaver is playing someone really foreign to her repertoire: A regular person. Who just so happens to be a former first lady, a onetime presidential candidate and current U.S. secretary of state.

"Usually I'm playing people who I have to say in a nice way are quite eccentric or they've been put on the periphery for some reason," she told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday, explaining her role on USA's "Political Animals." "This is the first character I think I've ever played that's so in the mainstream."

Weaver's known for playing strong women, and she said women simply are strong. "I've always felt if you really want to get anything done, you ask a mother to do it," she said. "That's the kind of energy I feel Washington (D.C.) needs."

As for the current strong lady she's playing -- Elaine, who is the matriarch of a political family that wants to reclaim its place in the White House -- Weaver says that yes, the character was inspired by real life.

"Certainly, we are inspired by Mrs. (Hillary) Clinton, who is a remarkable woman ... but it's also inspired by these different families who have been in the White House who want to get back in. There's an idea that in spite of how brilliant and talented these people are, being in the White House, kind of you pay a price for that.... It is a tribute to politicians like Mrs. Clinton, but it's both sides."

"Political Animals" premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m. on USA.

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