January 28, 2003 -- ALBANY - Actress Sigourney Weaver was nearly brought to tears yesterday at the state Capitol when the head of a firefighters union gave her an emotional thank you for her new Sept. 11-related movie.
In "The Guys," Weaver, a star of the "Alien" and "Ghostbusters" movies, plays a journalist called upon to help a fire captain write a series of eulogies for the men he lost at the World Trade Center.
"You have honored us with this film," said Charlie Morello, president of the state Professional Firefighters Union, as Weaver became teary-eyed. "So few understand the impact 9/11 had on firefighters."
Weaver, an Oscar nominee, and her husband, the film's director Jim Simpson, were at the Capitol kicking off a five-day promotional tour for the film.
The movie, adapted from an Anne Nelson play that began a one-year run at Simpson's Lower Manhattan Flea Theater shortly after the terrorist attacks, opens in Manhattan and select cities March 28.
"It was a very moving experience to perform the play," Weaver said. "We wanted to present it to the public as quickly as possible. I think it provided some comfort for people."
Simpson said he does not believe it is too soon to offer up a 9/11-related movie, saying it "goes after something else that actually happened other than the sheer horror of it and despair."
He told The Post that Focus Features gave him just $550,000 to adapt the well-received play for the screen.
Other production companies offered him more money but wanted major changes that would have damaged the intent of the film, Simpson said.
One company wanted the two-character focus to be expanded to show the four firefighters who died, while another wanted Weaver's journalist to sleep with the fire captain, played by Anthony LaPaglia, and then regret it.