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Bolaji Badejo: The Nigerian Giant Who Played the Alien

The science fiction horror movie Alien was released in 1979, before digital effects made strange alien beings common in cinema, yet even at the time it was difficult to believe there was an actual person playing the xenomorph. That was 6’ 10” graphic arts student Bolaji Badejo. Director Ridley Scott and associate producer Ivor Powell had been considering various tall actors for the role, but found what they needed in a young man who had never acted before.  

Casting agent Peter Ardram had been in a London pub when he saw Badejo, and called up Powell.

"'I've seen this guy in a bar,' he said. 'He's exactly what you were talking about. He's never acted before or done anything like that.'" A meeting was arranged.

"As soon as I walked in Ridley Scott knew he'd found the right person," Badejo said in a rare interview for the French film magazine, Cinefantastique, in 1979 (transcribed with permission by Strange Shapes).

The Nigerian had long limbs and a slight figure, ideal for the role, but translating that into Giger's vision would be no mean feat.

Badejo put in weeks of training and long hours of shooting in an uncomfortable suit to bring the xenomorph to life. Read about Bolaji Badejo’s Alien experience at CNN. -via Digg     


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