a) The Strip
The other side of the fourth is the fact that Ridley stripped the Ripley character down, Sigourney Weaver in the part is strong, capable and attractive and he wanted to increase the sense of her peril by showing her undressed, Ripley does a modest strip down to her underwear. It not only made this ballsy sort of lady vulnerable - but sexy too. Sigourney's understanding behind doing the strip is that obviously Ripley didn't want to go into hypersleep covered in blood and god know what else, she just wants to take her clothes off and have a bath.
b) Possibilities of the alien's sensuous nature
Ridley appeared to Sigourney to have thought that there were great erotic possibilities for the scene in which the alien, watching Ripley as she shedding her clothes so that it looked as if she was going from green and crusty looking in her clothes to something pink and softy, then alien would find it amazing and somehow this idea related to sexual fascination, but on the other hand she knew that the Alien was resting though she discussed the possibility of this creature watching Ripley with voyeuristic passion. The alien would not attack because it was fascinated by the fact that it saw skin. To see another creature without it’s shell would move it, touch it in some way so, Sigourney as an actress remained inspired to think about the alien’s sensual side, (and found in the later Alien sequel, Alien Resurrection, eighteen years later a way to experience a kind of a sexual interaction with the alien creature.)
c) Questions about Sigourney's point of view
From Ridley's point of view, he only tended to talk about an interest in the erotic possibilities of Ripley shedding her clothes rather than have a point about what the Alien was thinking in a sensuous way. He further looked at Sigourney Weaver's idea some years later in hindsight, and thought that perhaps she has a touch of sympathy for the creatures because she looks at it from the viewpoint of her character. Ripley was part crew member and part scientist, someone who thought in logical terms. And maybe at that moment, her scientist side emerged and she began to study the creature like a scientist would and started to get a perspective on what it may have been thinking and previous to this scene, one should remember that there had been absolutely no communication between the alien and the crew members, other than violent experiences.
d) Questions about nudity
Sigourney felt that since the creature had been naked all the way through the movie, she at least ought to find herself naked before this creature at the end of it all, but this didn’t go down well with the studio bosses concerns about selling the film to Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain, so she wore her underwear. Also, she felt that seeing what kind of response she was going to have from the audience, she thinks it was just as well she had some clothes on.
e) Smallest pair of knickers
They were looking for a pair of knickers of Sigourney to wear back on the set, they held the shoot up by a couple of house, the first pair that the costume designers came back with looked to Ridley like a pair of diapers, he wanted something very sex and so he went himself to find something and whatever the smallest pair were, those he came back with. Sigourney was a tall healthy woman with long legs who did a lot of running. Ivor Powell was impressed by how sexy they made her look.
f) White knight vs Futuristic Dragon
The last twenty minutes are treated in a very lyrical style, Scott sees this as a reflection of the way he looks at reality. It was more than whether Ripley will triumph, it becomes a situation with an undercurrent of sexuality where she dons the virginal white space shit and she takes up a fight with a futuristic dragon.
- Sigourney Weaver: Ridley thought there were great erotic possibilities for that scene which the alien, watching Ripley go from green and crusty-looking to something pink and soft, would find amazing. But face it, if you were in that situation would you want to go into hypersleep covered and in blood and god knows what? She just wants to take off what she’s wearing and have a bath (Photoplay)
- Ridley : Oddly enough there's a sensuality to this whole scene, errrrrrr, partly the silence. It's, um, subtly sexual, right, or is it just me, huh.(alien 20th anniversary dvd, between 1hour 42mins - 44mins)
- Ridley : Ripley does a modest strip once in the shuttle, but we kept that to stress the vulnerability of a lady who’s pretty much a ballsy sort (Ridley Scott interview by David Lewin, Daily Mail 1/10/79)
- Ridley Scott: Sigourney has a touch of sympathy for the creature because she looks at it from the viewpoint of her character. Ripley was part crew member and part scientist, someone who thought in logical terms. Maybe at that moment, her scientist side emerged and she began to study the creature like a scientist would and started to get a perspective on what it may have been thinking. Previous to this scene, remember, there had been absolutely no communication between the alien and the crew members, other than violent experiences. (Omni)
- Questar magazine #5, November 1979
- Interviewer The Last Twenty Minutes are treated in a very lyrical style.
Ridley Scott: This is how I like to look at reality. It's not simply a question of knowing whether or not Ripley will triumph. I wanted to introduce another dimension. She takes up the fight against some futuristic dragon - that's why I made her put on the white spacesuit. At the same time, this has something carnal. She is possessed by the idea of this confrontation and her behaviour changes completely (Duelling with Death)
- Ivor Powell: I mean, I remember Ridley, 'cause again, this is with his , like
commercial hat on, before we shot that sequence, we like held up
shooting for a couple of hours where I set out one of the costume
designers to go, 'cause the first pair of knickers that they turned up
with for Sigourney to wear, as far as Ridley was concerned looked like a
pair of diapers and they weren't sexy enough, so we all waited while he
went out and came back, and whatever the smallest pair were, those were
the ones that got chosen as you can see etc, I mean, Sigourney's a ,
you know was a very healthy girl, and big sort of legs, she did a lot of
running, etc, but they made her look amazing, sexy, and the whole thing
was this undercurrent of sexuality and that end sequence of her
changing into that virginal white space suit, and then now the alien
Wayne Imms: yeah, yeah, absolutely
Ivor Powell: All of that, talk about Freudian. It was beauty and the beast really., so. (Alien Q &A, Genesis Cinema, August 23rd 2014)