Bolaji Badejo from the Gold Coast

 from


a) Tall skinny man spotted in a soho pub

Ridley wanted to use a robot, but it was costly and dangerous. The production had put put a casting call for a very tall, very thin actor. Ridley had been looking at basket ball players, and he tested even Peter Mayhew for the alien. An agent named Peter Archer,  had seen someone in a West End pub said to Ivor, " I was at a bar the other night, and it was a sort of students bar, lots of students there and I saw this guy and I don't know what he was, whether he was Somalian, or some, he was some African and he was impossibly tall, about seven feet tall with a tiny head and a tiny skinny body. you want to see him?"

b) Ridley Scott meets Bolaji in a pub

The story would go that Peter sent Bolaji to see Ridley who waited with Gordon Carroll in the pub, and watched at Bolaji walked in through the door practically on his hands and knees and then straightened up to be a tall timid man near to seven feet in height who had never been in front of a camera before. 

Bolaji realised that as soon as he walked in, Ridley knew that he had found the right person

Ridley told the agent "Why don't you pop over to him and ask him if he wants to be in movies?"

Peter Archer went over to Bolaji and then, armed with the old line said "How would you like to be a movie star?"

It appeared as if Bolaji thought they were joking, but he replied "sure."

Bolaji went to Ridley's office to meet him and so the question also came from Ridley himself "Do you want to be in movies?"

Boljai replied in what Ridley thought was a kind of Cockney accent "sure."


"“Homme qui Marche” by Giacometti
c) Bolaji begins his involvement in the production
 
Bolaji known to be from the Gold Coast, and later Ridley would much have the confused idea that Bolaji came from Somalia, perhaps because he was mistakenly introduced to him as being from Somalia. 26 year old Bolaji was a student of graphics arts in London, and he traveled extensively with his parents, to Ethiopia where he studied Fine Arts, and to the United States, including a three year stay in San Francisco

When stripped down had a figure like a Giacometti sculpture and nine inches taller than the height of an average door although it seemed that Bolaji was known to be six foot ten. Ridley was certainly not going to find a woman like that. David Giler remained aware of his height but Gordon Carroll would at one point be so certain that he was 7 foot 2 inches but this measurement may well have stuck in the mind because that would be about the height that the final alien creature as a man in a suit was about.

So Bolaji was signed on for the role in May when they began to construct the suit. Originally he was to be one of a team of three artists needed to play the alien, including a mime specialist and a karate expert, but other experts of his unique proportions could not be found, however a stuntman substituted for the dangerous and physically grueling action scene.

On June 5th, HR Giger is finally introduced to Bolaji at Ridley's office

Bolaji began mime and tai-chi lessons

The filming of the alien beast itself would begin in August




photo pieced together from image in Alien Saga documentary


Source Quotes
  1. Ridley Scott: The alien had to be 7ft 2in. We found a man Bolaji Badejo from the Gold Coast who when stripped had a figure like a Giacometti sculpture and was 9in. taller than the height of the door. But where do you find a woman like that? (David Lewin, Daily Mail)
  2. Ridley Scott: I said "Why don't you pop over to him and ask him if he wants to be in movies", and the guy thought we were joking , and he then worked for the next six months as the alien. (Alien Saga documentary)
  3. Gordon Carroll: We interviewed karate champions, a mime artist, we even considered one of those tall skinny fashion models. Then we got a call from an agent in London and went to meet him and someone he told us about. Se we were sitting in the pub and this man came through the door, practically on his hands and knees. When he straightened up he was seven foot 2inch. And the agent looked at us, looked at him and said "How would you like to be a movie star." (Neon magazine, p120) 
  4. David Giler : "We used a 6'10" native of the Gold Coast inside the monster suit designed by Giger" (CFQ 9:1 p19)
  5. Ridley Scott: We started with a stunt man who was quite thin, but in the rubber suit he looked like the Michelin Man. So my casting director said, ‘I’ve seen a guy in a pub in Soho who is about seven feet tall, has a tiny head and a tiny skinny body.’ So he brought Bolaji Bodejo to the office, and he was actually from Somalia, funnily enough,” Scott remarks, having much later directed BLACK HAWK DOWN, which was set in Somalia.I said, ‘Do you want to be in movies,’ and he said "sure". And he became the alien. I had him for two months. In the cockpit, there’s a pack of cigarettes that says ‘Bolaji.’” (http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2008/09/revisiting-alien-ridley-scott/ )
     
  6. Ivor Powell: "...and then this kind of choreographer friend of mine who, I'm not sure he was looking out for women in a particular dimension, he said, "I was at a bar the other night, and it was a sort of students bar, lots of students there and I saw this guy and I don't know what he was, whether he was Somalian, or some, he was some African and he was impossibly tall and skinny, you want to see him?' And so he sent him in and this quite sort of timid kind of guy, never been in front of a camera before and he ended up being our, you know, Alien." (Alien Makers II documentary)
  7. The Alien you don't get to see in ALIEN was played by 6'10", 26-year-old Nigerian Bolaji Badejo. Bolaji is a student of graphic arts in London, and has traveled extensively with his parents, to Ethiopia where he studied Fine Arts, and to the United States, including a three year stay in San Francisco. He landed the role of "The Alien" purely by accident, a turn of events that reads like a publicity agent's tall tale. The production had apparently put out a casting call for a very tall, very thin actor. Bolaji bumped into agent Pete Archer while having a drink in a London West End pub. Archer thought of Alien as soon as he spotted Bolaji, and offered him the chance to try out for the part. "As soon as I walked in, " said Bolaji " Ridley Scott knew he'd found the right person." Scott had been looking at basket ball players, and he tested Peter Mayhew for the alien., but it was Badejo's combination of height, slimness and an erect posture that cinched him the part. Bolaji was signed for the role in May, manufacture of the suit began, and the filming of the Alien started in August at Shepperton. Ridley Scott originally intended Bolaji to be part of a team of three artists needed to play the Alien, including a mime specialist and a karate expert. When other experts of Bolaji's unique proportions could not be found, a stuntman was substituted for the dangerous and physically gruelling action and Bolaji began to take miming lessons. (Cinefantastique 9:1)
  8. Ridley Scott: In those days I couldn't even get latex thin enough that wouldn't break , you know, quickly and would also take sculptural elements and sinew, because you've got to lay sinews into the rubber suit, so suddenly the rubber suit isn't  like, should have been as thin as a contraceptive and as strong as nylon , right, because then I can crush this person into the suit and have all kinds of things built and stitched into it. I need something extraordinarily thin because whatever we did, there was a certain man who was pretty thin, we put him in, it didn't look right. Funnily enough that week, one of the casting directors had been standing in a pub and stared at this guy who looked like, probably close to seven feet, right, and er, very slender, very thin, kind of elegant, erm,  and his name was Bolaji, so the guy had gone over to him in the pub and said, you know, the old line, "how would you like to be in the movies?" and the guy had a kind of North London accent and er, he was a graphic designer, and so he turned up, great, very bemused, curious and he was then attached to the film for the next ten months, and so he did all the stuff where he had to like, coming out of the wall in the shuttle (Alien Behind the scenes:  1:31:18)
  9. See HR Giger's Alien Diaries for June 5th 
  10. Ridley Scott: Au dernier stade de la transformation de la bête, j'aurais voulu employer un robot électronique, Mais cela aurait coûté trop cher. Finalement, nous avons trouvé un étudiant noir de la tribu des Masaï, Bolaji Badejo, 2,10 m, un corps filiforme et une démarche de danseur. »   Translation: In the final stage of the transformation of the beast , I wanted to use an electronic robot, said [ Ridley ] Scott. But it would have cost too much. Finally , we found a black student from the Masai tribe , Bolaji Badejo , 2.10 m, a threadlike body and a dancer approach.( L'Express no 1469, 1er septembre 1979.)

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