a) Tall man spotted in a soho pub
However Ivor Powell remembered the event as being that a friend of his who was a kind of a choreographer, was this man an agent named Peter Archer or perhaps a casting director, but it was someone who obviously knew about the need to find someone of an interesting physique to wear the alien suit, having seem soneone 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 and skinny, you want to see him?'
To Ridley it seemed that the words translated into ‘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.’
b) Bolaji sent to see Ridley Scott
And so Ivor's friend sent Bolaji Badejo to see Ridley and there was this tall timid man 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 said to him,' Do you want to be in movies?"
Bolaji replied "sure."
Bolaji was from the Gold Coast and when stripped down had a figure like a Gacometti sculpture and nine inches taller than the height of an average door. Ridley was certainly not going to find a woman like that. 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 was substituted for the dangerous and physically gruelling action scenes and Bolaji began to take miming lessons.
On June 5th, HR Giger is finally introduced to Bolaji at Ridley's office
c) For more about the life of Bolaji Badejo See : The Life Of Bolaji Badejo
at the Alien Series Blogspot
- 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)
- Giler : "We used a 6'10" native of the Gold Coast inside the monster suit designed by Giger" (CFQ 9:1 p19)
- 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/ )
- 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)
"“Homme qui Marche” by Giacometti
- 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)
- See HR Giger's Alien Diaries for June 5th