He found the whole thing to be very covert. As actors they would get their audition lines sent, and even the piece that they had to read wasn't from the script.
He had no idea what character he was going for, as if he was going for a wide amount of characters.
His friend Belinda Misevski with whom he set up an independent
theatre company, Exhibit A, helped him to make audition tapes in Otober 2015
He had to shoot two scenes that his American management sent him to rehearse and film
They did about two or three takes of each, put them together and sent it.
He had more or less forgotten about it after a while and so he didn't hear for three months.
His friend Belinda Misevski with whom he set up an independent theatre company, Exhibit A, has been helping him to make audition tapes.
"We did two or three takes of each, I think, and we whacked them together and sent it." He had more or less forgotten about it, he says. "You don't think anything of it, because it's so big."
He received a script last week."I'm part of the story that exists for a reason, and that's really, really exciting, " he says, but that's all he can reveal. He is sworn to secrecy about the character and what happens in the film. "I'm not allowed to say anything, I signed a non-disclosure agreement." (https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/from-the-stalls-to-the-big-screen-cinema-nova-usher-benjamin-rigby-lands-role-in-ridley-scotts-alien-covenant-20160316-gnknh8.html)
- HN: With Alien: Covenant, what was that like auditioning?RIGBY: It was very covert, we even got dummy sides, as actors you’ll get your audition lines sent, even the piece that we had to read wasn’t from that script. So, you don’t really know what character you’re going for, you’re just going for a wide amount of characters.?I went for that and I didn’t hear for three months. At first it was like: ‘No, we’re moving on, we don’t want him’. (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-alien-covenant-actor-ben-rigby-talks-to-us-about-working-with-ridley-scott-two-weeks-of-boot-camp-training-and-filming-on-location-in-milford-sound-new-zealand/)
- RIGBY: I was lucky enough to get American representation a year and a half
ago. They send you an audition piece and then you have two or three days
to learn it, and you put it down on tape with a reader and send it
He felt as if they were moving on and didn't want him but then three months later in January 2016, he got a phonecall telling him that he got the role
He was working in the Nova cinema box office in Melbourne selling tickets which he had been doing for six years when he had to take a call.
He thought the worst, such that his manager was dropping him or even that they're going to run an advert that he years earlier again that he hated.
But it was his agent who called him up and she told him "you've got a role in this,"
- RIGBY:Then three months later, I got a phone call saying I got a role. And I was like: ‘What the fuck?…In what, in what?’
That was a really big step up from independent stuff to being in the pool for blockbusters and big TV. But I still try to go back and do independent theatre or film as much as I can.”
11:00) "you've got a role in this, we can't tell you what it is, erm, sign this contract'. I was like er, "okay. I was like who's the director" , like, when I got the call "am I an extra, and I getting offered the role of an extra" or like what?" "No, no, no, you have like a role, like you're a crew member of a ship". I was I didn't know what was going on. I literally thought I had a brain aneurism for like two days. I was, I was at work, I was. I used to work in a cinema in Melbourne, I was in box office selling tickets, and I was like I need to take this call, I thought my managers were dropping me, and I was, I was like, I need to take this call, and I got, I was like when. My agent called and she was like, you just got offered a role. i was like woah and I remember riding home on my moped and just like screaming, I was like this is crazy. It changed my life, it was incredible, but um, then I, but in a couple of weeks you're going to have to go to Sydney and get all these cut like, get a full body mould stuff done and I was like, I don't even know what this is like, and so I got there and I was like, can you tell me what this is, they were like you've got a really good death, you've got a really good death. I was like Stop telling me I've got a really good death. What happens? And then like his meant what like this prosthetic, and you might have something come out of your back of like, Oh, alright. And then like more and more idea stuff, more kind of information to me then and maybe, it would have been two weeks before we went to boot campe, we got the script and then
Just two weeks before the bootcamp (Perfect Organism podcast #176)
- Actor Benjamin Rigbyhas had a steady job in the movies – he's been
working at Melbourne's Cinema Nova for six years. Now he has landed a
role in the new Alien film that starts shooting at Fox Studios next month.
Rigby, 27, was behind the counter at the Nova box office when he got a call from his agent. "I thought, oh no, they're going to run this ad I did years ago again, and I hate it," he says. Instead, she told him, "You just got a role in Alien: Covenant." (https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/from-the-stalls-to-the-big-screen-cinema-nova-usher-benjamin-rigby-lands-role-in-ridley-scotts-alien-covenant-20160316-gnknh8.html)
- The film, directed by Ridley Scott is part of the legendary Alien series, and continues the story that was told in Prometheus (2012). It stars Michael Fassbender (who was in Prometheus); other cast members include Katherine Waterston Billy Crudup, Jussie Smollett and Danny McBride.
Rigby got the news in January, and had to keep it a secret for a couple of months. He was astonished, he says. He had made an audition tape in October 2015, but had heard nothing since. He had shot two scenes that his American management sent him to rehearse and film. (https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/from-the-stalls-to-the-big-screen-cinema-nova-usher-benjamin-rigby-lands-role-in-ridley-scotts-alien-covenant-20160316-gnknh8.html
Because it was such a small role on paper, it was really just a big death.
Ridley would come in during the makeup sessions and Ben would ask him such things as "can I do this" or "can I do that?" and he would reply "Of course, that's great"
Later when they come up on the sport before thety started filming Ridley would say ‘Make it a clear concept of what you want your character to be and then if it works it works and if then not we’ll figure something out’.
Luckily they had the characters worked out.
Ben thought about his character ‘This guy is a dick, cool!’
- HN: I
wanted to ask, Ridley Scott tends to give people different backgrounds
for characters in his films and with Alien: Covenant there was the
established plot point of having them couples. Did you have any specific
character background before for Ledward?
RIGBY: No, not really. Because I had such a small role on paper, it was really just a big death. Ridley would come in during the makeup stuff and I’d ask him: ‘Can I do this or can I do that?’ and he would be: ‘Of course, that’s great’. Then he’d come up on the spot but before we started filming he was like: ‘Make it a clear concept of what you want your character to be and then if it works it works and if then not we’ll figure something out’.
“But luckily we didn’t have to figure anything out.”
“I was like: ‘This guy [my character] is a dick, cool!’. He’s smoking on a planet where he shouldn’t be, so I’m going to make him as dicky as possible. You’d kind of want him to die in a way." (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-alien-covenant-actor-ben-rigby-talks-to-us-about-working-with-ridley-scott-two-weeks-of-boot-camp-training-and-filming-on-location-in-milford-sound-new-zealand
- HN: Did your character have a partner since a lot of the crew were couples, did he have a partner in cryo-sleep?
RIGBY: We’d joke about that like everyone else had a partner but me. But I think because we were part of the protection of the squad we weren’t necessarily in couples, we weren’t there to reproduce we were there just to protect the people that could.
Rigby's character didn't get to use his gun but he was still part of the team and this meant that he had to participate in a two week boot camp to get the actors looking the part.
Boot camp was intense .
They had a full-on ex-New Zealand military guy kind of running them through the rings every day.
It was two weeks of boot camp where every day from 8am to 6pm they were doing full-on drills in big sound studios with live blank ammunition and then they'd take the gun machinery apart and put it back together.
He had never really fired a gun before, so he found it bizarre and amazing.
- HN: While
Ben admitted his character doesn’t even use his gun, he was still part
of the team and meant he had to participate in a two-week boot camp to
get the actors looking the part. Not to mention, the lengths the props
teams went to make sure actors were able to able to customize their
characters even down to what was in their backpacks.
HN: What kind of training did you guys do for the security force?
RIGBY: We did a pretty intense boot camp. We had this full-on ex-New Zealand military guy kind of running us through the rings every day. It was two weeks of boot camp it doesn’t sound like much but every day from 8 [am] to 6 [pm] you’re doing full-on drills in these big sound studios with live blank ammunition and then you’re like taking the gun machinery apart and then putting them back together. I had never really fired a gun before, so it was kind of bizarre and amazing. Especially to get that in for a role and I didn’t even need to use a gun it was just so it could look like I knew what I was doing and because I was part of that crew anyway, you kind of have to partake in it. (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-alien-covenant-actor-ben-rigby-talks-to-us-about-working-with-ridley-scott-two-weeks-of-boot-camp-training-and-filming-on-location-in-milford-sound-new-zealand
The propsteams went to make some lengths to make sure
actors were able to able to customize their characters even down to what
was in their backpacks.
The packs that they had on their backs were fully stocked with everything that they would take on a mission, because Ridley Scott likes to improvise and if there perchance in a scene the actor had stopped and wanted to use anything that was in their pack they could.
The people in the art department and props were like: ‘Hey, is there anything you want for your character?’
He had never been asked that before it was pretty amazing.
While other directors usually would tell the actor what they wanted rather than asked them
Ridley would be asking them ‘What do you want?’.
- Benjamin Rigby: The
packs that we had on our backs they were fully stocked with everything
that you would take on a mission, in case, because Ridley Scott likes to
improvise and if you were perchance in a scene you had stopped and
wanted to use anything that was in your pack you could. The people in
the art department and props were like: ‘Hey, is there anything you want for your character?’.
I had never been asked that before it was pretty amazing. That’s rare,
they usually don’t ask actors what they want they just tell you
While Ridley is like: ‘What do you want?’. It was an awesome breath of fresh air a director who genuinely thinks actors aren’t stupid. (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-alien-covenant-actor-ben-rigby-talks-to-us-about-working-with-ridley-scott-two-weeks-of-boot-camp-training-and-filming-on-location-in-milford-sound-new-zealand
Where the Lander was, where they walked out, Rigby found that the tide was so bizarre as if it as almost an alien planet.
They would walk out in the morning and the water would be knee deep because they would have them in these small cargo ships and they would be pushing them out,
- Especially where the lander is, where we walked out of, the tide was so bizarre like it was almost this alien planet. We’d walk out in the morning and it would be knee deep water they have us in these small cargo ships and them pushing us out. They were in the water, we weren’t. Because we couldn’t get our costumes wet. They’d push us out and we’d be on this man-made lander thing which was actually there and by the afternoon or a couple of hours that tide had fully gone out. (https://hnentertainment.co/exclusive-alien-covenant-actor-ben-rigby-talks-to-us-about-working-with-ridley-scott-two-weeks-of-boot-camp-training-and-filming-on-location-in-milford-sound-new-zealand/)
The process was massive, He would be getting into full dead makeup for about a week.
He would get in the make-up chair around 5am and it would take 2-4 hours every day, depending on the level of sickness.
He found the whole med bay sequence was quite physically draining from all the convulsing, but with John hurt’s pivotal scene lurking in the back of his brain, he really had to go for it and hope that he could bring something entirely new to the process.
- Fanfest: In
the original Alien we had John Hurt’s iconic chestburster scene but in
Covenant we see your character, Ledward experience something a lot more
nightmarish – the backburster. What was the process like filming it?
Ben Rigby: This process was massive. I was in full dead make up for about a week. I’d get in the make-up chair around 5am, and it would take 2-4 hours every day, depending on the level of sickness. That whole med bay sequence was quite physically draining from all the convulsing, but when you have the late John hurt’s pivotal scene lurking in the back of your brain, you really just have to go for it and hope you can bring something entirely new to the process. (https://fanfest.com/interview-alien-covenants-benjamin-rigby-on-entering-xenomorph-territory-and-working-with-ridley-scott/)