Dan O'Bannon watched Ridley lose his temper only once, and it was two days before shooting, Ridley was brought some of the wardrobe items for him to look at for the astronauts and the characters in the ship and he didn't like them and went off to, as far as Dan understood, make the costume himself.
Dan observed an incident when Ridley blew his top.
- Roger Christian: A short while later I was standing on the bridge set right next to Ridley. We had opened the side panel to the bridge to allow easier filming from the side across the consoles. Garth Thomas who had obviously been sent down as an envoy by the producers afraid to do it themselves, came and talked to Ridley in a low voice. As Garth turned and left, Ridley exploded like a rocket - he launched himself up into the air and punched the ceiling of the Nostromo, his fist going straight through a small section of the roof. He let out a yell of pent up frustration as he rose, and a "Fuck!" came roaring out his mouth. He landed and looked around, swore at the producers and then got on with the shot. Garth was actually a friend of Ridley's and he had been chosen by the Americans to do their dirty work, telling Ridley he was being too slow and to Hurry up. Ridley looked around as we carried on and said "What the fuck do they want from me?" I replied" I don't understand them, they just asked me why you were so slow and I told them you were shooting faster that any director I had worked with. " (Cinema alchemist)
Den Of Geek: The stories of that shoot [ Alien ] are that Ridley Scott was under the most intolerable pressure. That it was just a small gang of you who were sticking by him trying to help him and deflect a lot of this pressure. Is that how you recall it ?
Roger Christian: Totally. 100%.
The fourth day in I remember there were several Fox executives sitting on the stage on chairs, looking at their watches, and Ridley was shooting so fast. They hadn’t given him any pre light days on a film like that. So he was finding his way to get “the look”, as we were shooting the bridge. I remember one of [the producers] coming to me and saying, “Why is he taking so long? Why is he taking so long?” And I said, “He’s done like thirty-five setups. I don’t understand what you guys want from him”. And the rushes are awesome! Just awesome every day.”
He actually exploded one day. I was right next to him because I went onto the front line. I’d got the look of the dressing working and the art department, my section, sorted. I went on to be standby art director, because no one else wanted to do it. But that, for me, is where filmmaking is, and especially being with Ridley. I’d done commercials for him. He was a mate. I knew him. I went stand-by art director on the floor the entire time. Ridley exploded one day. Put his fist through the ceiling in frustration at the pressure that was on him.(https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/the-den-of-geek-interview-roger-christian/)
- Dan O'Bannon: Only saw him lose his temper once. It was like two days before shooting. The pre-production had been a real stressful time, there was an awful lot of stuff to get done in a short period of time, a lot of which had not been done before and so everything was being pioneered, how you made these kind of sets. He had wonderfully good temperament, but two days before shooting they brought in some wardrobe for him to look at for the astronauts and the characters in the ship and he didn’t like them. And he blew his top! He stood there and he yelled angrily for about five minutes. Everyone stood and listened. And then he felt better. All of the stress had, months and months of stress had accumulated and finally he, just like a factory whistle, he let it all out, just before he had to go out there and actually shoot that picture.(reported from the interview Alien; Evolution documentary)
- Dan O'Bannon: Wasn’t offensive to hear Ridley yelling and screaming, it was not, it wasn’t personal, he wasn’t insulting anyone. He was getting rid of that stress so he could work. And he was right those costumes didn’t look any good either. He went off and made it himself.(reported from the interview Alien; Evolution documentary)