Aliens: Mark Rolston plays Drake

 



leading from

 


 
 
a) Audition
 
 
a.i) Getting a call
 
Mark Rolston got a call one day and they said "Hey, There's this script that we need you to read, and you're going to go meet e Gale Anne Hurd down at Pinewood studios" and at the time she was James Cameron's wife and the producter

a.ii) Meeting with Gale at Pinewood

She started off the interview with the proverbial "And so, what he had been up to?

He replied "You know, I just finished this movie Revolution" this was a movie directed by Hugh Hudson at the time had been famous for Chariots of Fire, and it starred Al Pacino (although Revolution when it was later released became a flop. )

Talking to them about it, he told a twenty minute long tale that rolled off the tip of his tongue about how he had the supporting role to Al Pacino.

It was one of those stream of consciousness thing but as a truth it was complete fabrication. 

Her response was "Wow! Wow! I can't wait to see that. it sounds fantastic

 
a.iii) Meeting Jim Cameron

It looked as if Gale really bought it because a week later she told him "You're going to meet Jim Cameron"

He had seen Terminator, but Jim Cameron was a big name in his head although Schwarzenegger was.

Then he was hauled in before Jim Cameron, Gale, and another actor to read Hudson's lines, which was what all the male and female actors had to read for their audition.

The night before he managed to get the whole script and he found that it was a page turner, he couldn't stop flipping the pages

Another day he was brought in to read Drake's lines
 
 
a.iv) To Pinewood soundstage

Another meeting came and he was called out to Pinewood Studios and walked onto their soundstage in Pinewood. 

He entered the office and saw that Jim has plastered the walls of his office with the complete storyboards, all arranged in sequence and hand drawn.

Jim was a very fine artist and Mark was like a kind in a candy shop, awestruck

Then they told him "Listen we want to let you know, you got the role as Drake, but there is a condition to it, the one condition is we need you to bulk up"


 
 
b) Training

b.i) Bulking up

At the time he was about a 180 lbs, neither huge nor tiny, but had to put on about 35 or 40 lbs for the role. 

Long before Bill Paxton and James Remar arrived, he was working on location at Pinewood.

First he was training with a stuntman (who operated the powerloader that the character Ripley operated in the movie) who was a massive man from Lincolnshire with arms as thick as both Mark's thighs.

He put Mark through his paces, really pumping him up.

He made Mark drink amino acids for bulking up, 

Mark found that it drove him near crazy with the need to eat like a horse , and he'd be off to the Pinewood cafeteria to eat two steaks every day, but he built up muscle without gaining any fat and remained lead
 
 
b.ii) Jim Cameron meets Hugh Hudson

While in the cafetera when he was talking to Jim Cameron, someone came up behind him with the words "Hey Mark, how are you?" and it was Hugh Hudson, the director of Revolution which he had just come off from.

It was then when Jim Cameron and Hugh Hudson met.

Hugh said to Jim, "oh, Mark's going to work with you now"

Jim replied "oh yeah, he's he's doing this movie Aliens that I'm going to do",

The conversation  that went on validated the long yarn that Mark gave to Gale Ann Hurd when he first met her
 
 
b.iii) Training with the SAS 
 
Just before shooting, those playing the marines were ending up being trained by the SAS
 
 

 
  



c) Arrival of the other actors
 
c.i) American actors from LA

It would be until a few weeks before filming that the American actors from LA came over.
What this turned into for the classic set up for any young man, to dress up and play a soldier all day.
 
They became a very tight nit group but a big group of Americans living in England. 
 
Because of all the training that they had developed the comradery as soldiers and they became good friends
 

 
c.ii) Bonding while attached to their rigs

Mark finally met Jenette Goldstein. They sat down and worked out the entire back story for their characters.

They sat down and worked out the entire back story for their characters.
 
In between takes, while everyone went off and had a good time listening to Bill Paxtor and Paul Reiser tell jokes, Jenette and Mark where stuck on the stools with the smart guns firmly attached to their bodies. They couldn't just de-rig and rig in between takes so they were stuck with each other and this
developed into a close friendship cemented.
 
 
c.iii) Drake's back story
 
The back story that Mark had created for Drake, was that he was a conscript, and took on the mission because it was a chance to get out of prison. 
 
Because his friend Vasquez was going on the mission, he would go and make sure that he covered her back. 
 
While he was doing this as a military thing, she would be the only person that he answered to , he would follow her and look up to here, and have not a lot of time for anybody else in the crew. 
 
He was going to do his job to take the opportunity to get out of prison and so do something else
 
 






d) Drake's bone jewelry

One afternoon, when they were rehearsing, Jim Cameron suddenly told them "Okay everybody, pack up your stuff, come follow me!"

With that they traipse across Pinewood Studios and they go to the place where the art department is,  up some rickety old stairs and to a big room with paint brushes and buckets of various things, leather straps, feathers, bones and so on.

Jim said "Okay, you guys decorate all your shit, see you later " and then took off. 
 
It seemed crazy to Mark, but he started off making his bone necklace and the bones that hung from his hat.

These items he would take home with him to keep after the prodction

It got to a point when he was offered a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for these items. 
 
However, they would have been in the garage of his ex-wife. 
 
He phoned her up to see if she still had it, and she told him "No, I threw that away"

Although he had love and respect for her as a person, he thought "Oh. spite by name is a woman"
 
 
Drake's bone necklace
 
 
 
 
 
The bones that hung from his hat.

 
 
d) On the set
 
There was some tension, but mainly it was between Jim and the famous assistant director Derek Cracknell. 
 
The two egos clashed, but it wasn't American against British, .
 
Jim Cameron wasn't up to speed on that daily schedule and in England people would stop for tea where as in America they just got on with their work.


e) Knife trick

They spent all day on the set unable to really help but play jokes on each other.

There was a scene where Bill Paxton did the knife trick, they grabbed him and he was totally shocked.

He had had no idea as he thought it would be just him and Lance doing the knife trick.

 

See also about the Knife Trick in Aliens: Bishop The Android




 

f)  Acid Bath 

Filmed at the beginning, the death scene came for Drake , when Vazquez shoots an alien to pieces, unfortunately he gets sprayed with acid.

This was Mark's introduction to action film making, as if he were being thrown in at the deep end with four hour makeup and then having chemicals put all over him that bubbled and fizzed.






g) Alien Queen

 
g.i) Alien queen introduced
When the queen was introduced, although the character Drake never got to see this creature, Mark was on set that day despite the fact he had finished his scenes. 
 
 
g.ii) Puppeteers

There before him for the reveal scene was this massive puppet with wires that went over pulleys that were manned by like times two me, and these two ment would make the legs move and there would be another two men making the arms move. 

He saw count eighteen men with pulleys puppeteering this giant alien queen in all
 
 
g.iii) The 'goo guy'

There was also a little man dressed in black who was tucked away into the skull of the queen and his only job was to push out the goo through her teeth, so that it would drip down her teeth and he would watch it.

He would later refer to this man as the 'goo guy'

He was amazed at how they translate simple puppetry into a monster.

 
g.iv) Comparison in sense of amazement
 
The scene with the alien queen reveal as it was in the final movie would be like for Mark, the moment when he saw King Kong the monster in the film for the first time


Ripley encounters the Alien Queen from Aliens (1986)  (Alien Blu-ray)




h) Bill Paxton calls Mark

Mark was living in London and his son was young at the time, perhaps even had just been born

Bill Paxton would phone Mark once a week and pester him. 

He would say "Dude, man, You gotta come over Mark, this is going to be huge. It's going to be a big fucking movie man"

Mark near enough responds "Yeah, yeah yeah, I know Bill"

Bill made the offer of "Come and stay at my apartment"

After months and months of pestering him, Mark gave in
 
"Paxton, I'm coming, I'm coming"
 
He bought the ticket and went over
 
Bill Paxton was still saying it's going to be huge 




i) At the Premiere
 
They sat together  at the Premiere, all dress up. but there were a whole bunch of people who were like, penguins in the audience, it's all studio people.

At the scene where they find one of the Hadley's Hope settlers alive begging to be killed with a chestburster inside in the place that he seemed to call the alien cemetery. 
 
The chest burster came out and all these men in suits lept three feet out of their chairs.

Paxton turned to Mark and said "This is going to be fucking awesome"



j) After the Premiere

Days after the premiere, Mark was in Hollywood and went to a bank. 
 
As he stood in the line,  the bank guard comes over to him and said "you're fucking awesome man!"
 
Mark almost confused asked "what do you mean?"
 
The bank guard responded "I've seen Aliens like twelve time"

Mark said to him "Dude, it's only been out for three days!"
 
The bank guard explained "uh, I payed for my ticket once and then I hide, and I just watch it over and over"

This made Mark realised that Bill Paxton was right, that this was going to be a major crazy hit and so it was

 
  1. geekchicelite: Is it often a misconception that getting a role such as Private Drake in Aliens automatically opened doors for you?

    Mark Rolston: No, you know, it was crazy. I knew it was a big movie, but I was living in London and my son was young at the time, and Bill Paxton, he just kept hounding me, he’d literally call me once a week, he’d be like ‘Mark, man, you’ve got to come, dude, this movie is going to be incredible, it’s going to be huge’, and I was like yeah, yeah, I know, Bill. He was like ‘come and stay at my apartment’, and I took him up on it and within five days I was starring in a movie with Lance Henriksen, I got an agent within a week, every door was open to me because Aliens was this big, hit movie. Consequently, I got so busy that I never returned to England, which was good in some ways, sad in others. I lost my first family, I didn’t lose them, but my first wife, she tried her luck in L.A. and she was the quintessential English rose, she wasn’t Hollywood, so she couldn’t get arrested, she became despondent so she returned to the UK. (http://www.geekchicelite.com/interview-mark-rolston/)
  2. aftermoviediner: Can you tell me about your experience of auditioning for Aliens?

    Mark Rolston:I just did a movie, Revolution, with Hugh Hudson, the famous director of Chariots of Fire, that starred Al Pacino and it was a horrible flop. I met with Gail Ann Hurd, who was the producer of Aliens and James Cameron's first wife, she asked me what I had been doing and so I made up this complete lie about Revolution - I made it sound like I had a supporting role to Al Pacino - that got me to the next process, where I met Jim Cameron. I read for Jim and it lead to them saying I had the role nut only if I agreed to getting in the gym pumping up and to put on some weight. I ended up putting on 35lbs.

    aftermoviediner: What was the experience for you working with James Cameron and working with the British crew on Aliens?


    Mark Rolston: There was some tension. It was mainly between Jim and the famous Assistant Director Derek Cracknell. It was really two big egos that clashed, it wasn't American against British, it wasn't anything like that. I think Jim Cameron wasn't really up to speed on the daily schedule and in England people stop for tea where as in America they just go go go. Jim Cameron is a great guy, he's a genius and Derek Cracknell, he's passed away now, I worked with him a number of times and he was great too. They ended up ironing things out after the movie was done.
    (https://aftermoviediner.com/feed/interviews/mark-rolston)
  3. Heyuguys: The Marines in Aliens have been a fan favourite even after all these years – how did it come about that you were cast as Drake?

    Mark Rolston: I was called in for an audition and met with Gale Anne Hurd who was then James Cameron’s wife and the producer. She asked what I’d been up to and at the time I’d just finished the Hugh Hudson movie, Revolution, with Al Pacino and I made it sound as though I had the next best part to Al Pacino but that was a complete fabrication! Next I knew I hauled in before Jim and Gale then brought in again where they told me I would get the role if I got in the gym.

    Heyuguys: And we read that you guys trained with marines as part of your prep?

    Mark Rolston: I had to put on about 35lbs for the role. First I was training with a stuntman who was actually the engine who moved the powerloader that Ripley was operating – a massive man from Lincolnshire. He put me through my paces, really pumped me up. Just before shooting we ended up being trained by marines, well it was the S.A.S.

    Heyuguys: Any stories from the set you can share?

    Mark Rolston: You there on set all day so you couldn’t really help but play jokes on each other. The scene where Bill Paxton did the knife thing, when we grabbed him he was totally shocked. He had no idea as he thought it would be just him and Lance doing the knife thing.

    Heyuguys: With the success of Alien, did you get a sense at all from the shoot it was going to be as massive as it was?

    Mark Rolston: We didn’t really have that big a sense it would be until after shooting when Bill Paxton would phone me once a week – he would pester me. He’d be saying: “Dude, man. You gotta come over Mark, this is going to be a huge. It’s going to be a big fucking movie man.” Bill actually offered me to stay in his apartment so after months and months of pestering me I bought my ticket and went over. 

    Heyuguys: It’s clear there was a bond with you and your fellow marines so was it quite a fun set to work on?

    Mark Rolston: It was the classic set up for any young man – dress up and play a soldier all day. What could be better? We became a very tight knit group – a big group of Americans living in England and because of all the training we had that comradery that soldiers have and became good friends.

    Heyuguys: Of all the merchandise from the film how surreal is it to have your own action figure?

    Mark Rolston: I don’t quite have it yet – there are figures out there though. There was an unofficial one out years and years ago. I am just about to hopefully make a deal with NECA Toys but I do need the fan base to pester them. Let’s just say we are negotiating right now.
    (https://www.heyuguys.com/interview-mark-rolston-aliens-saw/)
  4. Mark Rolston: Um, I think the most amazing I saw was when the Queen alien was introduced, I was on set that day and there were literally eighteen guys with pulleys, I mean lit... it was puppetry, she was a puppet, massive puppet, hut imagine they were manipulating her as if they were like puppeteers and to see that being created with a guy, you know  the oooh, the goo used to come out of her mouth, it was actually a guy in the helmet, the head,  pushing, the goo, the goo guy. Exactly.so that was amazing to me to see how they translated just simple puppetry into a monster (Red Carpet news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGfy8ZgjN5Y)
  5. Mark Rolston: The Acid bath was great because that was the first shot in the film and it was my introduction to action film making, I mean talk about being thrown in at the deep end, four hour makeup and then being, having chemicals put all over you that bubbled and fizzed it was pretty amazing.  (Red Carpet news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGfy8ZgjN5Y)
  6. Interviewer: ...huge part of just my love and fascination with that film, I loved Drake and Vazquez's relationship together, and Jenette was awesome, she was talking about building the backstory between the two characters and everything and her audition process with the movie with James Cameron and whatnot and I was hoping that you could also fill in a little back story of drake and how you know, you sort of came up with the character, what you brought to the table with the character

    Mark Rolston: Yeah, well it was interesting, you know, I was living in England at the time as Jenette was, and er, but I wasn't a competitive body builder, but erm, no, I I trained in England and I was you know I was working, I got a call one day they said Hey, There's this script that we need you to read, and you're going to go meet erm, Gale Anne Hurd down at Pinewood studios and so you know, erm, the sides I got, I actually seen the whole script you know, and it was kind of fascinating sci-fi, I knew nothing about it, erm, but went into see Gale and you know, she started off the interview with the proverbial "And So, what have you been up to?" and I'd just come off a movie called Revolution with Al Pacino

    Heyuguys: I love that movie by the way

    Mark Rolston: And, and erm erm

    Heyuguys: Even if you don't, I do

    Mark Rolston:
    Well, it was a grand scale, I just don't, I just thought Pacino was awful

    Heyuguys: Yeah, I know, I agree it's it's (laughter)

    Mark Rolston: But the scale of the movie, and the production values were just absolutely incredible

    Heyuguys: Totally

    Mark Rolston: Yuh, but the funny was, so I, she said "what have you been up to", I said well, you know I just finished this movie Revolution and I went on to tell  a tale, a tall tale that lasted about twenty minutes, said it rolled off the tip of my tongue and I made it sound as if I had the next best roll in the film to Al Pacino, and er, it was one of those stream of consciousness things and she obviously bought it because a week later, erm you know, she oh your'e going to go and meet Jim Cameron, and I didn't really know, I'd seen Terminator, but it wasn't really like Jim Cameron was in my brain, I mean Schwarzenegger was in my brain and terminator was in my brain, erm and so I meet Jim, and at that time we had, any guys I think the girls too. If you auditioned, you all were reading Hudson's part,

    Heyuguys:Uh,

    Mark Rolston: And so we all read Hudson and then Jim says to me, okay, er, just take this, takes these sides, I want you to read this part, and just go outside for five minutes and come back in and I was like "Okay". Came back in, read, he said thanks a lot, and I thought, oh well and then about a week or so later, I get a call saying Oh your going into Pinewood to remeet Jim cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, and I walk into their office, er, on a soundstage in Pinewood and was completely, oh, but the night before, I finally got the whole script, and I can tell you, it, being a page turner, it doesn't even do it justice. This, this film, I mean, just reading it, it just flew by. I mean, you couldn't stop, I mean, just flipping pages. And then, erm, when I entered the office, the most amazing thing was, was that Jim had plastered the walls of his office with, with a complete storyboard, you know that Jim's a very fine artist by the way

    Heyuguys: Yuh, yuh

    Mark Rolston:
    He had the storyboards plastered in sequence around the four walls of his office, the entire film and it was just, I was completely overwhelmed, they sat me down and they said listen we want you to play the role of Drake, and I was like "Wow okay" and they said but there is one caveat, erm you've got to get into the gymn and we need to beef you up, and I , I was in shape, but I was only like a hundred and eighty five, eighty seven pounds, and so three months prior to filming, I was the lone representative actor working out five days a week erm with one of the trainers, and actually the man who was as, a stunt man who was the muscle behind the power loader when when when Sigourney was in that big yellow machine

    Heyuguys: Mmhmm, yeah

    Mark Rolston: That was actually powered by this, I can't remember his name either, it really befuddled me, but he was this massive northern England guy who lived who lived on a farm and he had biceps the size of both my thighs

    Heyuguys: Wow

    Mark Rolston:
    So he, he beefed me up and they had me drinking amino acid elixir and god I was eating at Pinewood, because you could go go go crazy, if they said you could work out for five hours and okay time for lunch, I'd go eat two steaks, erm, so by the end of it all, I beefed up to about 235

    Heyuguys: Oh wow

    Mark Rolston: And it was, you can see from the film, it wasn't fat, it was like, I was just,

    Heyuguys: Oh yeah, lean

    Heyuguys: Muscle, oh boy

    Mark Rolston: So er,, erm, yeah, that was the start of it all and then it wasn't until a few weeks before filming that the American actors from LA came over and I finally met Jenette and er yeah, Jenette and I sat down and we worked out, you know the entire back story and it served , I mean, aside from the fact our relationship was really cemented by the fact that while in between takes, everybody else was like fucking off and having a good time and listening to Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser tell jokes, Jenette and I were stuck on the stools with the erm, smart gun you know, firmly attached to our bodies. It was like in between takes, Jim, we couldn't like de-rig and rig and derig and rig, so Jenette and I became very close friends because we were stuck with each other and erm, and then yeah, the work that we just did filling in we had our back story really cemented what I created for Drake, which was that you know, I was just a conscript, I took on the mission just because it was a chance to get out of like you know, you know, prison and and er because my friend Vasquez was going to go, I was going to go and have her back, and so the only person that I really answered to, I mean I I do the military thing but the only person that I would follow and look up to was Vasquez, and erm, for myself, I really had not a lot of time for any body else on the crew. Erm,  I was doing my job and just taking the opportunity to get out of prison and so something different, so

    Interviewer: The cool thing is, did you also decorate er your, you know, your slash Drake's locker as well like

    Mark Rolston: Yeah

    Interviewer:
    With your own personal coutraments and everything

    Mark Rolston:
    Absolutely yes. We had a great time, it was like one afternoon when we were rehearsing, Jim goes "Okay everybody, pack up your stuff, come follow me," and we traipse across Pinewood studios, we go to this, where the art department was, we go up these rickety old stairs and there's this big room with paint brushes and buckets of things and leather straps and feathers, and bones and whatnot, and Jim was like "Okay, you guys decorate all your shit, see you later" He'd takes off. it was crazy. It was, there goes, I started off making my bone necklace and the bones hanging off my hat and er . You know, it was amazingly like when we finished the film, I , I got all that stuff, I had all of it.

    Interviewer: Oh, you kept it

    Mark Rolston:And I, yeah,

    Interviewer: Wow


    Mark Rolston: And sadly, after a divorce, my ex, who is a lovely woman, she's a great woman, but she er, I was once offered like a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for Drake's stuff and and I decided I'd give her a call to see if she still had it in her garage, and she went "No, I threw that away

    Interviewer: Oh no!

    Mark Rolston: And I was like "Oh. spite by name is a woman"

    Interviewer: yeah,

    Interviewer: Ooh!

    Interviewer: Sad to say, I've been down that road once before but not to the tune of that number

    Mark Rolston:
    Yeah, i was going to say so have I, not to, not to that extreme ah,  I will, you know, i.. in the Drake saga on on on a positive note, and say that, even as eight year old me, that was not at all lost on me, like immediately I, I could tell that Drake and Vazquez were just you know as thick as thieves, at eight you don't know if they are lovers or whatever it is, but you can tell that they're thick, and and that was just, just so awesome and, and er, I would be remiss (Source: Interviews After Dark with Mark Rolston, 30th, November 2020)
  7. Interviewer: So Aliens was a huge success, quite a get for you as an actor, and , and I believe James Cameron coming off the hugely successful Terminator when he started getting Aliens together. How did you score that role?As Private Mark Drake, what was it like to work with, with the great James Cameron?

    Mark Rolston:
    Yeah, right off the back, the guys a friggin genius, 

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: The bottom line, the guy's a genius,  ah, ah, a dynamo, you know he's he's so dynamic in so many ways, he is not necessarily really favourite director, only because, in as much as he is a great technician, he's not really an actor's director, I mean, I mean, he knows how to cast well I think, but he's not, he doesn't really know how to get inside an actor and get them to move around a bit, so but to say like I scored, it was amazing, I had just come off er a movie called Revolution, starred Al Pacino and Nastassja Kinski, and er, I get, you know, I get called in for this science fiction script, of course I wasn't able to see a script

    Interviewer: Right

    Mark Rolston: But I went in and I met with Gale Anne Hurd and I got the proverbial "so what have you been up to lately?"

    Interviewer: Was that his wife then?

    Mark Rolston: She, they were married, yuh. And you know, so I get that proverbial question and I launched, this is gods honest truth

    (Chuckle)


    Mark Rolston: I launched into a diatribe about my involvement in this movie, that I made it sound like I had the next best part to Al Pacino.

    (Chuckle)


    Mark Rolston: and she said "Wow! Wow! I can't wait to see that. it sounds fantastic" and then it got reinforced by the fact that after, of course I had that meeting and then I had to go do another meeting with Jim and Gale and another actor and I read, I guess I read Hudson's line and then I had another meeting where I came in and read er er Drake, and then I had another meeting , they called me out to Pinewood studios and this was the most,  one of the most amazing memories in my life. I walked into Jim's now Aliens office set at Pinewood, I go into his office and on the wall was, 'cause Jim's a very fine artist right,

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: He could paint like classical if he wanted to

    Interviewer: Oh nice

    Mark Rolston: But he has storyboards, the entire storyboard of the movie in sequence, in these amazing hand drawings

    Interviewer: What?

    Mark Rolston: That was last, oh yeah, that was plastered in sequence all the way around his office Oh my god, and I walked in, you know I was like a kid in the candy shop, I was just awestruck, and then when they said to me, listen we want to let you know, you got the role as Drake, but there was a condition to it, the one condition is is we need you to bulk up

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: And at, and at the time maybe, uh, 180-ish, you know

    Interviewer: Not huge, but not tiny either

    Mark Rolston: Yeah, and and they put like forty odd pounds onto me. I was working on the location at Pinewood long before Paxton and Remarr and everybody else came out, to join, because I was working out with this from, he was from northern England, and oh my god, he just had me drinking this amino acid shit

    (Chuckle
    )

    Mark Rolston: Eating like a fucking horse, and that's one thing so

    Interviewer: How fucking nasty was that amino acid

    Mark Rolston: I-i-it made you crazy man because you you you just couldn't stop eating and you would, you know it's like, they they they they take me to lunch at the Pinewood cafeteria. Here's the linkup, I'm in line at the er er, at the Pinewood cafeteria and I'm talking to Cameron and then from behind me I hear, "Hey Mark, how are you" and then it's Hugh Hudson the director of Revolution

    Interviewer: Oh nice,

    Mark Rolston: And he had directed Chariots of Fire

    Interviewer: Wow

    Mark Rolston:  and then the two of them met and then Hugh he said "oh, Mark's going to work with you now" and then he said "oh yeah, he's he's doing this movie Aliens that I'm going to do" and so, it totally validated the long yarn that I gave to Gale Ann Hurd"

    Interviewer: The tall tale was validated good I was thirteen I think when it came out, and so I had to  er, not the the date, date myself, but erm, I had it like convince my mother, because my dad was like "you can go, I don't care," you know, but my mom was like, no no no, you're not seeing below PG or above PG 13

    Mark Rolston: Got it

    Interviewer: And I was like, okay come on, but my sister took me

    (Chuckle)


    Interviewer: And so I got to go and see it and I just remember, that was like the first real rate R movie that I saw in the theatre and I saw Newt coming out of the water and then the alien coming out of the water behind her and erm, oh my god I'm going to be scared out of my gorg watching this movie but it was so action packed and I'm wondering what, you know, what was it like on that set going through 'cause, I imagine you guys did some military training to get ready for that and the Bill Paxton with the classic line "Game over man!"

    (Chuckle
    )

    Interviewer: You know, what, did you guys kind of have a feeling or know when you're shooting it like, this is going to, this gonna be a classic

    Mark Rolston:  You know, you know, like from my perspective, I I knew it was going to be a big movie, but it wasn't until say, and the set was intense, I mean, this this was a seriously big movie, and this movie was shot for only eighteen million  bucks okay

    Interviewer: It still holds up today

    Mark Rolston:  It still holds up today which is absolutely amazing, but when we were doing the shoot, you know, Gale and Jim were on the hook for any overages. I had a super early call like 4.30 in the morning

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: And I'm walking through a sound stage, it's totally dark but I can see it, further in the sound stage, there was somebody standing with a flash light, and as I got closer, it was fucking Cameron at 4.30 in the morning

    (chuckle
    )

    Mark Rolston: he was looking at the APC set and he was taking notes and, I said, it was just he and I in the entire fucking sound stage

    Interviewer: yeah

    Mark Rolston: and i said, I was like good morning jim, and he didn't hear me, he was so intent on what he was studying or looking at

    Interviewer: Just hyper focused

    Mark Rolston: Yuh, and I just thought Wow, this dude is laser focused, intense, absolutely amazing, but you know, the the rest of the film we didn't really know until Paxton started calling me and every day I would be like Hell you know, my son was just born, I I don't know maybe I'm thinking about it, and finally I just gave in and alright, Paxton I'm coming, I'm coming, I booked my flight, and he, he kept saying "it's going to be huge" and he and I sat together at the Premiere, and you know, we're all dressed, but there's a whole bunch of you know, penguins in the audience and it's all the studio people Paxton and I were sitting together and at the opening moment, or early on in the film, you know when the first Alien pops out of the stomach of one of the crew that were like in the alien cemetery

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: Man, all these suits leapt three feet out of their chairs

    (chuckle
    )

    Mark Rolston: and Paxton he turned to me, he said "This is going to be fucking awesome"

    (chuckle
    )


    Interviewer:
    aah that's awesome

    Mark Rolston:Yeah, and then I, I remember, like I saw it at the premiere at then one day I was in Hollywood, I , I went to a bank

    Interviewer: Yuh

    Mark Rolston: And the bank guard, like I'm standing in the line , I'm like yoh, he comes over and he goes "you're fucking awesome man"
    "what do you mean?"
    "I've seen Aliens like twelve time"
    I was like "Dude, it's only been out for three days"

    He goes, "yuh, I payed for my ticket once and then I hide, and I just watch it over and over"


    (Chuckle
    )

    Mark Rolston: And I thought to myself, this is going to be a major crazy hit because yuh, and and and, it's stands to this day

    Interviewer: Yep, I, You could put that movie up against any sci-fi  movie, sci-fi adventure movie and the special effects hold up, the story holds up, the lines, the lighting, the camera work, it all,  holds up

    Mark Rolston: Yes, it did, it's extraordinary

    Interviewer: yeah, I mean, I love the director's cut because it shows those giant guns that were sweeping down the hallway and I'm like, I wish they put that in the theatre

    (chuckle)


    Interviewer: because they really missed a step in my mind on Aliens 3, I was like "huh!you guys had something so special in Aliens, why did you do this? "

    (chuckle)


    Mark Rolston: Well you know, I always said to Jim, like, you know, are you going to do another and he went "no, never"

    Interviewer: Oh

    Mark Rolston: And then later on in life he had, he went onto Terminator 2 and all that

    Interviewer: which was a giant success

    Mark Rolston:Yuh, and err, yeah, he was pretty determined not to do another Aliens, but I remember too when Aliens opened up, that's when Jim signed his massive contract with Fox, so you know, five hundred million dollars it was

    Interviewer: Do you think that the tactile work for the first time, because CGI looks amazing when you first see it but over time it starts to look dated because it just gets better

    Mark Rolston: That's true that's true, and er I think there maybe a point in that and of course, you know, we have to give a shout out to the brilliant Stan Winston, god bless his soul,  you know.

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: You know, he was a phenomenal, phenomenal technician and master of special effects and practical effects and, you know there were miniatures that they shot but the most fascinating thing to me was, I been wrapped, but I went back when they were shooting the reveal of the queen alien

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: Dude it was the most amazing set ever, uh because

    Interviewer: I believe it

    Mark Rolston: Well, they had, imagine like a massive puppet with wires that went over pulleys that were manned by like sometimes one sometimes two guys, these two guys were er making the legs move and the other two guys were making the arms move and they had another little guy who was actually tucked into the skull of the queen alien and his only job , he was all in black, and his only job was to push the alien goo out through the teeth, so it would drip down her teeth, and I watch it

    Interviewer: there was so much detail

    Mark Rolston: but, but but,  it was all puppetry

    Interviewer: Yuh it's amazing,

    Mark Rolston:  and when you watch the scene in the movie, I mean, wow like that was seeing King Kong for the first time

    Interviewer: Yeah

    Mark Rolston: You know the reveal of the queen alien was just incredible and it was all practical effects (Spoiler Country podcast, Friday, 10th April 2020)

1 comment:

  1. "Aliens: Mark Rolston plays Drake" was posted on 15th July 2021

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