A Sole Alien
With Prometheus out, perhaps it's time to look a little more into that film in itself. Take a look at this image;
There's an interesting story behind it. There was an article from a Swedish magazine, where the author tries to find the person that played the alien in the film. It starts off as a sort of "It would be really cool to meet the person that caused me all those scares" but then turns into an obsession and... I think I'm going to try to translate the last part of the article, but it's hugely depressing...
To set it up a little, the author is a huge Alien fan and knows all the trivia but is taken aback by a comment on the Prometheus trailer by someone asking what happened to the guy that played the original alien, and so he starts to do all this research on it but finds very little to no information about it. He's only ever mentioned in passing in the 6 hour long special edition Blu Ray but the person the person that asked what had happened to him also knows his name and thought he had managed to set up a choreography studio in London, so the writer calls it only to get a women's voice that tells him that he's one of many that has called her asking for "the creature", but since the name she shares with the actor, Bolaji Badejo, is a common Nigerian name it would be impossible to find him.
So he's left a little depressed when he gets another email from the commenter with a list of names and numbers for the carpenters and stage hands. With that he sends off emails to them and that's where I'll let the article take over;
When it had been a few weeks and I had just started thinking about other things, including the upcoming Prometheus premiere, the answer arrived. One of the men who built the famous model of the space ship Nostromo has bad news: "Bolaji committed suicide shortly after he returned to Nigeria," he writes in an email. "I read it in Screen International in the early eighties, so I think that is true."
There is a phone number in the email signature, so I call to ask if he is sure that he remember correctly. The man responds in a polite British voice: "I am sure, because the news of Bolajis death took me extra hard because we never got to know him."
"Why?" I ask.
"Well ... it must have been a true and sad experience for him to be alone in that hotel room."
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"Well ... the producers put him in a different hotel than the rest of crew, some distance away from the shooting, so that he would feel extra strange and scary when he showed up. And it worked. He was always very lonely during the shooting. Sat in his swing. "
"Well ... he could not sit on regular chairs because he had that awkward costume on, so someone on the team built a swing for him to sit on when we had a break. There he sat in his loneliness and rocked in silence, with the mask on. "
Stunned, I manage to stutter something about being grateful that he would talk to me. I end the call and stay awake in the dark for long. In the end, I stretch for the phone and watch some YouTube clips from Alien, as I have done so often over the years when I can not sleep.
But something has happened, the movie affects me in a different way than I'm used to. When the camera sweeps across the shadows, I am reminded of how I used to feel about it that darkness before I was ten. Something unknown and dangerous brood in there, and there is nothing attractive in it at all. Just sheer terror.