Bolaji Badejo was a Nigerian design student who portrayed the Alien alongside stuntmen Eddie Powell and Roy Scammell in the first film. Information regarding Badejo's life remained a mystery until the fan site, Strange Shapes did extensive research on Badejo's background, participation in Alien and his later life, posted on August 23, 2014.
Alien franchise credit
Bolaji Badejo was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on August 23, 1953, the second child to parents Victor and Elizabeth Badejo (née Bamidale). The family included, in order of birth: Akin, Bolaji, a sister Debo, Posi, Boyega, and Deji. In 1983 the youngest Badejo sibling, Deji, passed away due to sickle cell anaemia.
Bolaji Badejo was 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. Badejo landed the role of the Alien purely by accident when he bumped into agent Peter Archer while having a drink in a London West End pub. Since the production had apparently put out a casting call for a very tall, very thin actors for the role of the Alien, Archer put Badejo in touch with Ridley Scott. Scott believed that Badejo, at 7 ft 2 in (218 cm) and with a slender frame, could portray the Alien and look as if his arms and legs were too long to be real, creating the illusion that there could not possibly be a human being inside the costume. To prepare for the film Bolaji took tai chi classes, spoke with Scott regarding his performance, and vigorously rehearsed the Alien’s gliding movement and mantis-like posture on the Nostromo set. Bolaji worked approximately four months on the film.
Badejo relocated back to Nigeria in 1980 and went to work with his uncle, the well known sculptor, artist, designer and publisher Omotayo Aiyegbusi. Within three years, Bolaji had his own art gallery. He also had two children children, Bibi and Yinka, who were born in the 80′s.
As a child, Badejo had been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia. Several months after his 39th birthday, Bolaji fell ill and was taken to St. Stephen Hospital in Ebute Metta, Lagos, where he died on the December 22, 1992.
- The Alien was Badejo's only film acting role.
- Badejo and H.R. Giger were the only ones that were allowed to watch the rushes of the Alien footage with Ridley Scott, so they could work out problems together on how best to show the Alien and represent the movements and actions required.
- Bolaji regretted that no one can recognize him as the Alien in the film, but thinking back on Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, or other successful actors who began their careers by playing grotesque monsters, he mentioned, "The fact that I played the part of the Alien, for me, that's good enough. Legally, I'll be given the opportunity of doing a follow-up, if there is one."