It never occurred to me to browse through the credits of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien, to find out who was underneath the monstrous black mask.

The man was Bolanji Badejo, a 7ft tall Nigerian design student picked up from a bar in West London to fill the title role.  He worked on the film for 4 months. Spending every day wrapped in a suffocating custom fitted rubber suit, working to exude a presence of pure evil.

Despite his incredible contribution to the film’s success Badejo never received any publicity for his involvement. Ultimately, it would be his only film role.

This still saddens me, considering how wildly popular and influential the Alien franchise became.

I don’t know why…but I never even considered that a person would be in there.

It was his only film role because he didn’t try to get more.He was only visiting america for 3 years. A year after the film he moved back to nigeria, worked as an artist and within just 3 years had his own successful art gallery, a family and children.

Then a few years later at the age of 39 he died of sickle cell anemia, which he had been fighting his whole life. THAT is the tragedy. 


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