Alien is undoubtedly one of the greatest films ever made. Masterfully directed, claustrophobic and resoundingly inventive in its design, the film has aged incredibly well, and has influenced countless works in the 40 years since its release. With a tiny cast of characters trapped far from home with a deadly hunter they can't possibly kill without putting their lives in further jeopardy, it remains one of the most tense and terrifying cinema experiences in history.
The story of its production is often as intriguing as the film itself, with stories of its strange original ending and Ridley Scott's innovative work with the small cast reaching legendary status in Hollywood.
We all know about the infamous chestburster scene, and how its grisly reveal caused Veronica Cartwright to descend into hysterics and Yaphet Kotto to lock himself in his room for the rest of the shooting day - but there are so many more, smaller tidbits of information that have surfaced over the years which paint a vivid picture of the shoot.
From shared-universe reveals, through potential casting changes to some truly bizarre design and plotting ideas that thankfully never saw the light of day, there is no end to fascinating facts circulating around Alien and its 40 year legacy.
25. Yaphet Kotto Was Instructed To Annoy Sigourney Weaver On Set
It's common knowledge that a lot of moments in Alien, such as the infamous chestburster scene, were reliant on improvisation and certain production details being withheld from the cast to give the film a sense of authenticity. However beyond the big moments, a lot of subtleties went on behind the scenes as well.
One such example is the relationship between Sigourney Weaver and Yaphet Kotto, who played The Nostromo's prickly chief engineer Dennis Parker. It was a convincing dynamic, and there's good reason for it.
Kotto was instructed by Ridley Scott to deliberately annoy Weaver off-camera in order to add to the tension between their characters. It was evidently effective, as Ripley and Parker show a very believable onscreen enmity.