Many people know the names of Ray Harryhausen or Rick Baker, giants and pioneers of the special effects industry, but far fewer would recognize the name Bolaji Badejo, as the man behind the first xenomorph, the titular character of Alien. Badejo was a Nigerian design student living in Los Angeles when a member of Alien‘s casting team noticed his seven-foot, two-inch frame in a bar, and told him that he should get in touch with Ridley Scott. Scott thought that Badejo’s unusual height and slimness would, in a costume, give the Alien a look that screamed “this is not a man in a suit.”
Badejo took t’ai chi and mime classes to get his movements right, and wound up playing the alien in almost all of the scenes with it (the exceptions being some stunts). And as the above video shows, even with just an early mock-up of the alien head, Badejo’s performance was still unnerving as heck.