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Did You Know A Nigerian Man Played A Major Role In A 1979 Hollywood Movie? by dapelua(m): 1:09am On Jul 07, 2018
Did you know a Nigerian man played a major role in a 1979 Hollywood movie? It was a horror movie and not one of those ones where the black man is the first to die. He was the villain and he even became one of cinema's most feared villains.

The seven feet and two inches tall Nigerian man was perfect for the role of the feared villain Alien because of his height. Bolaji Badejo was born on August 23, 1953, in Lagos, Nigeria. He was the second child of Victor and Elizabeth Badejo.

Victor Badejo was the first indigenous director general of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and he was also a welfare administrator. He and his wife Elizabeth had six children, Akin, Bolaji, Debo, Posi, Boyega and Deji.

In 1972, Victor Badejo retired as director general of NBC after working there for twenty years. He packed up his family and relocated to Ethiopia, where 19-year-old Bolaji spent his time in learning fine arts.

After three years in Ethiopia, the family moved to England, where Bolaji was scouted for the movie titled Alien. On getting to England, Bolaji decided to further his studies in graphic design.

According to BBC, Movie Director Rideley Scott and his associate producer Ivor Powell were searching for the man with the right height to play the iconic villain, they had considered basketball players, mime artists and even Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca but none of them were the perfect fit for their imagination.

The movie's casting agent Peter Ardram had bumped into Bolaji at a pub in Soho, London. A meeting was arranged for Bolaji to meet the director and the 7 feet Nigerian man became one of the most feared villains in the cinematic world.

In an interview with Cinefantastique, Bolaji revealed that he had to do some physical training to perfect his role. He took mime classes, learning to move according to the director's wishes.

Bolaji said: "The idea was that the creature was supposed to be graceful as well as vicious, requiring slow, deliberate movements."

The Nigerian actor also revealed that the costume designed by Giger and special effects artist, Carlo Rambaldi, was very uncomfortable. He said he could barely see what was going on around him.

He said: "I could barely see what was going on around me, except when I was in a stationary position, while they were filming. Then there were a few holes I could look through... It was terribly hot... I could only have it on for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time. When I took it off, my head would be soaked."

All the hard work put into the costume and the amazing performance of Bolaji made the right impression. Bolaji told Cinefantastique that actress Veronica Cartwright was genuinely scared of him in one of the scenes.

Bolaji said: "I remember having to kick Yaphet Kotto, throw him against the wall, and rush up to him. Veronica Cartwright was really terrified. After I fling Yaphet Kotto back with my tail, I turn to go after her, there’s blood in my mouth, and she was incredible. It wasn’t acting. She was scared.”

Associate producer Ivor Powell noted that they knew the Alien played by Bolaji was going to be a hit. He said: "We knew we were dealing with an iconic baddie. Whether anybody else did was another matter."

He added: "I wonder if Bolaji knew how important the role was... Perhaps he did after the event. I doubt it at the time."

After the Alien premier, the movie that was produced with a $11 million budget grossed $100 million and even won an Academy Award for Allder, Giger and their team for Best Visual Effects.

In 1980, a year after the movie premiered, Bolaji moved back to Nigeria to join his uncle a well known sculptor Omotayo Aiyegbusi and in 1983, he opened his own art gallery.

The iconic star got married and welcomed his children Bibi and Yinka in the 80s. Months after he clocked 39, Bolaji fell sick and died of sickle anaemia at St. Stephen Hospital in Ebute Metta, on December 22, 1992.

Bolaji Badejo was described as someone who always wanted to make an impact and he truly did make his impact through the movie Alien, a role he didn't plan on playing.


Re: Did You Know A Nigerian Man Played A Major Role In A 1979 Hollywood Movie? by MANNABBQGRILLS: 2:36am On Jul 07, 2018
Now, we know!

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Re: Did You Know A Nigerian Man Played A Major Role In A 1979 Hollywood Movie? by okwabayi(m): 3:59am On Jul 07, 2018
I thought the alien used was an animatronic robot. Well, I feel like watching this version even more now.

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