- Bolaji Badejo played Alien in his only on-screen credit
- The six-foot-10-inch tall Nigerian was discovered in a London pub after a long casting process
(CNN)Dripping with menace, the alien in Ridley Scott's 1979 space horror classic was quite literally the movie's break-out star.
With an extendible jaw that salivated acid, it wasn't enough that "Alien" could capture and kill; it wanted to use humans unfortunate enough to cross its path as a surrogate womb as well.
Yet while enthusiasts know much about the film's cast -- its heroine Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, and the unfortunate crew of the spaceship Nostromo -- the man behind the titular creature was nearly as elusive as his enduring on-screen character.
"Alien" was sold with the strap line "In space no one can hear you scream." Fittingly the actor in the suit, Bolaiji Badejo, was largely silent in his part in one of the 20th century's most celebrated films.
The six-foot-10-inch tall Nigerian is no longer with us, dying from sickle cell disease in 1992. But by talking to those who knew him on set we can piece together the story of one of Hollywood's greatest villains -- and one of its unlikeliest actors.
From squeezing into rubber suits to being covered in KY Jelly to mimic the appearance of acid, it was quite a way to earn your first film credit.
Close encounters of the thirst kind
Special effects supervisor Nick Allder laughs when recalling his first encounter with Badejo.