Of course it's Friday today and all of our fans know that Fridays here mean Fun Fact Friday. I know you all enjoy them as much as I enjoy creating and posting them. So in keeping with our weekly movie trivia event and the fact Alien Day is merely days away, I thought I’d tell you all about when I met Lance Henriksen.
Whilst attending the 2013 Cardiff Film & Comic Convention I managed to make it to a talk/Q & A with some of the cast of Aliens. The panel included Lance Henriksen (Bishop), Trevour Steedman (Pvt. Wierzbowski) and Colette Hiller (Cpl. Ferro). And much to my delight when I raised my hand to ask a question during the Q & A segment of the talk, I was able to ask a question.
"How many takes did it take to film the knife trick?"
The audience applauded and the panel smiled. I was expecting a good answer, but this turned out to be an even funnier story. As the audience hushed, Henriksen began regaling us with his story.
"That's a funny story actually. When I got the script I saw this scene with the ‘knife trick’ and I was reading it wondering how Jimmy [James Cameron] is going to do this. Knowing what Jimmy is like I began going to all these different stores and buying all these different types of knives to practice this trick. I had absolutely no idea what knife he would want to use so I thought it would be better to practice with all of them. It came round to filming Aliens and I am being flown to England by the studio on a commercial flight, no issues at all, lovely flight. So I land in London, get off the plane and make my way to customs. I get stopped by these two uniformed gentlemen who inform me they’re customs officers and I needed to come with them. Basically they found all these different knives in my bag and obviously this set off alarm bells. I tried to explain to them I was here to shoot a movie and the knives were going to be used. They didn't buy it, detained and questioned me for a while. In the end they got hold of 20th Century Fox and explained the situation. So after hours of being detained, Jimmy and this rep from 20th Century Fox came down to basically bail me out."
"As for the scene I think we did it in one or two takes. What you see in the film is pretty much all me. We did end up reshooting though, unfortunately it was after a night of drinking. I accidentally caught Bill's little finger during the reshoot. Funny as we didn't tell him his hand was going over mine before we shot it. What you see in the film is pretty much all me. They sped up one of the long shots we used towards the end of the scene but that was it. It was good fun."
Honestly, this story still amazes me. Always a great insight into more of one of the best sci-fi horrors made as well. If you can ever attend conventions, couldn't recommend it enough! Always great meeting some of the people responsible for the hours and hours worth of entertainment they've given you over the years.