Interview with an A L I E N
This summer, something huge is coming. The master of science-fiction, after a 30 year
hiatus is returning to the genre he defined in what If Only predicts to be this summer’s
greatest film, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Surrounded by an extensive ad and viral campaign,
Prometheus is the tale of a manned space crew, venturing into the far reaches of the
universe, trying to find clues into the origins of humanity, and is expected to raise the bar
for all 2012 summer blockbusters as well as future sci-fi epics.
If you have been following the advertising campaign, in amongst the space cobras, melty
faces and all round terror, you may have caught a glimpse of a tall, nude life form enjoying
the view from an alien planet, and stomping round an alien ship, promising an answer to the
ever elusive ‘Space Jockey’ mystery surrounding Scott’s 1979 classic Alien.
In a world exclusive, If Only has bagged an interview with this being, in the form of 22 year
old Daniel Twiss. Model and part time actor, Twiss spared some time to talk to us about his
role in Prometheus and perhaps provide some answers into just what the fuck the crew find
on this alien planet.
If Only: First and foremost, welcome to If Only and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. To begin with, how did you manage to become a part of Prometheus?
Daniel Twiss: Hello If Only! I have been modelling for 5 years, and have done some small
acting parts before, but my agency managed to get me into the Nina Gold Casting for the
part of the ‘Sacrifice Engineer’. It was a pretty quick casting by all accounts, but I got a call
the next day saying the casting director loved me and I got the part. I guess I just look like
a good alien.
We have seen the virals, the teasers and the trailers. We have seen the alien life
forms and the spacecraft from Scott’s Alien. What information can you give us on
your character as the ‘Space Engineer’?
In the original Alien, the crew encounter the ‘Space Jockey’, now known as an ‘Engineer’
(the name for the alien race) however, as this is a semi-prequel, the ‘Engineers’
have a much bigger part to play. My character is that of a fairly young ‘Engineer’
who ritualistically sacrifices himself in the opening scene. This sacrifice is very different to
any others as I have to drink an ancient mix which causes my body to literally disintegrate
into the water around me. This then provides the first building blocks for new life to form
on the alien planet. There are two other ‘Engineers’ who are in the rest of the film and have
fairly large parts, but you will have to wait for release to find out more.
What direction, if any, were you given on playing this essential role?
To be honest, fairly little before the day actually came. The crew had changed the scene
quite a bit since the casting so I didn’t know really what was happening. They also forgot to
send me my lines so I only received them the day before, but there were only a few words
in alien to learn so it wasn’t too bad. On set, the crew were amazing and were quite flexible
to see what looks good on the day, so it was a lot of fun working with them all.
We know that Pinewood studios had to be extended to fit Scott’s grand ideas,
and you had the chance to visit the set, what did you make of it?
I saw set of the alien spaceship and some extensive tunnels, where they did quite a lot of
filming, and it took up the whole of the 007 stage in Pinewood. The detail is incredible on
set and considering just how big it is, it will look amazing in 3-D.
You were also tasked to Iceland for a week long shoot (how nice), how does the
Icelandic landscape fit into Prometheus, an essentially space bound picture?
Iceland is the perfect place to film an alien landscape. Flying in it looked like a very un-
earthy, grey, volcanic landscape, and the Detifoss waterfalls in the North were a fantastic
backdrop to complete it.
You clearly do not have the physical characteristics of an alien, so how extensive
was the ‘Sacrificial Engineer’ make up and prosthetics?
The prosthetics were ridiculous, it took 10 hours to put the costume on, which was made up
of 27 separate silicon pieces which were glued onto me in a set order so that there were no
breaks in the suit. Without any CG it still looked like there was an alien walking around, and
it felt very odd looking on the mirror.
What was it like working with the godfather of science fiction, Sir Ridley Scott?
Ridley was unbelievable to work with. He is so focused and it is very obvious just how good
he is when you get a chance to talk to him about a scene. It was very intimidating at first
but his direction was fantastic and he couldn’t have been nicer about them afterwards. He
even sat and watched back the shots with me in 3-D after filming which was probably the
highlight for me.
What does it feel like to be part of movie history in the making?
I don’t really know yet, it was a surreal and amazing experience but I’ll have to wait and
see once the film is out. It looks like it will be a big success so hopefully then I’ll feel like a
Thanks Daniel, and we will see you on screen soon.
Prometheus hits the big screen on June 1st in the UK and June 8th in the US, and it’s pretty
safe to say that If Only will be waiting in line on the day of release, chest-bursting with
If you haven’t seen any of the trailers yet, prepare to have your mind blown, featuring
Daniel in the initial sequence.
Words by Luke Brawley.