Bolaji Badejo is a student of graphic arts in London, and has travelled extensively with his parents: to Ethiopia where he studied fine arts; and to the United States, including a three year stay in San Francisco. Badejo landed the role of the Alien purely by accident when he bumped into agent Peter Archer while having a drink in a London West End pub. Since the production had apparently put out a casting call for a very tall, very thin actors for the role of the Alien, Archer put Badejo in touch with Ridley Scott. Scott believed that Badejo, at 7 ft 2 in (218 cm) and with a slender frame, could portray the Alien and look as if his arms and legs were too long to be real, creating the illusion that there could not possibly be a human being inside the costume. Bolaji worked approximately four months on the film.
Bolaji and H. R. Giger were the only ones that were allowed to watch the rushes of the Alien footage with Ridley Scott, so they could work out problems together on how best to show the Alien and represent the movements and actions required.
Bolaji regreted that no one can recognise him as the Alien in the film, but thinking back on Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, or other successful actors who began their careers by playing grotesque monsters, he adds, "The fact that I played the part of the Alien, for me, that's good enough. Legally, I'll be given the opportunity of doing a follow-up, if there is one." Although he is training for a career on graphic design and commercial art, he exclaims, "Not if a film comes along!"