Remember how cool it felt when you were a kid, and your parents finally let you watch ‘Alien’? Yeah, me too. I also remember feeling super uncool when I pretty much cried at the ‘Chestburster’ Scene.
As scary, and disturbing that scene was as a kid. It is nonetheless Kane in Alien is one of John Hurt’s most talked about roles. Unfortunately, the incredibly talented actor passed away on Wednesday at his home in Norfolk. The 77 year old was just given the all clear by doctors, after a battle with Pancreatic cancer in 2015.
Hurt is also known for play John Merrick in the Elephant Man. And of course, the one and only Mr Ollivander in Harry Potter who dropped some of the franchises most famous lines like ‘The wand chooses the wizard Harry…”. The ‘Chestbuster’ scene however, is one of the most iconic scenes in cinema, and it’s no surprise after you read about how the scene was created.
In this scene the actors clearly had to seem as if they were shocked, and didn’t really know what was going on. And, they actually didn’t. Those involved in the scene were given very few details on what was going to happen, they were told that something was going to emerge. And that’s it! Not that you need help remembering this scene, but here’s another look before you read how they actually constructed this fantastically gross scene.
For Hurt, the scene involved a little more work. To do this, a fake body was made and Hurt had to lie under the table with his arms and head poking through the t-shirt so it looked like it was his body. As for all the gore you see in this scene, Ridley raided the local butchers and fishmongers. So they were all out for this.
All in the name of realistic Alien chest busting action. And the disturbed kid inside me, says they definitely succeeded!
Hopefully this knowledge will settle your stomach the next time you watch that scene. At least, I hope it does that for me. But also, it’s just another job that John Hurt executed perfectly. An absolute legend, who leaves a massive hole in the world of cinema. RIP.
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