Episode 2

Published on:

7th May 2019

Alien - Nostromo, A Very Bloody Birth


  • 00:16 – Robin tells the story of how she met Ron Shusett
  • 02:58 – Introducing today’s episode, Alien: Nostromo
  • 03:21 – Pre-production of Alien
  • 04:56 – Casting Alien
  • 05:46 – The controversy behind Sigourney Weaver landing the lead role of Ellen Ripley
  • 09:27 – Figuring out the pacing of Alien
  • 14:16 – An incredible crisis that developed among the actors of Alien
  • 18:51 – Giving Hollywood executives an ultimatum
  • 21:11 – The Chestburster Scene
  • 25:29 – Shooting in chronological order from the Chestburster scene on
  • 26:47 – Ron shares another behind the scenes moment from shooting Alien
  • 29:14 – The nursery set
  • 30:42 – The impregnation of the alien

Shareable Quotes

“Sigourney got it by giving a brilliant reading. She was off-Broadway in a hit and they gave her a cold reading and she knocked it out of the park.” (06:07)
“They were all not-name stars. They were all proven successes as character actors, but none of them could be prima donnas. But halfway through there became an incredible crisis with the whole cast. They almost all quit.” (14:28)
“And so I said, “The movie doesn’t seem to be working. It’s slow and plodding. It’s the right version of the script but the pacing is off. It’s funereal instead of suspenseful.” (10:17)
“And from then on, they were really scared of that monster. They’re performances showed it.” (25:08)


Music by Vincent Covello and Vic Migenes

Artwork by Barbara Mastej

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About the Podcast

An Alien in Hollywood - Ronald Shusett
The life and times of Ronald Shusett
An Alien in Hollywood is the story about the life and times of legendary filmmaker and “Godfather of Hollywood science fiction” Ronald Shusett.

Unless you’re a Hollywood behind-the-scenes aficionado you've probably never heard of Ron. He is no less than the man who co-created, wrote, and produced three of the most influential, iconic and mind-blowing science fiction blockbusters in film history – Alien, Total Recall and Minority Report.

His movies have grossed over one and a half billion dollars, have launched the careers of Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott, and turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into the #1 box office star in the world. Ron has been the inspiration for filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and James Cameron, and he made author Phillip K. Dick a household name. With the release of “Alien” Ron and his partner Dan O’Bannon spawned the “Alien Universe” and the first movie franchise in history.

The series is hosted by Harry Duran and Robin Maxwell.
Music by Vincent Covello and Vic Migenes
Podcast Artwork by Barbara Mastej