What’s Awesome About Starring In An Alien Movie And What’s Not, Per Prometheus’ Guy Pearce

An aging Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) sits in a chair in 'Prometheus'

There are upsides and downsides to pretty much any job. That’s even true if you’re an actor in an iconic movie franchise. Just ask Guy Pearce. He’d be happy to tell you all about the most awesome (and least awesome) part of starring in an Alien movie.

In Prometheus, Guy Pearce plays Peter Weyland -- a CEO with a huge god complex. The character is, for much of the film, considerably older than he is in real life. So Guy Pearce often had to sit through five hours in a make-up chair so he could look the part. And according to the actor in a recent GQ interview, that part wasn’t exactly the most fun:

It’s very cool being a part of the alien world. It’s also cool to get to play Peter Weyland – I mean the guy who kind of created it all. It wasn’t so cool having to wear five hours of old age, prosthetic makeup. I would get up at 2 o’clock in the morning, I would be driven to work and I would start makeup at 3 in the morning and would start work at 8. They could film with me until 2 in the afternoon and then I was done.

Peter Weyland plays a pivotal role in Prometheus -- he’s the dude who funds the whole expedition that the movie centers around. But his actual screen-time is pretty limited, especially in comparison to some of Guy Pearce’s co-stars like Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.

That meant that Guy Pearce had a limited amount of time on the Prometheus set, too -- which meant that he was more aware of days when all the preparation to be on screen ultimately didn’t amount to much:

I only did about 15 or 17 days or something on that. The tricky thing about that character was I had to wear a sort of metal exoskeleton as well, which meant I couldn’t sit down properly… There was one day where I went in, did all the makeup, got to my room and they said, ‘We’re just running a bit behind this morning. We’ll get to you.’ I went, ‘OK.’ Well, an hour went by and another hour went by… at about 1 o’clock they went, ‘So, it’s up to you. You can probably take all this off or we might get to you.’ By this point I’m atrophied to the spot. I don’t think I filmed that day.

Despite all the inconvenience, it seems like Guy Pierece was still happy to be a part of the Alien franchise. After expressing enthusiasm for reprising his role in the Prometheus sequel, he eventually came back for Alien: Covenant in an uncredited, brief appearance as the younger (and prosthetic-free) Peter Weyland.

Katherine Webb