With the reach of the Internet, it's not very hard to find screen tests and see how our favorite characters were born. We've got everything from Marlon Brando testing for 'Rebel Without a Cause' to Gerard Butler donning a crappy wig and vamping out for a 'Dracula 2000' audition. Some, like Brando, offer iterations we never got to see in all their glory, some just seem too silly or awkward to imagine, and then there are some where the test is just so perfect you can't believe it -- especially when it's not a well-known actor strutting their stuff for the audition camera.
As the comprehensive Alien Anthology Blu-ray gears up for release, we've got two looks at Sigourney Weaver's killer screen tests for 'Alien.'
Back in the day, it was supposed to be Veronica Cartwright as Ripley in Ridley Scott's 'Alien,' but it's no wonder that Weaver got the part. Yes, we know about the magic of the final version, but now that some of her screen tests have hit the Internet, we can see that the magic was there from moment one.
The first test comes courtesy of Empire (hit the link to check it out), as Ripley talks to her crew and wonders how they can fight off the Giger-shaped beast plaguing the ship. There's no awkwardness to her performance, which is quite remarkable considering her very limited experience at that time. She'd played Avis Ryan on 'Somerset' in '76, and in 1977, she briefly popped up as Alvy's date in 'Annie Hall,' acted in a mini-series called 'The Best of Families' and a part in the F. Murray Abraham film 'Madman.' That was the extent of Weaver's big-screen work, yet she commanded the spaceship like a pro.
Though she was a natural in her screen tests, it's been said that she got the starring gig based on another screen test of Ripley's speech in the final scene. Maybe that will be on the Blu-ray, but for now, we can offer one more goody of pre-production Ripley chilling with Dallas in space. Well, a pre-Tom Skeritt Dallas.
Check it out below and get ready for the anthology, which hits shelves next week.