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AvPGalaxy Exclusive: Interview with Ian Whyte

We have just uploaded our new interview with Ian Whyte. Back in 2007 AvPGalaxy had the opportunity to speak to Ian Whyte whilst he was working on Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. I recently had the chance to catch up with the basketball player turned actor that played the Predator in two Alien vs. Predator films and took up the mantle as a member of the enigmatic race that has intrigued fans since Alien’s release in 1979 – the Engineers.

“The alien language was developed by a very learned linguist, Dr Anil Biltoo. Who is not only “the linguist” from Prometheus, he is the head of languages at the SOAS language centre at the University of London. It was derived, or inspired by an early root language about 10000 years old, long before Asian and European languages began to develop independently. Initially I spent a good few hours learning the intrinsic intonations and then went away with a few paragraphs that had been translated into “Alien” to learn verbatim as practice before the actual script.

One of the paragraphs was the tears in rain scene from Blade Runner. A film I am very, very familiar with. But the words “Tannhauser” and “Orion” did not translate into the alien language because they are names. As a result they stood out from the text very conspicuously and gave away the entire meaning of the exercise. As soon as I realised what I was reading, my mind automatically translated it back into English, (and into Rutger Hauer’s voice as well probably) and tears welled up within me, such is the emotive power of that scene. I went back to the producers and said, “look, I appreciate the need for practice, but you’ve got to let me see the script. This is Blade Runner and every time I read it I cry! I need to study it and learn it with relevance to my own character.”

In our latest interview with Ian Whyte he talks to us about learning to speak Engineer.  AvPGalaxy Exclusive: Interview with Ian Whyte

In our latest interview with Ian Whyte he talks to us about learning to speak Engineer.

In our interview with Ian Whyte he talks to us about his experience filming both Alien vs. Predator films, how he got involved in Prometheus and learning how to talk Engineer. He also takes about his transition from basketball to acting and just what it’s like to act under all that rubber and make-up!

Make sure you check out the interview in its entirety! You can also read our previous interviews in the Interviews section. I’d like to thank Ian once again for taking the time to answer our questions.



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Comments: 23
  1. Corporal Hicks
    Wow, nice one Hicks! That's one tall chap!

    He seems like a genuinely nice person, very un-Hollywood.

    Thanks! He really was lovely. One of the friendliest I've met at one of these events! I'd say Carrie Henn and Roy Scammell were just as nice!

    1. What was your brief on the Engineer character? Any info on where they come from, what the motivation is, how to perceive people etc?

    I would say this one was answered in our interview with Ian.

    Quote
    2. Was the suit you were wearing meant to be part of the engineer's body?

    3. What's going on in the engineer's head throughout your scenes?

    Does anyone know if any of these questions have been answered anywhere?

    I can't say I've seen these ones asked exactly like this but they maybe out there.
  2. Xenoscream
    A few things I would love to ask him:

    1. What was your brief on the Engineer character? Any info on where they come from, what the motivation is, how to perceive people etc?

    2. Was the suit you were wearing meant to be part of the engineer's body?

    3. What's going on in the engineer's head throughout your scenes?

    Does anyone know if any of these questions have been answered anywhere?
  3. Corporal Hicks
    Do you know if Ian has been contacted by the studios for Predator 3 ?

    I assume you mean Predator 4 -  I don't know, sorry. I'll try to ask him this weekend. He did mention he'd been asked about Predator 3 though.

    I asked and he hadn't heard anything about it yet. But it's still pretty early on anyway.

    Wow awesome! I'm pretty jealous though,  lol

    Haha! Thanks.  :P
  4. Corporal Hicks
    I aim to please, boss!

    Yeah, he seems pretty certain on his not returning. I understand his Engineer died but considering the prosthetics I didn't think it'd be too crazy to see him back as a different character.
  5. Darkness
    You're a dark horse. I was pretty surprised when I saw this interview pop up in my feed. I always wanted a post Prometheus interview with the guy. He seemed pretty set against not returning to Covenant. I thought it'd have been pretty easy to have him play another Engineer if they were using them again.
  6. The Eighth Passenger
    Had the honour of meeting him at a convention and had my blu ray copy of Prometheus signed by 'The Last Engineer' himself. Lovely guy and very humble and down to earth.

    The Bolaji Badejo of our generation?

    Could this imply that we will get NO return of the Engineers? I certainly hope not.

    I certainly hope so!

    Proper Space Jockeys would be great though.

    I just took it to mean he doubts he'll be back as his character was quite dead.

    He was wearing prosthetics so it should be easy enough to give him a new face. And when it comes to Engineers, he can already talk the talk. So to speak.  ;D
  7. Corporal Hicks
    Do you know if Ian has been contacted by the studios for Predator 3 ?

    I assume you mean Predator 4 -  I don't know, sorry. I'll try to ask him this weekend. He did mention he'd been asked about Predator 3 though.

    Though not wanting to jump to conclusion, could we interpret his words of not being in Alien Covenant suggest we won't be seeing any of the Engineers back.

    I just took it to mean he doubts he'll be back as his character was quite dead.
  8. XENOMORPHOSIS
    Though not wanting to jump to conclusion, could we interpret his words of not being in Alien Covenant suggest we won't be seeing any of the Engineers back.

    "No, you can’t! I think it will be highly unlikely. Not least because I became very, very dead at the end of Prometheus."

    Could this imply that we will get NO return of the Engineers and that Alien Covenant is merely a Xenomorph fest that has dropped the Engineers entirely. I certainly hope not.
  9. draken161
    God this dude is awesome... Shane Black please cast him as your predator. His wolf and engineer performances were top knotch. You could definitely say I'm a fan, would love to get his autograph and shake his hand some day.

    Great interview very interesting.

    Great interview indeed. Him playing Wolf is what made AvPR at least fun to watch and definitely made him my favourite casting for a Predator next to Kevin. Definitely want to see more of him.
  10. Corporal Hicks
    God this dude is awesome... Shane Black please cast him as your predator. His wolf and engineer performances were top knotch. You could definitely say I'm a fan, would love to get his autograph and shake his hand some day.

    I'd definitely love to see him back in The Predator. I always thought he did a great job!

    Quote
    Great interview very interesting.

    Thanks!

    Had the honour of meeting him at a convention and had my blu ray copy of Prometheus signed by 'The Last Engineer' himself. Lovely guy and very humble and down to earth.

    Whilst I've spoken to him before online, I've never had the chance to meet him in person. I will this weekend though and I have to say I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to add his signature to my AvPGalaxy poster!

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    Great interview guys, interesting questions posed as always

    We do try to not be mill-of-the-run with these things. I must say I really liked his answer to the Engineer speech question. I think it's fascinating they did the Blade Runner dialogue. I'd not heard that story before.
  11. BonesawT101
    Had the honour of meeting him at a convention and had my blu ray copy of Prometheus signed by 'The Last Engineer' himself. Lovely guy and very humble and down to earth. Great interview guys, interesting questions posed as always
  12. 426Buddy
    God this dude is awesome... Shane Black please cast him as your predator. His wolf and engineer performances were top knotch. You could definitely say I'm a fan, would love to get his autograph and shake his hand some day.

    Great interview very interesting.
  13. T Dog
    "The sequel to Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, will be shooting in the next few months. Can we expect to see you return as another Engineer in it? Or in another role perhaps?

    Ian Whyte – No, you can’t! I think it will be highly unlikely. Not least because I became very, very dead at the end of Prometheus."

    Here's hoping for a return to proper 1979 Space Jockey design!
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