In honour of Yaphet Kotto, the “Alien” actor, on his 78th birthday

On November 15th, 1939 the American actor Yaphet Kotto was born. It’s a nice occasion to mention his role in one of the most famous SF horror films. Some would even say it’s one of the greatest films of all time – “Alien” (1979).

He played the ship’s chief engineer Parker.

Upon carefully observing his performance in “Live and Let Die”, Ridley Scott sent Kotto his script for “Alien”. However, there’s another reason, and it’s somewhat politically (in)correct. The Nostromo crew needed an African American because it needed to be an international one.

But let’s get back to Yaphet Kotto’s real contribution to the movie. Did you know that he actually believes in aliens? Well, he does, and that’s great if you play a role in a movie like “Alien”. It can probably help you get into the character better, and generate a more profound experience for the viewers.

What’s more interesting is the fact that Yaphet Kotto claimed he had had strange experiences with creatures and object from space many times since he was a kid.

“Every time I moved into a house, above it at some point, there would be a circle of what looked like smoke. I’d wonder where it came from because it sure as hell didn’t look like clouds. Those sightings continued for a good ten to 15 years. I’ve also had time loss. I have a big loss of time between some of these moments, and I’d often wonder if I was taken”, explained Kotto, recounting a few of his interesting anecdotes.

Moreover, he allegedly saw a UFO. And a big one at that. “The thing blotted out the entire sky. The moon and everything, it was huge,” he explained on the same occasion.

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Do you believe in Kotto’s stories?

One thing is certain. He did a very good job in the film, whether it has to do with his supernatural inclinations or not.

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