10:05am PT by Lexy Perez
Sigourney Weaver Makes Surprise Appearance at High School's Viral 'Alien' Production
After a high school drama club's production of Alien: The Play went viral online earlier this year, the film's star Sigourney Weaver made a surprise visit to the school herself to celebrate the show on the 40th anniversary of the film.
Students from the New Jersey high school had performed Alien: The Play on March 19 and 22 but quickly garnered attention — with even the official Twitter account for the Fox (now Disney) film taking notice — for their production and replicated sets and costumes, which were all created from recycled materials. Photos and video from the first version of their production of the 1979 horror/sci-fi classic had spread online, with fans impressed with the students' creativity.
In attendance for their encore performance Friday was Weaver, who played the character Ellen Ripley in the film that spawned a franchise.
The production's Twitter account tweeted a video of Weaver going backstage and applauding the students who were stunned to see her. "I can't believe you're here right now," one student shouts to the actress, as others continuously clap for Weaver.
"I am so excited to be here! I am representing all of the Alien fans, all over the universe who think what you're doing is so cool," Weaver told the students backstage.
Though visiting the production for the first time, Weaver had already expressed her praise for the production in a YouTube video posted earlier this year in which she called the production "incredible."
"I saw a bit of your production of Alien, and I just want to say it looked incredible," the actress said in a video shared by the official Fox franchise YouTube account. "You put so much heart and soul into that. The alien, I must say, looked very real to me."
"I just wanted to send our compliments. Not only from me but from James Cameron and the original screenwriter, Walter Hill," she said. "We all say bravo. Well done. And just one more thing — you know the alien might still be round, so when you're opening your locker, just do it very slowly...." After the video was posted, students and staff posted a thank you to Weaver for her kind words.
Meanwhile, the film's helmer Ridley Scott also praised the students in a penned letter in which he celebrated their "creativity, imagination and determination."
"My hat comes off to all of you for your creativity, imagination, and determination to produce such an ambitious show," Scott wrote in the letter posted to social media by play director Perfecto Cuervo. "Limitations often produce the best results because imagination and determination can surpass any shortfalls and determine the way forward — ALWAYS."
Scott even suggested the students perform his Oscar-winning Gladiator as their next production. Scott also supplied funds to pay for the encore performance.