Interview with Billy Mansell, an Engineer From Alien Covenant by Cee Vee Ernay
On Alien Day’s Eve, Xenomorphing brings you a special treat! Cee Vee Ernay from the Alien Prequel Paradise group on Facebook was lucky enough to interview with Billy Mansell! Who is he? Billy played an Engineer in Alien Covenant, poor fella was massacred by that rascal David. I always enjoy behind the scenes interviews like this, enjoy it everyone!
Cee Vee Ernay:How did you get the gig on Alien: Covenant?
Billy Mansell: I was called by my agent, who asked if I was comfortable with wearing prosthetics and happy with shaving totally bald which I said yes to! I had no idea at that time it was Alien: Covenant but it was given the production title “AC.” I didn’t find out until I had to attend a prosthetics fitting at the creature workshop in London. At that point I knew exactly what I was doing and I couldn’t have been on a bigger high.
CV: What was it like working on the set aside from obvious elation?
Billy: It was quite an experience! The set wasn’t much to look at, it was a gravelly ground surrounded by blue screens but the crew described exactly where we were and exactly what we were about to do! Plus we were very well looked after by all the crew with treats on tap!
CV: Did you meet Ridley Scott or any of the actors? If so, what were they like?
Billy: The only thing we didn’t get was to meet Sir Ridley or any of the main actors. We were with the second unit as our shoot was reshoots and add ons but it didn’t matter to me because we knew our scene was a very important part of the film.
CV: Please explain the process of the prosthetic makeup and costuming. What’s the worst part about it?
Billy: Firstly, we had to shave bald (except eyebrows). I unfortunately got a little carried away and let’s say was very itchy for a few weeks after…haha! The next stage was the prosthetics being fitted to the face with fillers added to cover seam lines then they added purple type veins, then we had to stand in a type of cover and were fully airbrushed white, which I remember being freezing cold! (It was late November)
CV: Do you have any secret information on the Engineers that isn’t widely known?
Billy: I don’t have anything new to add what people don’t already know except we’re definitely 100% Engineers. This was stated by everyone on the crew so there’s no doubts there at all. Plus, we did get to watch super raw footage of the juggernaut flying in before the whole world which I thought was pretty damn cool.
CV: Were there many scenes of the Engineers that got deleted from the film?
Billy: I know they had a lot more footage of us Engineers running away, towards, across the camera. What you see in the film is a fraction of what we did and also some of the other guys were taken into studio after for further shoot works. (I believe it to be for the blackgoo scenes) As far as I know, there were no other separate scenes to David’s massacre.
CV: Did you gain any close bonds with the other Engineer actors?
Billy: Yes, I have become very close with Scott James and his lovely wife! We are also in contact with Juke Hardy and Steve Doyle also! When we get together there is always a lot of ribbing so yes, quite a bond! I’m in the middle of filming some stuff with Scott and have been on set with both Juke and Scott on Jurassic World 2, so yes friends for life I think.
CV: What film aspirations or projects doe you have in mind?
Billy: Well, if I had a bucket list of films to be involved in I would like to have a crack at Star Wars, although it’s not the be all and end all if I never will plus I have always loved to do a war film or something of the likes! I have a massive interest in WW2, so to do something in that would be epic.
CV: Do you enjoy watching all the Alien movies?
Billy: The Alien franchise was my all time favourite set of movies! My favourite is a tough one to shout because they are all unique but Alien definitely has the edge followed by Aliens at a super close second! I also have a massive love for Alien3. I think that film is epic and I really enjoy Resurrection for what it is! Prometheus is absolutely visually stunning and can’t get enough of it and Covenant (trying not to be biased here, ha!) is a blinder of a story and I felt it was really tense and shocking all the way through. I too knew at the end that Walter was David but some would say predictable but I said NOOOOO DANIELS ITS DAVID ITS DAAAAVIIIID!! Haha! And seeing David with those embryos all those people in hypersleep I cannot wait to see what’s next! Does one of them become the egg layer that lays the eggs which we see in the Juggernaut in the beginning of Alien? Who knows? It’s exciting stuff!!
Here’s my silly theory….
I think David will do what he does and all those people become hosts to his creation, one being a Queen. Then the Xenos infest the Covenant thus killing David…meanwhile, the Prometheus version of the Engineers go to the planet and see the Engineer nation wiped out and somehow go in pursuit of the Covenant…they find Covenant, kill at the Xenos an take and store all the eggs on board a juggernaut! Juggernaut flies off to wherever egg hatches, ‘the pilot’ gets it, crashes on LV426. Hello Alien…haha! (Editor: That’s not a bad theory actually… – Dave)
There it is folks, inside the engineering of an Engineer. Hope you all enjoyed the read are ready for Alien Day. Stay Frosty..