The cast of Aliens assembled at Comic-Con to celebrate the iconic science fiction film’s 30th anniversary, and all agreed that James Cameron’s script is a key part of what makes the film a classic. But woven into that strong storytelling are also some of cinema’s most memorable one-liners, as stars Bill Paxton and Sigourney Weaver recalled.
Paxton recalled the origin of his famous “Game Over!” line:
I’m not great at improvising on the spot. The stuff I improvised was stuff that wasn’t in the script, but it was stuff that I’d thrown at Jim [Cameron] in a rehearsal. Jim’s mind is like a steel trap—he’d remember something I’d said when we were rehearsing in a scene we were shooting two months later,
He’d say, ‘You said something about the express elevator to hell ... yeah, put that in here!’ That was kind of cool, and fun. ‘Game over, man!’ was really the background of the character. I figured he was kind of the enlisted version of Gorman, who was the officer [played by] Bill Hope, who probably came up on video games. Back in those days—I don’t think they do it anymore, but I don’t play video games—at the end of your quarter, it would always be ‘Game over’ [on the screen]. So I wondered if anyone had ever used that [line], because it was kind of good. I had no idea it would catch on.
By contrast, Weaver’s iconic “Get away from her, you bitch!” was straight from the script.
“I think I only did one take, and I remember I went up [with my voice]: ‘Get away from her, you bitch!’” Weaver said, exaggerating the up-the-vocal-scale inflection on the last word. “And I thought, ‘What the fuck did I do that for?’ I wanted to do it again, and they said, ‘We don’t have time.’”
The Aliens 30th anniversary Blu-ray will be out September 13.