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Interview with "Alien vs. Predator" Stars Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan

By

Sanaa Lathan Alien vs Predator

Ewen Bremner, Raoul Bova and Sanaa Lathan in "Alien vs. Predator"

Photo © 20th Century Fox
July 24, 2004 - Fans at the 2004 San Diego Comic Con were treated to never before seen footage of a scene from "Alien vs. Predator" in which an alien and a predator battle it out. The reaction was wildly enthusiastic after the clip finished, with the majority of the 6,000+ in attendance seeming to love what they saw.

Shortly before the public was treated to that scene, I had the chance to speak with "AVP" stars Lance Henriksen and Sanaa Lathan about working on this movie and what fans can expect from the long-awaited film.

LANCE HENRIKSEN AND SANAA LATHAN INTERVIEW:

Are you happy to return to this franchise?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Of course. For me it’s like a cycle and it’s a closure for that character. Not that they couldn’t bring me back down the road. I mean they did it, obviously. But this is a prequel so... When Paul [W.S. Anderson] asked me [about returning], we had a meeting together and he was such a gentlemen, he described the whole movie to me. And then I said, “I’m in, Paul.” It was great. It was a great idea and a great script.

So if this is a prequel that must mean that both the alien and the predator live. How does one win?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Well, you are really digging, aren’t you? (laughter)

Following the logic here…
LANCE HENRIKSEN: There is a logic but this is a different avenue, a different take on it, but I won’t tell you. It’s only a few days away. It’s brilliant, it really is.

Do you love to watch horror movies just on your own time?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Yeah, sure. They’re great morality plays, you know? I play a multi-billionaire that hires Sanaa to lead an expedition to Antarctica. She’s an expert on cold weather and a lot of other things. We get down there and walk into the mouth of an alligator without knowing it. Cool stuff.

Sanaa, how was Lance to work with?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Oh sh** (Laughing). I was great to work with.

SANAA LATHAN: (Laughing) How are you going to ask me that in front of him?

LANCE HENRIKSEN: I’ll leave the room.

SANAA LATHAN: No, he was great. He made it so…

LANCE HENRIKSEN: (Chuckles)

SANAA LATHAN: No, truly. I’m happy to answer this question because he had the most experience out of all of us. Haven’t you done like 90 movies?

LANCE HENRIKSEN: Yeah.

SANAA LATHAN: Which I think is amazing, and he came on the set like it was his first time. I mean, he was so enthusiastic, so fun.

LANCE HENRIKSEN: So were you guys.

SANAA LATHAN: To make a movie – and a movie on this scale – is very grueling at times. Long, long hours and, you know, it’s cold weather conditions. He was fun. He was great. Very dedicated to the character and the story and also at the same time in between takes [he] just kept it light and fun.

LANCE HENRIKSEN: We had a good time. We really did. They are a great bunch of people. All of us work together so well. No fights, no nothing. You know that cliché of bullsh** rolling downhill? Paul Anderson is such a gentleman and the climate on the set with the crew and everybody was so easy. It felt like we were all friends so there was a chance to laugh and to support each other. It was great. It was really great.

What’s it like for you to be revisiting a version of your character after all these years?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: [It's] the atmosphere. When I walked on the set and saw the alien I was back immediately. I remembered being in London and shooting that thing. It was instant. It was instantaneous. Of course, I did “Pumpkinhead” and a lot of other movies with the guys that did those monsters so they were there, too. So I was going like, “Tom, Alec” you know, like a reunion.

The Stan Winston people, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: Yeah. That was Stan’s first movie and these guys were on it. Now they’ve gone on their own.

Does "Alien vs. Predator" leave it so your characters could possibly come back?
SANAA LATHAN: You can always come back (laughing).

LANCE HENRIKSEN: Yeah, you see what they do. I’m certain Sanaa is coming back. Certain. I would bet everything I made on this.

Do you have a contract for sequels?
LANCE HENRIKSEN: You know what? Wait until you see the movie. Wait until you see what happens. You’ll know. I don’t want to tip anything.

SANAA LATHAN: I’m taking his lead. Can we answer this?

LANCE HENRIKSEN: You know what I mean? The issue right now is with a sequel, like this is in a sense a sequel, it’s a prequel but it’s a sequel as well, but I don’t think that anything that people are hoping for is going to be missed, and we’ve gone way further than that. The biggest disappointment would be, of course, if you failed it. But that’s not going to happen.

PAGE 2: The 'Ripley' Factor, Revisiting a Character, and CGI

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