By Jennifer Kiley
Prometheus 3 minute Trailer
Cast of the film Prometheus: description modified from Wikipedia.
Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw:
An archaeologist. Rapace described Shaw as initially a believer “in God” with a “very strong faith”, but that “things happen and she changes into more of a warrior.” To aid her method acting, Rapace developed a complete backstory for Shaw in her head, from the character’s childhood through to the beginning of the film. Shaw is British, and Swedish-born Rapace worked on set with a dialect coach to help her achieve an appropriate accent. She chose to have her make-up artist apply extra blood and sweat during filming, believing it was more important to accurately portray her character than appear attractive. Rapace dismissed comparisons between Shaw and the Alien franchise’s Ellen Ripley, saying “she’s definitely her own character”. Rapace met with director Ridley Scott in August 2010 for an undisclosed purpose, and by January 2011, it was confirmed that she had secured the role. Rapace landed the role after Scott saw her performance as Lisbeth Salander in the 2009 drama film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Michael Fassbender as David:
An advanced android designed to be indistinguishable from humans, that begins to develop “its own ego, insecurities, jealousy and envy”. He is the ship’s butler and maintenance man. Describing his character, Fassbender stated: “David’s views on the human crew are somewhat child-like. He is jealous and arrogant because he realizes that his knowledge is all-encompassing and therefore he is superior to the humans. David wants to be acknowledged and praised for his brilliance, yet nobody gives him the time of day”. Writer Damon Lindelof stated that the character provides a non-human perspective on the film’s events, saying “what does the movie look like from the robot’s point of view? If you were to ask him, ‘What do you think about all of this? What’s going on? What do you think about these humans who are around you?’ Wouldn’t it be cool if we found a way for that robot to answer those questions?” Fassbender noted that “there are a lot of interesting quirks and niches to him.” In developing his character, Fassbender avoided watching the performances of Ian Holm and Lance Henriksen as androids in Alien and Aliens (1986) respectively, but instead watched Scott’s 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner. Additionally, he took inspiration from the performances of David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Dirk Bogarde in The Servant (1963), Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and the “funny walk and economy of movement” of Olympic diver Greg Louganis. Fassbender stated “Louganis was my first inspiration. I figured that I’d sort of base my physicality roughly around him, and then it kind of went from there.” David’s blond hair was modeled after T. E. Lawrence, the key inspiration for his creator Peter Weyland. Scott favored Fassbender for the role, but his agents reportedly demanded too much money to secure the actor’s participation. However, by January 2011, Fassbender was confirmed to join the cast.
Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland:
The multibillionaire founder and CEO of Weyland Corp. Lindelof described Weyland as having a massive ego and suffering from a god complex. Pearce has claimed that his appearance in the movie is brief, saying “I’m only in the film for a minute”.
Idris Elba as Janek:
The captain of the Prometheus spacecraft. Elba dismissed any similarities between Janek and Alien’s Captain Dallas, stating that Janek has a military background. Elba explained “he’s a realistic, pragmatic character. He has to get involved…in a film with huge ideas, you need a character like this, who can go ‘Wait…why are we doing this?’”. He described the character as “a longshoreman and a sailor. It’s his life and the crew is his responsibility. Ultimately, he makes a huge decision that sums him up as a man.” All of Elba’s scenes were filmed on the Prometheus ship set.
Logan Marshall-Green as Charlie Holloway:
A scientist and Shaw’s love interest. Marshall-Green was cast after being seen performing on stage “off-off-off Broadway” by the Prometheus casting director. Marshall-Green described Holloway as the “X Games type scientist”, explaining that he liked the character’s “leap-before-looking” philosophy. He further noted that Holloway “doesn’t want to meet his maker. He wants to stand next to his maker. He’s willing to go to the edge to get that.” Describing the character’s motivation, Marshall-Green said: “he goes to the extreme in everything he does, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse of the Prometheus crew. I think what drives him is the thrill of the search.” He contrasted Holloway to Shaw, saying “she’s the believer. I’m the scientist. I’m the skeptic. I’m the atheist”.
Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers:
A Weyland Corporation employee, sent to monitor the expediton. Theron described the character as “a suit who slowly sheds her skin through the film”, and also as “somewhat of a villain … who definitely has an agenda”. She further noted “Vickers is pragmatic, and desperately wants to control the situation. She fights everything that everyone else is there to do, and it becomes evident that she has either an alternative agenda or that she is hiding something.” Theron found that her character had little to do in early parts of the film, but Scott informed her that he wanted the character to simply lurk in the background of scenes, watching other characters. Theron stated that it helped layer her character because “you’re just so suspicious of her, instantly.” She found herself struggling during physical action scenes because of certain segments that required her to run through sand in boots weighing 30 pounds (14 kg), and her cigarette habit. Theron was initially considered to play Shaw, but was unable to due to her prior commitment to Mad Max 4: Fury Road. When that film was delayed, Theron was able to take on the role of Vickers instead. The role was described as “a fortysomething, tough-but-sexy woman”.
Rafe Spall as Milburn:
A botanist. Spall auditioned for another undisclosed role in the film, but Scott wanted him to play Milburn. On his casting, Spall said “Alien is one of the best films ever made, and it’s a real buzz to be in a space suit on an ‘Alien’ set with Ridley Scott coming and speaking to you. It’s incredible. That’s why I wanted to be an actor, to be in a space suit on an ‘Alien’ set”.
Sean Harris as Fifield:
A geologist who has become unstable after many missions. Fifield’s bright red mohawk hairstyle was a design decision by Harris and Scott, based on a sketch by Scott of a man with a “severe haircut”. Harris described the character as “someone who can sense when things are up. He’s your audience guy, going, ‘Don’t go in that tunnel. We should not be doing this!’”.
Other cast members include Kate Dickie as Ford, Emun Elliott as Chance, a pilot, and Patrick Wilson and Benedict Wong in unspecified roles.