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.'”