Creatives: Uli Latukefu

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Our next interview as part of our creatives series is with Uli Latukefu who played Cole in Alien: Covenant. Thank you Uli for taking the time to chat with us and answer some questions.

Clara Fei-Fei/ @muthur9000 : What made you decide to become an actor?

Uli Latukefu: It kind of happened through a few doors opening when I really had nothing else to do. I Started though in a church by doing small skits and a musical and things progressed from there.

CF: Who would you say inspires you most as an actor?

UL: Who inspires me changes all the time. When I see actors take risks or really bare their soul through a character that inspires me. Male and female. And I’m surprised sometimes too like when I found out Michelle Williams she sang all her songs in The Greatest Showman haha. Before that, it was Viola Davis’ work.

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CF: What advice do you have for anyone who wants a career in acting? How should they get started?

UL: Get started. Find a way to act and do it – study, take classes, audition, create your own work. Just do it. And do it again.

CF: What sort of process do you go through to embody a character? What do you try to bring to that character yourself?

UL: My process changes all the time. I wouldn’t say I have one particular one but I just try and connect the character and my own personal life obviously. I like exploring the light side of things people will generally see as dark and vice versa. Play against the obvious is what I find fun.

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CF: Did you get to see any footage prior to the world premiere? What was it like to see the movie?

UL: Nah I didn’t get to see any of it beforehand but it was great to go to the premiere.

CF: For the role, I believe you did some arms training, like a military-style boot camp. What was it like? Had you done anything like it before?

UL: Yeah It was great. We did it as a team which made it better- like a real squad. So we built friendships too as well as our skills. I’d only done hand combat training before.

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CF: Do you have any particular memories that stand out to you in filming? Did you learn anything new from your experience?

UL: The highlight was Ridley leaving me a handwritten note when we wrapped. I won’t share it out of respect but it meant a lot to me. On his own paper too which was pretty cool haha.

CF: Oh that’s really cool! That must have felt amazing. The mouth burster scene with Nathaniel Dean’s practical effects double. What was it like to film it? How much did you know was going to happen? Was it like when Ridley Scott didn’t tell everyone while filming Alien and Prometheus that something was going to come out?

UL: No we were aware of what was going to happen because of the mechanics involved. Resetting everything took time and we only had a few shots at it to get it right.

CF: I will be interviewing Adam Johansen from Odd Studio soon, so I will definitely be asking him about the technical aspects of the scene. 

UL: Cool! Fun fact that not many picked up on is that Cole (my character) is the first ever victim of the Xenomorph in the Alien universe timeline. I think many were confused by what killed Cole, but only few picked it up. It was also written in the script as THE ALIEN which was the first time it is mentioned as such. I still have my original copy of the script which I plan to keep.

CF: That’s amazing! Thank you for sharing that. You rock! So now about a year on, what do you think about your experience? Has anything compared to it since?

UL: Yeah it was. It feels like a long time ago and I am about to do some work I’m really excited about, but Covenant gave me friendships and experiences off set that I’ll remember for a long time.

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CF: Thank you for answering my questions. I really appreciate it. All the best with your new endeavour and thank you for your contribution to the Alien universe. Alien: Covenant is my favourite movie of the lot. Thank you so much for everything.

You can follow Uli Latukefu on Twitter!