Lance Henriksen has a split personality in the “Aliens” universe.
He played the helpful android named Bishop in the futuristic thrillers “Aliens” and “Alien 3,” but he plays a present-day, flesh-and-blood human in the new “Alien vs. Predator” movie.
Is there a relation between man and machine?
“In a way,” the actor told The Associated Press. “(In ‘Alien vs. Predator’) I’m playing a billionaire who’s dying ... So he decides to get a group together and go down to Antarctica because one of his satellites picked up something under the ice.”
You can guess that the “something under the ice” has a lot of teeth and is very hungry.
“So they all go,” he added. “It’s his last hurrah, and his name is Charles Bishop Weyland.”
The dour-faced Henriksen smiles and lets the name sink in.
“He also made his money in robotics — so you can think maybe later they did the (android) Bishop as a tribute. That’s the connection,” he said.
His character’s last-name also relates back to the “Alien” universe, which began with the 1979 movie starring Sigourney Weaver as the last survivor of the starship Nostromo, battling the spiney, acid-dripping, human-gobbling, extremely unfriendly extraterrestrial pests.
“Weyland-Yutani” was the name of the intergalactic corporation that kept putting Weaver’s character in harm’s way in their greedy pursuit of the killer alien species.
Monster mash“Alien vs. Predator” fuses that sci-fi franchise with the “Predator” movies, which were about a humanoid monster from outer space who comes to earth as a trophy hunter.
The first movie in that series debuted in 1987, and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura as commandos hunting — and being hunted by — the Predator in a Central American jungle.
“Two governors came out of that movie,” Henriksen said, laughing. Despite being part of the “Predator” series now, the actor deadpanned that he has no plans to run for political office.
“Predator 2” starred Danny Glover as a police officer fighting the monster in Los Angeles.
Henriksen, who also starred in the 1996-1999 TV series “Millennium,” described the “Alien” and “Predator” movies as “morality plays” that explore how different people test their selfishness, loyalty and courage under extreme duress.
“It’s an excuse to get people into a high-pressure situation,” Henriksen said. “It’s like everybody going to a bar and getting drunk, but it’s like 50 times that. You really see people’s core come out.”