Sigourney Weaver surprises students after encore performance of viral 'Alien' play
Weaver starred as Ellen Ripley in the 1979 film.
A New Jersey high school was remade into the starship Nostromo one more time Friday night -- and its most famous crew member dropped in for a surprise visit.
'Alien: The Play' returned to the stage at North Bergen High School one month after it took the internet by storm -- thanks to its elaborate costumes, stage design and nostalgia for the original film, released in 1979.
The drama club only had enough money to put the production on for two nights in March, but the director of the film, Ridley Scott, ponied up $5,000 after the performance went viral.
The students chose Friday, to honor the 40th anniversary of the film, for a packed show.
One of those in attendance: Sigourney Weaver, who starred as protagonist Ellen Ripley in the film.
Weaver got a chance to meet the students who put on the play after the performance, and to say they were starstruck is an understatement.
Student Gabriella Delacruz, who played Ripley in the stage version, called it "unreal."
"I really can't believe it," she told New York ABC station WABC. "Playing Ripley, honestly, has been such an honor, just considering how monumental her character was in moving forward strong women roles."
"Our one girl that plays Ripley was just hugging her, she couldn't believe it," the play's director, Perfecto Cuervo, said. "It was great. It was pretty awesome; it's just a great validation of what we did today."
The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts offered a surprise of its own after the show. Each of the members of the cast and crew received a $1,000 scholarship to the program's summer camp, while the graduating seniors -- including an almost-literally floored Delacruz -- with a $10,000 scholarship for college.
North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco captured the moment on his Twitter account.
When the original production grabbed the internet's attention a month ago, both Weaver and Scott sent their well wishes.
"My hat comes off to all of your creativity, imagination and determination to produce such an ambitious show,” Scott wrote in a letter to the drama club posted by Cuervo. "Limitations often produce the best results because imagination and determination can surpass any shortfalls and determine the way forward — ALWAYS."
Weaver delivered a video message, saying, "It looked incredible. You put so much heart and soul into that. And the alien, I must say, looked very real."
"You know the alien might still be around," she joked. "So when you’re opening your locker, just do it very slowly."
ABC News' Natalie Cardenas and Susan Schwartz contributed to this report.
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