Dan Heching
May 04, 2017 AT 06:02 PM EDT

Catch more from Walter Hill in the full episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, available now on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile, and web devices.

Bullitt. The Warriors. 48 Hrs. Alien. These are just some of the historic films that producer, writer, and director Walter Hill has worked on over the course of his illustrious career. During a visit to Entertainment Weekly: The Show, Hill shared some inside anecdotes.

For example, when he was just starting out, Hill worked as the second assistant director on Bullitt, and he remembers shooting the now infamous chase sequence through the hilly streets of 1968 San Francisco. “I can’t tell you how many times I had to dive and grab people from getting in the way of the shot,” he recalls. “It was incredibly risky, now that I think about it. Thank god nothing went wrong.”

Another standout moment for the filmmaker, of course, was his involvement in Alien. In the clip above, he discusses how he and the others involved in casting insisted that the lead role be played by an unknown, female actor. “We thought that if anything killed science fiction movies, it was the idea that a movie star was in the movie, and therefore you knew the movie star was going to survive at the end,” Hill says. “We felt that jeopardy was everything. The film was beautifully cast.”

Hill also discusses his more recent film, The Assignment, an original thriller starring his Alien associate Sigourney Weaver.

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