Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alexander Siddig Opens up About 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' and Joining 'Primeval'

I recently came across a great interview with the wonderful Alexander Siddig (Syriana, Cairo Time) who played Doctor Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for seven seasons from January 1993 to June 1999.

In May 2010, Alexander Siddig talked to UGO about what it was like after the series ended:
You know, I got over the whole cool stage of trying to pretend I hadn’t anything to do with it and acting like 'sci-fi sucks,' which I immediately went to when I finished the show. Because I was blasé, I needed to distance myself from it to get a career going. But I grew up there; literally from my mid-twenties to my early thirties and it’s home. And I still do, anytime there’s a show that reminds me of it, in structure – I’m doing a fantasy show right now with dinosaurs only because it’s a similar kind of thing, because it’s relaxed so I’m doing two seasons worth of being sort of one of their guys on one of their shows.
The dinosaur show Siddig mentions is Primeval, the UK Sci-Fi series about temporal anomalies and dinosaurs on which he has come on board for the upcoming series 4 and 5 as scientist Philip Burton, who will partly own the ARC. Series 4 wrapped not too long ago and series 5 is now currently being filmed.

The actor goes on to talk about joining the series and what he thinks of Sci-Fi shows now:
[...] my son who’s thirteen; everybody actually loves it – it’s a family show but my son who’s thirteen just made a ton of friends at school because I’m doing that show. And I will always have a soft spot, as long as I live, for doing crazy, geeky sci-fi shows. And I hope to goodness that people keep offering me them because I love them.
Siddig also opened up about something a bit more personal regarding the development of his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character, Doctor Julian Bashir, at the time when the powers that be on the show came up with the genetic modification story in the season 5.16 episode Doctor Bashir, I Presume? Siddig wasn't happy with that decision and reacted strongly to it:
I did it the only way that an actor can. I completely destroyed the lines that they gave me regarding the situation. Every time something came up that was to do with being kind of Data-esque - I mean, I couldn’t get away from the fact – I thought I was being a Data, which is what they wanted to do, they wanted to switch the characters from all the shows, which they ended up doing with Voyager -

[...]it was a bit cynical at the end of the day. But I just fluffed the lines; well I didn’t fluff them completely I literally pinned the lines on the back of someone’s shoulder once, reading them. I wasn’t bothered even to learn them. I just pinned them around the office as if they were lines needed for daily modification. And they got the message and dropped it kind of.
There is so much more the Star Trek actor talks about in that fantastic interview including why the actor changed his name from Siddig El Fadil to Alexander Siddig, and about his recent movie Cairo Time, which is  absolutely delightful.

I invite you all to read the complete wonderful interview by clicking on the link below.


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