After seven years working on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Alexander Siddig was both excited and worried about his acting future.
“I was actually really excited,” Siddig said. “I felt like I’d been through a wonderful post-graduate course in acting and I was ready now to have a go. I was a little bit scared that maybe nothing would happen and I might be rubbish. I’m always still a bit scared. That doesn’t change. It was a long time for an actor to do one thing. Seven years.”
As often happens with actors, when a long term series ends, they’re more than ready to move on to something new and exciting. “On the one hand it’s the most amazing privilege in the world to do a job where you know what’s going to happen next year,” said Siddig. “On the other hand, actors are itinerant. We go from place to place. We sell our wares in a nomadic way, not to sound too pompous. I was missing that element. I missed the gypsy side of the business and so I was really looking forward to that. And I was lucky to get some little breaks in a couple of feature films, and it went from there.”
Siddig has not stayed in touch with many from his Deep Space Nine days, because everyone has moved on to other projects but he does see his ex-wife Nana Visitor occasionally. “Nana is really the only person I’m in touch with, sadly,” he said. “I see her at least twice a year. I’d love to be in touch with more people, but we’ve all gone off and done different stuff. Everyone’s gone off in different directions. I did see Armin (Shimerman) the other day at a convention, and I was so happy to see him and hear him speak and to catch up with him. I don’t do many conventions, so it was just a real pleasure to go, ‘Oh my God, Armin, how are you?’ I wish I’d see more of Andy Robinson, who was such a good friend to me while I was in L.A. I’d love to see more of everybody.”
If a Deep Space Nine reunion movie or show ever came to pass, Siddig would be on board. “Star Trek is my home,” he said. “That’s where I was brought up as an actor. Yeah. I think they’d be smart to do it on the small screen. If they had the chutzpah to do that, I’d definitely be excited about it.’
Two films in which Siddig has appeared have released or will release later this year. Cairo Time releases in the U.S. today, and Miral will release later this year. In Cairo Time, Siddig’s character Tareq falls in love with Juliette (Patricia Clarkson), the wife of a longtime friend, when she visits Cairo. Siddig had no problem pretending to have the hots for the character. “Patricia is such a divine creature,” Siddig explained. “I didn’t know her. I hadn’t really seen her work. If I had, I might have had some kind of pre-conception. I knew of her, but I didn’t have any kind of relationship with her until I came to Cairo and we started work immediately, without rehearsal. I just fancied the pants off her, to use an English colloquialism. There’s so much intelligence in that face that I was forever reading stuff in her face, in her expressions, in her eyes, even when she wasn’t talking. So there was no real need to manufacture chemistry. It was there, at least from my point of view. I don’t know what she thought.”
In Miral, Siddig plays the father of a Palestinian woman raised at the Dar Al-Tifel Institute after the death of her mother. The film is set in 1948 at the time of the creation of the State of Israel.