Siddig Stereotyped As TrekkieBy Michelle
July 7, 2005 - 10:04 PM
Alexander Siddig discussed his name change, his relationship with ex-wife and ex-costar Nana Visitor and his film projects at the recent Trek Expo in Tulsa, laughing that Bashir was the only character from his series to have a hate site on the internet.
At the Trek Expo 2005, Siddig also said that he thought Deep Space Nine was both relevant to the modern world and "deeply human", and cited among his least favourite episodes "Profit and Lace", which he directed but labeled "a stinker" according to a report at his official web site, Sid City.
In answer to a fan question about his connection to Visitor, who played Kira on DS9 and had a child with Siddig during the show's run, the actor said that they had remained good friends and he had recently visited her and his son and stepson in New Mexico where she is filming Michael Piller's Wildfire, which he recommended to viewers.
Siddig laughed that his relationship with costar Colm Meaney (O'Brian) was more adversarial, as Meaney is an Irishman and considers Siddig an Englishman. He related a story in which Meaney took him out to get him drunk, only to have a bartender tell Siddig that he was not welcome. Siddig told Meaney that the man was racist, and "Colm calmly replied, 'No, itís because youíre English.' He obviously enjoyed taking me to places where they would hate me. Anyway, eventually our friendship and time spent in bars off the set ended up being written into the show and they put us in bars on the set."
Though Meaney played DS9's senior engineer, Meaney was "hopeless with anything technical" and had to get advice from Walter Koenig (Chekov) on the use of original series communicators during the episode "Trials and Tribbleations." Siddig said that over the course of the series he was happy with his character development, calling the producers brave for creating an unpopular character whom they then made popular, standing up to the studio which wanted to get rid of "the nerd, geek, jerk."
"Sid", who went by the name Siddig El Fadil during his first several years on the series before changing his name to Alexander Siddig, said that in his experience, the Arab world does not consider the Sudan to be Arabic, but the African world does not consider the Sudan to African, so he may be considered either Arabic or African, or neither. He found that people had trouble pronouncing "Siddig El Fadil" and changed it to something western to honour his mother, deeming the name Alexander "pre-religious".
Ironically, Siddig was offered a part in the recent film Alexander, only to have the offer withdrawn when director Oliver Stone discovered that he had been on Star Trek. Ridley Scott, who cast Siddig a few weeks later in Kingdom of Heaven, fortunately considered having been on Star Trek an asset. He joked that his character's genetic enhancements were based on his own, and reacted with horror when told that Bashir and Ezri had divorced in the novels based on Deep Space Nine.
Siddig also talked about his upcoming film Syriana and his desire to work with his uncle Malcolm McDowell, who is of course infamous among Star Trek fans as the man who killed Captain Kirk.
Convention reports appear here in the forums at Sid City. There are also video clips on the second page of comments.