Alexander Siddig

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    • Alexander Siddig: (On visiting Israel) However I did get to see Bethlehem which I found quite interesting for some of its antiquity and I visited a refugee camp just outside Jerusalem which was pretty sad, I suppose, but there are ghettos in every country and around every major city, these particular ghettos are remarkable only because they are State enforced.

    • Alexander Siddig: (On the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict) I feel like I have lived with this conflict all my waking life. Over the years I have formed many opinions and revised those opinions again and again. When I was younger, I had a simple view, I could perceive a simple injustice and it made me angry, reasons weren't too important. As I have grown older and read more and talked to people who live there, I have noticed how nuanced it has become. How so many layers of bitterness have been added.

    • Alexander Siddig: (On choosing his stage name Alexander) Alexander worked because it was, it's Mesopotamian, it's Arab, you know it's pre-Muslim....No, it wasn't random, and, also my first best friend had a dog that was called Alex. And so I was already happy with that name.

    • Alexander: (On the major character change from DS9 episode "Dr. Bashir, I Presume") I didn't know about it on Tuesday, and on Thursday the script arrived – we started shooting on Friday. I was so shocked. You know you get the impression that maybe the producers sit down and talk about strategies and character arcs with actors but this thing came out of the blue and pissed me off so royally.

    • Alexander Siddig: (On Star Trek) 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.

    • Alexander: (On the topic of Star Trek: DS9) It's a soap opera, for mass consumption. For two million dollars an episode, they've got to deliver mass-market product. The religious aspect was really a thinly-veiled nod toward Palestine. It was all about terrorism, which was quite prophetic.

    • Alexander: (On losing the ability to speak Arabic from childhood) No, and I never learned it again. I find it very hard to learn it for films. Some of the sounds I find easy, but my accent is very vague and slides around. I miss all the nuances, even if I am listening to someone else speaking. I just hear a noise and repeat it like a song.

    • Alexander: (On how his parents met) My mother had gone to Sudan with a friend, an archaeologist of sorts. He took her to Nubia-it must have been a romantic thing. To impress her, he introduced her to the ruling family at the time. And one of his friends was a young man, Tahir, who became my father. Tahir's father, I am told, had prophesied that he would marry a white woman. My mother fell in love with him as he walked in, wearing his white djellaba and headscarf.

    • Alexander: (On the topic of there being no DS9 movie) Oh. I think almost beyond a shadow of a doubt. And I'm very proud of DS9. But I think that it lived and I think people quite weirdly enjoy it almost more now, that it's not showing any more than they did at the time.

    • Alexander: What, who they are. Let them in. And to extend that metaphor, the moment we try to change the Arab world and the moment the Arab world isn't trying to change America or the West, that's the moment you get to actually hear what each other is saying and, and "Oh right. You have your own mind.

    • Alexander Siddig: (On his Star Trek character Bashir) I think that the humanity of Bashir is the thing that I really love about that guy. I feel that he's just a very human, human, an archetypal human being with faults and problems.

    • Alexander Siddig: (About what he was going to do after Deep Space 9) 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.

    • Alexander Siddig: There was a point where I was just going to call myself 'uh' because people would walk up to me in the street and say 'Hey you're, uh....' That would just make it a lot easier for them. And I could just say 'Yes, I am!'

    • Alexander Siddig: I aspire to be a director. I think it stems from wanting to be a conductor, another desire of mine from my childhood, though I was not interested in music, not at all. I just wanted to control that orchestra.

    • Alexander Siddig: (when asked if he would return to "Star Trek") Yeah, I would go back. I would do any work, as long as I liked it.

    • Alexander Siddig: (talking about George Clooney) He's going to be president one day. I mean it. He's an adorable guy. It's like meeting the real thing. If you could meet James Stewart when he was James Stewart.

    • Alexander Siddig: (when asked if he sees himself as a 'heroic figure') I'm a heroic figure. I don't know about my character. [laughs] No, no, it was just too good an opportunity.

      He is a heroic figure. If I was in that position, I would love to be that guy, and I'm not even sure I wouldn't mind being shot by the goddamn Americans, if that was the case, or the Russians, or the Filipinos, or whoever happens to rule the world at that particular moment in time, in my fantasy scenario. Because to live like that, it's Gandhi, it's another form of that but just the Arab version.

    • Alexander Siddig: (when asked about how he feels about the CIA and their dealings in the Middle East) That's one of the points this movie is making. Dick Cheney talks about the 'dark side' as referring to the secret services, the CIA, or whatever they're called. I think that there's something wrong. These government agencies are off the leash in some way and they're supra-government now and they really shouldn't be. They're working for the wrong people. They're supposed to be working for the Americans, and according to our movie, there is an insinuation that they're working for corporate America. We're in incredibly dangerous water.

    • Alexander Siddig: (on what draw him to do "SYRIANA") It would be impossible not to be drawn to this movie as an actor, especially as an Arabic actor or someone who works on a sort of ethnic fringe in a small vein of one of the many seams of acting. To pass up or not be interested in someone who seems normal and real would be crazy. I end up speaking so grandly, when I don't know if I have the right to, but to pass up the diplomatic potential of a character like this would be really foolish. Because I think whether you're in the Middle East or in Europe or America, you can identify with this person.

    • Alexander Siddig: (When asked about the fact that he played two different characters named Prince Nasir in a row) Isn't that weird? Isn't that a strange thing? And the Kingdom of Heaven one was changed, and I'd already started filming 'Syriana' as if they decided that I should be called whatever I was called in 'Syriana'. It's very odd.

    • Alexander Siddig: (Talking about the TV-Movie 'Cards on the Table') It's part of a series of films in fact called Poirot with David Suchet, who stars as an unflappable detective confounding the criminal masterminds of the 1930s. Should be a lot of fun. The script is certainly very good period drama. Mine is a real break from my normal roles and I look forward to the performance.

    • Alexander Siddig: (talking about a job he had selling insurance) I sold a policy to myself and one to my mother. And then I was fired. It lasted four months.

    • Alexander Siddig: (on his choice of career) I grew up wanting to be a director, it was just luck that I ended up as an actor. I went to acting school in England and on graduating, found that I was one of the only Arab-looking actor in the country. So I got the parts.

    • Alexander Siddig: I think my favorite episode is one that features me... 'Dr. Bashir, I Presume?'. It's about time my character figured out, or at least told the world, why he is so screwed up.

    • Alexander Siddig: (on his favourite subjects in school)I loved art because it was easy and English because I liked all the plays and books they read.

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