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Skylines: Alexander Siddig Talks Film, Star Trek, and 21 Bridges

Alexander Siddig emerged as one of the hardest working venerable sci-fi actors in Hollywood. Not only did he solidify himself within the annals of pop culture history with his role as Dr. Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but he brings to his latest film Skylines his stoic and charismatic charm to the role of General Radford. I spoke with the actor about his latest film. "When I got the script, which was the early part of last year," Siddig said. "I thought 'this could go one of two ways. This could be a movie that will miss because they're taking it too seriously in its earnest, or it's going to be great fun because the potential of this thing is that it's going to be a movie from the '90s…like a B-movie sci-fi from the '90s.' I'm happy to say when I got to the set, they were like, 'We're going to do this romp. We're going to make this fun, like leave your brain at the door fun.' That's what attracted me to it. Actors have to do that where people have to have fun."

Skylines: Alexander Siddig Talks Film, Star Trek, and 21 Bridges
Alexander Siddig as General Radford in Skylines (2020). Image courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Skylines is the third film of the Skyline trilogy that follows Capt. Rose Corley (Lindsey Morgan) as her and her team of elite soldiers embark on a mission to an extraterrestrial world to save what's left of mankind after a virus turned alien hybrids against humanity. Siddig's Radford finds himself in a peculiar position with the captain. "I think it's a complicated relationship because [Rose] had a controversial past," Siddig said. "He's obviously her boss, but she's kind of been retired from the military…probably the resistance more than the military. So he's like, 'Ugh! I have to get her back because we absolutely need her. She was difficult last time, and who knows how difficult she'll be this time?' It's not complete trust, but they're trying to figure out how to trust each other." When it came to any figures the actor modeled Radford after, he didn't have to look far.

Skylines: Alexander Siddig Talks Film, Star Trek, and 21 Bridges
Skylines poster courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

"It's interesting because I didn't do that," Siddig said. "The closest would be one of the autocratic world leaders today. They run on charisma. They're not that good at heart [laughs], but they believe the ends justify the means, and I don't think it's a cool way to go. You probably shouldn't do anything you want to be done no matter what the cost. Radford's very much like one of the semi-tyrants in the world today." The actor had nothing but the best to say about director Liam O'Donnell. "Liam is so easygoing," Siddig said. "He's really chill, and he knew I did quite a lot of work before on different shows, movies, and things. He was like, 'Do whatever you want, and I'll tell you if I'm not enjoying it.' [laughs] I was like, 'Okay, that's great.' He would give me crazy directions like, 'Just be a little bit more delicious,' and I'm like, 'I think I can do that.' We really had a nice time. In the real world, he would be a friend of mine. He's a gentle and so unassuming sweet guy. He's the kind of guy I like." The actor remains grateful for his reputation in science fiction affords him, considering how his time in Star Trek molded his career.

Skylines: Alexander Siddig Talks Film, Star Trek, and 21 Bridges
Colm Meany as Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien and Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Image courtesy of ViacomCBS

With the popularity of the Star Trek franchise including The Next Generation sequel in Picard, I asked with renewed interest bringing back actors from past franchise shows like Voyager back into the fold; Siddig said he hasn't heard a peep about anyone from Deep Space Nine being involved with any future project. He does offer some theory as to what Dr. Julian Bashir could be doing in the current timeline. "In my dream world, I'm not sure [Bashir] would have gone through the command structure or stayed in Section 31 and be ambiguous there," he said. "Maybe he's become a lot more dangerous, or maybe he's retired and teaches kids at the medical academy [laughs]."

Siddig shared a fond memory on set with his previous film, 21 Bridges (2019), with the late star Chadwick Boseman, who passed in 2020. Though the two never shared scenes together, the star approached him after Siddig's character Adi was shot in the face. "[Chadwick] was going to shoot the scene after mine," he recalled. "I was just shot in the face. He was a perfect gentleman. He came in with his entourage, makeup, and security. The stuff big movie stars usually have. He broke away from them. I was sitting on the stairs, and he came up and sat down and complimented me on my work. It was a sweet moment, and I had blood running down my face. So it was like, it was real and sweet. It was sad to know that he already knew what was already happening. If I knew what was going on, I would have put my arm around him." Skylines from Vertical Entertainment is now playing in select theatres, on-demand, and digital.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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