In a interview promoting his new film Cairo Time, Alexander Siddig discussed his time as Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, including revealing how he was not very happy with changes made to his character over the years. Find out more below.
Siddig didn’t want Bashir to be Date 2.0
The new interview comes from our friends at UGO who cought up with Siddig at the Tribeca Film Festival, but resident Trek nerd Jordan Hoffman spent most of his time talking DS9. Siddig reveals that immediately after production ended on DS9 he went into a "cool stage" where he distanced himself from his time with Trek, but he "got over" that and he is now happy to return to the genre world in the UK series Primeval (see previous Trek story).
The most interesting stuff was regarding Siddig’s views on how in season 5 of Deep Space Nine the writer decided that his character was secretly genetically modified (in "Dr. Bashir, I Presume"). Siddig said he didn’t learn about the change in his character until the last minute:
…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. It was a reaction to the fact that the character was genuinely unpopular in the early days. Because he was not fancy; I mean this is a time where 90210 was at the top of the charts in American TV and this guy was so not the hunk, he was the anti-hunk. He was the –
… He was a man of science; he was like half good looking, rubbish at pulling girls. I mean it was all the wrong kind of archetypes. And so they kept trying to do things to make it happen. Eventually they did the Bond thing (reference to “Our Man Bashir”) – they did the Bond thing before that actually. And that kicked it off. I have to say that I’m still pretty angry. Well, not angry . . .
Siddig revealed that after the change he did everything he could to sabotage efforts to turn Bashir into a genetically-enhanced walking computer:
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 …Well, 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.
Go to ugo.com to read the full interview for more on Siddig’s thoughts on Star Trek, his name change and his current projects.
Here is the trailer for "Dr. Bashir, I Presume", the episode where he revealed his "darkest secret."
What did you think of the Season 5 change to the character of Bashir?