The New York Observer had a chance to talk with Alexander Siddig about working with Patricia Clarkson in Cairo Time, and came away charmed by the man himself.
The chemistry you have with Patricia Clarkson in the film is so incredible. Had you known her before Cairo Time?
I knew her by name – who wouldn’t? – but I didn’t know her work. I hadn’t seen The Station Agent or any of the other amazing films she had done. I don’t think she had seen anything I had ever done. We jumped right into the deep end. We filmed one of the most crucial scenes in the movie first. (Laughs) We just took off. She just takes your breath away – there’s something about her, the way she looks. It’s like she has some deep wisdom attached to her face. That immediately captivated me, I immediately knew – I think people call it old souls. But people like myself call it intelligence all over her face. [Laughs]
Were you relieved to have such an immediate connection? The movie completely relies on your relationship.
If we didn’t have that connection, the movie would have ceased to exist. It hangs by a thread as it is. It is so fragile in the sense that it is a personal document that you just can’t repeat. I just swam in Patricia’s presence. It was that free, it was that wonderful.