Remember the episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in which Doctor Bashir was revealed to have been genetically modified as a child, changing everything we'd known about the character? Alexander Siddig sure does. Because after he received his script, he showed how wrong he thought that surprise change was in one of the most devious ways an actor can—by intentionally blowing his lines.
"I didn't know about it on Tuesday, and on Thursday the script arrived," Siddig told ugo's Jordan Hoffman. "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."
So how did he let the creators of the show know how he felt? Said Siddig:
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.
Whatever you think about Siddig's method, you'll want to head on over to ugo for the complete interview.