Wednesday, December 14, 2005

There's typecasting, and then there's typecasting

Of all the actors who have appeared in the various Star Trek TV shows, one of the most prolific in terms of steady, noticeable work is Colm Meany. With the release of Kingdom of Heaven and Syrianna this year, Alexander Siddig can now be added to that group of Star Trek actors who have been able to progress past their Federation term of service.

The interesting thing is that while most Trek actors have been doomed to play related Sci-Fi roles ever after, it would seem that the golden ticket for these two particular folks is another typecasting altogether: Ethnicity. During his tenure with ST-TNG and DS9, Meany started playing Irishmen in Far and Away, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain and a starring role in The Snapper. He's now gotten to a position where he can get roles that have nothing to do with his being Irish (witness his intense turn in the recent Law & Order: Criminal Intent two hour special) yet will still find himself in such Irish charm overloads as the recent The Boys from County Clare.

Now Siddig is starting to get some major attention for his two big films this year. For his part, he appears to welcome the opportunity to play these Arabic roles, and who can blame him. Hollywood isn't really swimming in prominent Arabic actors, so he has the opportunity to be a real trailblazer. More power to him. And it's nice to see these guys able to have a career outside of futuristic jumpsuits.

No comments: