The Nativity Story

Covering the 2006 movie "The Nativity Story," about the story of Mary and Joseph
and their journey together as they bring the Messiah into the world.

~~One Family. One Journey. One child, who would change the world. Forever.~~

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Interview with Alexander Siddig (Gabriel)

Alexander Siddig, who plays the archangel Gabriel in "Nativity," was very kind to find time in his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions about his involvement with the film:

How did playing the role of the archangel Gabriel compare to other roles you have played?
I've enjoyed most of the roles I've played but the archangel was different because most people have an idea of what they think an angel is. But in a sense I had more leeway, many characters have to be mined for their 'humanity' - an angel doesn't for obvious reasons.

What was your most memorable experience on (or off) the set during the filming?
I think it must have been walking through the town square in this little place called Matera in southern Italy (where we were filming) and peering over a balcony to see this vast medieval valley of tiny dwellings overlooked by a tiny chapel hewn out of the mountainside, a cave with an ornate door. Extraordinary place.

How did you decide to portray an angel, a divine/supernatural being?
As I said, there are preconceptions which exist in everybody (who cares) about an angel but there is also complete freedom because no one can be sure they've ever seen one. Catherine, the director, and I basically plumped for someone who appeared to be slightly different everytime he appeared, depending on whom Gabriel was in the presence of. For example, if he appeared before a child, then he might be very simple - but before a king, he may be more complex. The ultimate aim was to be easily understood by whomever. His message was the important thing. A kind of psycholgical Proteus and a super-intense being.

Did the different cultures you grew up around influence your performance/portrayal?
In so far as the different cultures I grew up in influenced me then, yes. As they do every performance on some level, I suppose.

Did making the movie evoke any memories from your childhood performance as the innkeeper?
I only had two words to say when I was the Innkeeper, "No room!" I thinkI forgot one of them and just said "No!" - which didn't really make anysense - but it got a laugh. A valuable early lesson.

Are there any other comments you would like to make about making this film?
I hope it's good.

Special thanks to Mel from for her assistance.


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