Among all of Stargate SG-1‘s great guest stars, actor Alexis Cruz had one of the biggest challenges. He played not only the hopeful young Abydonian man Skaara – friend to Jack O’Neill and brother-in-law to Daniel Jackson – but also the evil Goa’uld Klorel, son of Apophis, who took Skaara as his host.
To play the dual role, Cruz approached Skaara and Klorel not merely as two different characters but through the inner conflict between them. The Abydonian host and the Goa’uld parasite fought for control of Skaara’s body every hour of every day. The actor reflected on his approach to this very unique role — Skaara as a prisoner in his own mind, and Klorel as an “Anti-Skaara” — in a recent conversation with “Dial the Gate.”
“It’s complicated in the real-time thing but the idea of it is very simple,” Cruz said. “I just flipped the coin. So every single attribute that Skaara has is just opposite. … As mythic and archetypical as Skaara is, so too became the mythical and archetypical villain in Klorel.”
Take a look at this short clip from the conversation:
Cruz considers himself a philosopher, and takes his work seriously. He said that part of getting into a role is empathizing with that character and what he is feeling. But from the audience’s perspective, the inward conflict between these two minds can only be seen in momentary glimpses.
“From the audience’s point of view the challenge is having that fight be expressed in a way that you as the audience can see, but only in flickers,” he said — “like you’re in a dark room and there’s a strobe light. And so all you’re seeing is just one frame of a whole story that’s happening in the dark. You see one frame, and then it’s back to the darkness. And your mind has to wonder what else is happening in that darkness, in between those moments of flicker that you see. And every time you get a glimpse into something it’s hopeful … and horrifying, at the same time.”