The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to get into show business?
Aylam Orian: It was a process. I always loved the arts, and loved watching TV shows and films growing up, but I never thought about entering show business as a career and profession. But then while being a psychology student in college, I started working as an usher in an art house cinema, and got to see films in a different way, as an art form, which made me want to learn it myself. So I quit psychology and switched to film school, and liked it so much that I’ve been in this business ever since. Behind the cameras at first, but after trying being in front of them, there was no going back.
TDQ: Who was your favorite actor growing up?
AO: I didn’t have one favorite, but I liked Lee Majors, who played Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man. I liked Jack Lord from Hawaii Five-O, and I liked this British actor, Roy Marsden, who played Detective Dalgliesh in a series of British TV crime shows. Oh, and Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music!
TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
AO: Since I grew up on American TV shows (even though I didn’t grow up in the US), I had many favorites, like Steve Austin and Hawaii Five-O as mentioned, or Kojak, Starsky & Hutch, The High Chaparral, The Love Boat, Little House on the Prairie, The Muppets, and many more. But I think my favorite was this puppets scf-fi British show called Thunderbirds, about a family of super heroes who operate all kinds of awesome space crafts in their rescue missions.TDQ: Who are your influences?
AO: In my profession, acting, my influences are great working actors and directors, who have given us some of the most iconic works of art in the film (and now TV too) medium, such as French director François Truffaut, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, British Director Stephen Frears, American director David Lynch, and actors Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther), Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional), Mads Mikkelsen (Open Hearts), Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy), Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman), Daniel Day Lewis (Phantom Thread) and Live Schreiber (Ray Donovan), to name a few.
TDQ: What was the best advice you ever got?
AO: It’s not an advice that I’ve gotten personally, but one that I heard, said by Steve Martin actually: “whatever makes you unique as a performer – do it! And know that there’s room for you!”
TDQ: What was the worst advice you ever got?
AO: “Don’t move to Los Angeles, you’re too old.”TDQ: Tell us about your role on the latest Stargate installment, Stargate Origins
AO: I play the show’s villain, Dr. Wilhelm Brücke, a high-ranking Nazi officer, who is an expert in the occult and the paranormal, and who is obsessed with the Stargate and tries to harness its power for his own megalomaniac plan. I am butting heads throughout the show with the “good guys” – Catherine Langford and her father Professor Paul Langford (from the original Stargate movie!), who are trying to save the Stargate, and the world, from me!
TDQ: You’re also a musician, playing guitar in the bands The Historians and The Ellermans. How does working in front of a camera compare to writing and performing your own music?
AO: Well the performing part in both of them is kinda the same. It’s you standing there in front of an audience or a camera, and giving your version of something that you, or someone else wrote. You are bringing something to life, giving it interpretation, in the moment, using your instrument, be it your body or a musical instrument attached to your body. But the writing-your-own-material part is of course an extra level of excitement! There’s almost nothing like it, when you get to do both. It’s the ultimate self-expression.
TDQ: What project will you be working on next?
AO: Ha, that’s a good question! Still looking for it! Haha… but in August comes out a film I worked on last year, the thriller “Three Seconds” starring Joel Kinnaman, Clive Owen, Rosamund Pike and Common. Should be fun!
TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AO: In a big mansion in Beverly Hills! Just kidding… I hope to be playing a lead role on a good show, for several seasons, perhaps a show I wrote myself (talking about writing your own material!). That would be very fulfilling and nice!