Alexis Cruz is best known for his role as Skaara in both the "Stargate" movie and on the "Stargate SG-1" television show. He also played Rafael for many seasons on "Touched by an Angel." His latest role is in the upcoming independent horror film "Sighting." He was at Dallas Sci-Fi Expo and I took the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with the enthusiastic actor.
Talk to us a little bit about playing a Latino angel on "Touched by an Angel."
[The producers of "Touched by an Angel"] took a risk. They wanted this angel to be a very urban kid and very mercurial. We were like social workers in the bureau of God. My character was designed to be that guy behind enemy lines. By the time Monica [Roma Downey] and all the other people got there, I would have already been inserted into the place setting [everything] up. It was a really awesome character. For them to have a Latin angel was a really big deal. It opened up a lot of doors. It set a lot of precedence in the industry. I can't say enough about how thankful I was for that opportunity. That was only possible because I was freed up from "Stargate."
You were on both "Touched by an Angel" and "Stargate SG-1" at the same time at one point. How did that work out?
I did two weeks on "Stargate." I went home for two weeks. I flew to Salt Lake City and did two weeks on "Touched by an Angel." I flew home. This happened for about six years. It was amazing. I was able to grow and develop not only my own work as an actor, but these totally separate fanbases from both shows. Of course, there are some people who were mixed in between.
It sounds like that worked out great. Were there any drawbacks to that?
Ultimately, to be a part of two hit genre shows makes a difference. Here's what ended up happening. As wonderful as all this was, Hollywood doesn't care about anything except "Law & Order" and "CSI." Unfortunately, they don't have conventions for "Law & Order" and "CSI." We love those shows. They're great. [However], they don't touch the audience or affect people's lives the way "Stargate" and Touched by Angel" do. That's what I wanted to do. Thereafter, it almost became just as difficult as if I had been on each show regularly. Within the industry, I didn't get anywhere near the kind of respect for my position that the audience was giving me. People all over the world are like, "I love this show. You're so great on this show." I go back to LA and my agents are like, "They don't want to see you." I'm like, "What?" That went on for a while. This is the life of an actor. It's strange ironies in our careers.
How do you feel about that? Did that bring up any feelings of regret?
Ultimately, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. The experience of it and the relationships I've built with the audience have carried to this day. If you consider success the journey, I'm one of the most successful actors on both shows. It was a blast and a blessing all the way around.
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Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.