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3 questions with Terry O'Quinn
Imagine a cross between Saddam Hussein and the Cigarette-Smoking Man and you've got some idea of what to expect from Gen. Omar Santiago, the dictatorial arch-villain of Chris Carter's new sci-fi series, Harsh Realm. The man who plays Santiago, actor Terry O'Quinn, has had a long professional relationship with Carter, having co-starred in Millennium, guest-starred on The X-Files and appeared in a small part in The X-Files feature film. CINESCAPE recently caught up with O'Quinn during a break in filming to ask him what we can expect from the much-anticipated cyber drama.

What can you tell us about your character's master plan?
Well, the world of Harsh Realm is a replica of the real world, and Santiago set about taking it over and trying to gobble it up in chunks. Down the road you see he's taken over a certain part of the geographical United States and that he's has a plan to take over the real world and make it militaristic, too. There's some threat at that he'll leapfrog into the real world.

Do you enjoy playing a villain?
The way Chris explained it to me and it all makes sense. It's not hard to believe that there are those types of people. I don't have to much trouble with that and the motivation seems pretty clear. So it's kind of fun that way, and Chris I think is going to take it way out there.

What are expectations for the show?
I certainly think that it has a lot of promise and it really has unlimited potential in terms of writability. You can go in a million directions and you just have to accept [what happens] -- science-fiction is kind of great that way.

©A.Villanueva, 09/1999,