Alice Krige is a South African actress and producer best known for her role as the Borg Queen in Star Trek. Krige began her career on British television in 1979 and made her feature film debut as Sybil Gordon in the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire in 1980. She starred opposite film legends Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Ghost Story in 1981 and won a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer in the same year. She has appeared extensively on stage as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company and in television shows such as Spooks, Walking the Dead, The Syndicate and The OA. From 1996 to 2021, she has featured in the Star Trek franchise as the Borg Queen, and in 2012, she produced the award-winning film Jail Caesar. Alice Krige stars in the psychological thriller She Will, which comes to cinemas later this month.
These are a few of Alice Krige’s favourite things…
I have become very aware of the work animal charities do in the last few years, from Network for Animals and the Humane Society International to PETA, SSPCA, Dogs Trust and Animal’s Survival International. All these groups work with animals in need day in and day out and quietly do extraordinary work. Humans have a unique capability for cruelty to one another and animals. It moves me so much that there are people who truly dedicate their lives to caring for animals who, for the most part, are pretty defenceless in the face of what we subject them to. Network For Animals also educates local communities as, very often, great cruelty happens where there is poverty or deprivation. I contribute as much as I can, but at some point, I hope I can advocate more vocally for animals. My husband and I have also had rescue dogs for as long as we have been together (which is an astonishingly long time), but our last dog died in October 2020. My husband simply can’t cope with having another one yet, though he knows we will in the future when we are travelling less. I think we will go to the Dogs Trust in three or four years and get a very old boy who needs some loving care.
Working on creative projects
I love working on creative projects with passionate groups of people, whether that is theatre, film or conservation. It is inspiring to be around people who are committed to creating something, and is one of the joys of being alive. The pandemic slowed things down, but I recently worked on a film called She Will which is out soon. We shot the film really fast under quite challenging physical circumstances, filming in October and December in the Cairngorms in Scotland. She Will has been labelled, perhaps erroneously, as horror or soft horror, but it is actually much more of a psychological drama about the supernatural. It was very joyful filming it because everyone who was there was very committed to the experience. I think if you are producing something, you have to really care about the material. This is because it is a process that can take years, from inception to release, and so you need to feel as passionate about it at the end as at the beginning.
My secret garden
We are truly fortunate to live in the countryside in Devon, and we have a really wonderful garden with four distinct spaces within it. The garden was this way when we bought the house and one section is particularly magical. It is a circular garden surrounded by hedgerows and seven great trees. The hedges mean it is totally enclosed, and we don’t mow it till August, instead cutting a couple of paths through the wildflower meadow. Hedgehogs and glowworms inhabit it, and the fox comes through occasionally. You enter the space through a narrow hedge gap that you wouldn’t even know is there. I pause on the threshold and sort of silently ask permission to enter every morning because it is a beautiful space that is entirely unto itself.
The night sky
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There is something about my wild garden and the night sky that I find absolute necessity; even if I am not here, I like to imagine it and — I know this sounds odd — it grounds me in the mystery. We don’t see it every night because we are in northwest Devon, and there is a fair amount of cloud, but I love seeing the night sky and the way the constellations traverse the cosmos. I feel bereft when I am in London because I often can’t even see the moon because of the buildings. I feel alive when I am connected to nature and the night sky. The gift of the countryside is that you are so connected to the bigger picture. We have sheep and cattle up on the moors that live wild and are only brought in if there is a bad winter. You drive through moorland, and it is a very life-affirming, rejuvenating energy. There is no overlay of pollution and traffic; the countryside is a good antidote. I was born and lived in the Kalahari desert until I was about nine, so the night sky and vast landscape were embedded in my conscience from the beginning. To return to something not the same, but with the same energy, at this stage in my life is wonderful.
My husband and my family are a source of great joy in my life. I am lucky that I come from a very happy family. I was very close to my parents when they were alive, and I am very close to my brothers and their families; it is very fortunate. I don’t think everyone comes from a family that is concerned for each other and actually really like one another. It is a great source of solace, strength and happiness. My brothers live in South Africa, but the advent of FaceTime and WhatsApp has just been fabulous. When my parents were alive, Skype had just begun, and you spoke to your family for five minutes on the phone on a Sunday. Now, we have WhatsApp groups, and there is chat back and forth all day. In fact, a baby was born yesterday, and right away, the images of this new little soul were there; 15 to 20 years ago, I would have had to wait for a photograph months later! I haven’t been able to go back to South Africa since 2018, and I think this is the fourth baby who has been born since I was last there and who I have had to meet over the internet. I hope that before Christmas I will be able to go and see them all. Even though we aren’t in the same physical space, there is an emotional space we all share.
Enjoyed Alice Krige’s favourites? Explore last week’s Favourite Things here.