It’s been many years since Alice Krige lived in her native South Africa, but she still vividly recalls its glory. “I was born in the Kalahari Desert. I can remember, as a very small child, that the desert was utterly mysterious and extraordinarily beautiful,” she says. “As human beings, we get very busy with stuff, but when confronted with this huge scale of nature and the cosmos — like you also see in the wild parts of America like Montana or Idaho — you get perspective on how small one is within it.”

There’s nothing small about Alice or the complex women she has brought to life on screen, from Chariots of Fire’s luminous soprano Sybil to Star Trek: First Contact’s fearsome Borg Queen. In the new psychological thriller, She Will, Alice, 68, plays an actress whose cancer treatment stirs up trauma from her past and unleashes a power she never knew she had. “I was immensely moved by this story of a woman who had been enormously hurt and is offered redemption by other women,” says Alice. She Will premieres in theaters and digitally on July 15.

What drew you to this role in She Will?

“Oh, I loved her story! Veronica has built an impenetrable sort of shield around herself and held everyone at a distance. But she is offered solace by a young woman who also has suffered trauma. Veronica is also aided in the most unexpected way by the spirits of women who have been even more damaged and wounded.”

This isn’t the first thriller on your résumé. In 1981, you starred in Ghost Story with Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. What was that experience like?

“That was absolutely extraordinary! I cannot overstate what a gift it was. Fred Astaire was 82. The others were not far behind. They were gallant. They were gentlemen. They were lighthearted. They were funny. They were kind. And I include Patricia Neal in that, too.”

That must have been amazing.

“Every night we sat at a big round table for dinner. My ears were out on stalks listening to the stories they told about Hollywood in the ’50s and ’60s. It was the last picture [Fred and Douglas] did. Pat Neal did one more film. It was an extraordinary privilege to be there.”

Chariots of Fire was also a very early film for you. Did you have any idea what a big movie that would become?

“We had no idea at the time. It was thought of as this little English film. But Sybil was such a lovely character to play. I met her son before we started shooting. He very kindly allowed me to carry this small box of things that had been hers through our six weeks of filming.”

Another of your films, 1987’s Barfly, is also semi-autobiographical. What do you remember from making that film?

“I met my husband on that film, so I kind of drifted through it in a haze of love. Six weeks of slightly floating on air.”

Of course, Star Trek fans know you as the Borg Queen from 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact. Did you know much about Star Trek when you accepted the role?

“I’d never seen an episode of Star Trek, but it was a very intense and rather wonderful experience playing that character. The Next Generation cast genuinely liked each other and hadn’t worked together for about two years. They were incredibly happy that one of their own, Jonathan Frakes, was directing. It made it extra special.”

Alice Krige Star Trek
Elliott Marks/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Do you feel embraced by the larger Star Trek community?

“Yes, I really enjoy it. I actually go to conventions. I love that people come dressed up as characters. In the real world, grown-ups rarely are given the space to play anymore. I think that is such a shame.”

You’ve been married to your husband, writer-director Paul Schoolman, for nearly 35 years. What is your secret?

“You’ve got to hang in there. Fortunately, for us, we share pretty much the same passions and interests. But even though we’ve been married for so long, I never ever assume that we will remain married. Who knows what will happen? But we’ve got better at marriage over the years. We have learned to embrace the bits that infuriate us about each other. And love the bits that make us happy.”

What sacrifices have you made for your career?

“The hardest part is the pressure it puts on other relationships. Paul is often able to join me on location, but I’ve missed a lot of celebrations with my family back in South Africa. The thing about this work is that unless you are a huge movie star, you never know if you are going to work again. For the greatest part of my working life, I’ve had to remain within striking distance of London, New York or LA. So, I missed things like my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.”

What do you do for fun?

“I love gardening. Being out in nature is very necessary to me. I’m not very good at watching films or television. I need quiet between jobs. I just need to empty myself out by gardening or walking. I also love cleaning — it’s very satisfying!”

What do you like about being the age you are now?

“I think I was very anxious when I was younger. I’m less fearful and less anxious. Things are going to be what they are going to be. But I must say my heart aches for the younger generation.”


“I feel like there’s a great task with the younger people to address the state of the planet. My generation and the ones leading up to it are responsible for where we are now. The great sadness in my life is that we have reached such a critical point. I wish we had a bigger platform to draw people’s attention to how critical this moment in time is [to address climate change]. I think of all the beauty of this planet that I’ve experienced that the small children might never get a change to ever see.”

Is there a motto you live by?

“Just be kind. I was handed that piece of wisdom by someone who heard the Dalai Lama say it. It’s simple, but it’s sometimes the hardest thing to do.”