Ask Alexandra – April 2003
My name is Cortney, I was a young and probably still a young fan of yours. I been watching Baywatch since it first came on and I was in grade school still, and never stopped after that till your character died and then I picked back up after mourning you can say. But on one of your AOL chats I asked about why Stephanie died the way she did and why you left the show in that way, and I wanted to thank you for that and I was more aware of the reason why and respected it. But now I want to know what it was like playing the bad guy?
It was actually really fun playing the bad guy. I have played unsavory characters before (12 Bucks, Millions, Melrose Place) but never “the bad guy”. I usually play the good-smart-together woman! Anyway, it was alot of fun to be mean and devious, and I hope that I will be able to play more of those in the future. In the words of my brother Jonathan about that tv movie: ” You did a better bad person than a good person”. Hmmmm… that must be because I used to turn the waterpik on him when we were kids…
Thank you so much for writing, and I am happy this website has clarified things for you vis a vis my career choices etc.
Please do not take this compliment the wrong way. But as a long time fan of your film and television work, I’ve also read many of your magazine interviews, including the recent discovery of your web site, which is wonderful by the way. But I’ve noticed a repeated pattern of self deprecating tones in your descriptions of yourself. You were gorgeous and sexy in “American Flyers,” and still beautiful in Baywatch. The breast implant craze was simply augmentation done in order to achieve stereotypical fantasies. Alexandra, you’re a stunningly beautiful woman. You and Ian fit each other perfectly, or at least your photos reveal this much. And David Hasselhoff is a wonderful actor.
Good luck in your future endeavors.
I smiled when I read your email, because Ian chastises me too for being self-deprecating. I appreciate that you took the time to encourage me to have more confidence. Was it about how I look that I seemed to self-deprecating? I actually feel blessed to have the body that I do, as I like having an athletic build, with small breasts and slim hips. I feel blessed to be as healthy and able as I am. I do not however, think I have the beauty of my Baywatch costars. That doesnt mean that I am not basically satisfied with how I look, it is just that I feel my attractiveness is different. Baywatch reveres the type of beauty that is curves, bombshell sexiness and long flowing hair.
That is not me, has never been me, and wont ever be me. And that is OK! All my costars on Baywatch are gorgeous, but I come from New England where there was not a premium put on that kind of beauty, so I developed (no pun intended) in other ways. Also, my lifestyle is outdoorsy and healthy with an emphasis on simplicity. Even though I sometimes would love have their beauty and outward sexiness, I obviously dont want it enough or I would have worked to have it!
When the media lumps me in as a “sexy Baywatch Babe”, I guess I do figure that either they have never seen me on the show, or they dont want to hurt my feelings by not including me in that moniker. I am very clear that “sexy Baywatch Babe” is not an accurate description of me, but I do believe that I have alot of other things to offer. A different kind of sensuality, and different kind of womanliness. With a few triathlons, over 40 starring roles, lotsa anti war rallies, and one wonderful husband thrown in!
Thank you so much, Bill, for your email. I shall think twice before being self-deprecating, as it is not how I feel about myself. Confidence is actually the sexiest thing in a woman.
I read that you think you are best when acting with kids. What different child actors have you worked with? Who was your favorite? Do you think it’s good for kids to be part of Hollywood? We hear so many terrible things about child actors.
I first played a mom when I was 23, in 1987. After the Rain was a period piece and I had four kids in that film. Chad Tucker, who was 6 in that movie, remains my friend today. He has not been an actor almost since that movie. He is now 21 and I just spoke to him last month, as it was his birthday. He visited Ian and me here in Malibu when he was 16, and we have kept in touch with phone calls or emails several times each year for the last 15 years. He was adorable at 6, and he has grown into a wonderful young man. I hope to be in contact with him for the rest of my life.
In Melrose Place, I was a surrogate mom to a lovely young girl, Chea (pronounced “Shay”) Courtney, who is Pete Rose’s daughter. She was sophisticated for a 10 year old – she got manicures in Beverly Hills – but she was very, very sweet and loved showing me photos of her playing with her brother on their bikes.
In Brainiacs.com I worked alot with Michael Angarano, who was fantastic in the movie Almost Famous and will be seen in the upcoming studio film Seabiscuit. Michael was such a happy kid, and he works alot, so it really opened my eyes to the fact that working as a child actor doesnt mean you have a bad childhood. He was having a blast on the set, and doing his studies too.
In Spectre, my daughter was played by Briana Evigan, whose real-life father, Greg Evigan was also starring in the film. She was so good at learning lines that she would mouth mine while I was saying them!
Baywatch’s Jeremy Jackson is now 22 and has been an actor for over 10 years. He is a wonderful person, and such a joy to work with on the Baywatch Reunion Movie recently.
I think the hardest thing about being a child actor is the transition to adult actor. When all this new talent of 20-somethings is streaming into town and Hollywood is looking for a “new face”, it makes it very hard for young people who have been working for years.
If a child can still have a normal life, with friends outside the business and a regular school to attend, and sports teams etc to play on, I guess she/he can have a happy childhood. But if you want a career that lasts through adulthood, I think it is better to come to Hollywood after high school or college. If a kid wants to act, then have him or her do local and high school plays, and let them develop as a person before they are thrust into the harsh realities of show business.
Thanks for writing!