Ask Alexandra – August 2002

Question #1:

Hi there….

I really want to know one thing in many scenes u r under water in bay watch for more than one minutes….is it difficult..? how much do u swim continuously…?

Imran sadiq

Dear Imran,

It looks like we are underwater alot, but in reality, the camera never stays on us too long underwater, as we cant hold our breaths that long!

What happens is that the editor “cuts” to another shot, and then “cuts” back to the actor underwater, and it is likely to be another shot pieced to fit well. We do stay underwater quite alot, however, and stunt people will be just out of camera range ready to give us a hit of air when we need it.

When we shot in the “tank” (the ocean around here is not clear enough to do most of the underwater shooting, so we shot in a pool that was made to look like the ocean), it was only about 10 feet deep so to get long swimming shots the actors swam across and the camera was turned sideways to look as if we were ascending or descending. We had to hold our breaths then or the air bubbles would have given us away! Alot of people complained that the bottom of the ocean in the tank didnt look real (too many rocks, not enough sand), and that was because sand would have clogged the tank’s pipes.

Thank you for writing. Happy Summer!


Question #2:

Firstly, I just want to let you know that I admire you for everything that you stand for. My question: When you’re on a talk show, do they tell you what to say or what topics they will discuss? How do you prep for something like that? I’ve always wondered! Also, what is your most memorable interview?

Cheers to a beautiful and classy lady!


Dear Michael,

A day or so before a talk show, the producer will call me up, and we will go over what I want to discuss on the show and what they want to discuss. The producer will ask for little stories, anecdotes, for me to share on the show, and will take notes to present in the writer’s meeting the next day. Then the show’s writers and producers will decide what topics they like the best (always aware that the guest on the show usually has something to publicize, so they make time for that). When I arrive for hair and makeup (an hour and an half before taping), the producer with whom I spoke on the phone will go over which questions the host will be asking me, and remind me of any anecdotes that they would like me to bring up. It is usually only a 5 minute segment, so there is not alot of time!

As for my most memorable interviews, I really liked doing the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This was in the mid- 80’s and he always made alot of good jokes during my interview. He always brought up how I didnt want to ever get married (boy, do I have to eat those words now!), as he was on his fourth (messy) divorce or something. I was the last guest on the Chevy Chase Show. I brought in my worm bin and that was fun as Chevy and his wife are strong environmentalists so they composted also.

The best thing about going on talk shows is meeting the other guests! They are not only actors. I have met Frank McCourt (author), Naiomi Judd (singer) and Oliver North (Watergate persona and right winger) on Politically Incorrect, Martin Sheen (actor, but also a political activist I have great admiration for – he gave me a “no grapes” button that I still have, a decade later) on the Chevy Chase Show, Kareem Abdul Jabar (basketball star) and Larry King on Celebrity Jeopardy, Roseanne Barr (when she was still an obscure standup comic) on the Tonight Show etc. etc.

I hope to do more talk shows, as I enjoy them very much.



Question #3:

Dear Alexandra,

I am 19 years old. I just graduated from high school. I am a BIG fan of yours and Baywatchs. I cried when your character died on Baywatch. I actually didnt think it was your character at first but know i know it is was you. I do have some questions for you. I hope you can answer them. Do you have any kids? If you dont do you want any? I kind of want kids but not really. Did you ever go to college? I want to go to college but just not so sure which you.


Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your kind letter. Ian and I dont have children at the moment. As I am 39 and still dont have that maternal desire to have kids, and neither does Ian, I dont know if we ever will have children.

If we do have kids, we are planning to adopt as we are very concerned about how fast the human population is growing (the world population is doubling every 42 years) and we do not want to add to it. Also, there are alot of healthy, lovely children who need homes, and I would consider it an honor to be able to give one or two of them a home and lots of love.

For those of you who do want to have your own kids, please have at most 2 children per couple (that way you are just replacing yourselves). If you want more children, adopt!

As for college, I highly recommend it. Just last week, I heard of a study that found that people who graduated from a four year college earned, on average, twice as much as their counterparts who did not finish college.

It is also soooo much fun being around so many young adults your age, all having much more freedom and maturity than in high school. It gets pretty lonely in the working world – usually you are surrounded by people in their 30s and 40s – so make the most of the college experience! I did not go to college, as I was busy acting by then, but my twin did (Georgetown and Stanford), and I must say that I was very envious of all that she was learning and the exciting time she was having. I encourage you to go to college – dont rush growing up!

Thank you for writing, and please tell us what you decide about college for yourself.


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