Ask Alexandra – December 1999
I’m writing about your final Baywatch episode “Chance of a Lifetime.” I really loved the episode, in fact I’ve got it on tape (somewhere, lost in my hundreds of videos…). Anyway, I thought you did a great acting job; So great, that when the beam fell on Stephanie, and she then died, my stomach actually turned. After the episode, I actually felt as if I’d lost a dear friend! I actually was saddened for the next couple of weeks, then I realized that it was just a show, although I think the best episodes of Baywatch were the ones in the middle, with you. However, this season of “Baywatch Hawaii” is shaping up pretty good.
Now to the question: Was it your idea to kill Stephanie off, or the producers? And why kill her off?
Thanks, and best wishes to you and Ian.
I am glad you watched my last episode and that you are enjoying the new Baywatch Hawaii shows – I haven’t seen them. How do you like the yellow bathing suits?! How is it to not have David on the show?
As for my last death scene: Yes, I did ask the producers to kill me off. It was time for me to leave Baywatch (my agents were itching for me to go), and I wanted a dramatic exit from the show, so I requested to die saving someone (as a lifeguard should). It also pretty much ensured that I would get a montage (the video sequences set to music) ! I was very pleased with the song that played over that montage, and I thought it was very a fitting end for Stephanie, after 5 seasons.
I love shooting Baywatch, and I am eternally grateful for all the fans it has brought me. Thank you for being one of them.
I just wanted to let you know what a great actress and role model you are. I really miss watching you on television, and cannot wait for your movies to come out. Also, congratulations on the news of your engagement! My question is: Since we know so much about you, can you please tell us a little about Ian? You two look very cute together! Best wishes to you both.
Ah! Your question lets me discuss my favorite subject: my beloved, Ian. Ian Murray was born in Detroit on April 24, 1968 and grew up in Aspen, Colorado. He became a ski instructor there, and was also a member of the Aspen A’s Demonstration Ski Team (demo skiing is a cross between the Blue Angels and synchronized swimming), when it won two World Championships. He was a windsurfer in the summers. He came to LA to be an actor and we began dating 4 years ago after our mutual friend, Jim , introduced us. He is a very sweet man, and so patient and loving to me! I admire and respect him more than any man I have ever met. In 1997 we both trained for and finished the Hawaii Ironman (he finished 2 hours ahead of me). He has been in a bunch of commercials (Crest, PowerBar, Mobil etc) and done alot of indy films. He is a wonderful actor. He loves sports and is very athletic – which I love, as I like being outdoors. I – who never EVER! wanted to be married – am now so thrilled to soon be his wife! He has changed my life, and I feel like the luckiest woman on earth to be with him. Ian’s hero is Lance Armstrong (cyclist who won the Tour de France this year) and he is also an environmentalist…. oh, I could go on and on because I am so crazy about him, but I will save that for another time!!!! Thank you for writing, and for your great question!!!
I know this is a stupid question, but: How do actors/actresses ‘remember’ their lines! Does it take a special IQ or the memory of an elephant? If you add in being nervous I cannot understand “how” any actor gets through a whole play or movie, etc…. I’m serious about this. How long do you get to memorize a script … or do you even “memorize” it? Its a complete mystery to me. It must be very hard work! (And how do you keep your sanity being a star!)?
Oh no, your question is not stupid at all! In fact, a lot of people wonder how actors learn all those lines.
In movies it is easier than in any other medium, because only 2-10 pages a day are shot, and there aren’t a lot of lines on each page (unless there is a huge monologue, which is rare): my line, your line, my 4 lines, your response, my three lines, your 3 lines, etc. (I just opened up a movie script randomly to one page and counted 12 lines for one character and 3 lines for the other.) The larger the budget of the film, the fewer pages that are shot each day. So Tom Cruise might only have 10 lines in an entire day and he has 3-6 months on a movie. (Lower budget independents shoot in 4 weeks and average 8 pages a day) Of course some days are heavier than others, but I would bet that he never has a day like a soap opera actor does – they often have 20 pages a day everyday, and I don’t know how they do it! Apparently they do it because they have no choice! I have heard that sometimes they tape their lines on their props. It gets easier and they soon develop terrific memories (both David Hasselhoff and Yasmine Bleeth have been on soaps and they learn lines extremely quickly). Raymond Burr (star of the Perry Mason series) would have two teleprompters because of the long courtroom monologues – I dont know what the actors from Ally McBeal and The Practice do for their summations, because TV actors get their scripts for each episode about 4 days before shooting begins. For sitcoms, the actors rehearse for 4 days before they tape. I am sure that it is the practice that helps actors remember their lines, but I find that I must really know why my character is saying to be able to learn it easily. I also learn my lines on the weekend for the week ahead, and then I go over them the night before we shoot each scene. Unfortunately, I know plenty of actors who don’t learn their lines properly, and it really slows things down on the set.
I hope I have answered your question!!