Ask Alexandra – December 2005

Question #1:

No question- just an acknowledgement of your long-time commitment to speaking and acting against immoral, unjust policies of our government in ‘our name.’ Saw you listed on Air America website s guest and visited your website to see what you were about. Thank you for risking your liberty and career to stand for something important to all of us- freedom from oppressive, fascist wannabe- dictator GW Bush and his greedy, immoral, corrupt gang of thieves. the crimes that have perpetrated against humanity will hopefully be prosecuted someday if enough of us keep pointing out the truth- the Emperor has no clothes or decency!!! Bless you for all you do in the name of justice and freedom for all.

Michael Ryan/ Indianapolis, IN

Dear Michael,

Thank you so much for your supportive email. It is encouraging that you were able to really learn about me from my website, thanks to Vietly, my webmaster, who has done such a great job! Because the traditional media (and especially television) cannot accurately convey in a soundbite my strong (and often controversial) feelings on issues like the Bush Administration, war, animal rights, human overpopulation and the environment, my website is a way to speak out on issues important to me. Especially nowadays, when basically all the US media has shown itself to be superficial and cowardly – presenters of manufactured news rather than true journalists – it is especially important for ALL of us to find a way to stand up and speak out. For me, my website is a way to do that. For one, I refuse to be cowed by the Bush administration saying that if I speak out against the war I am not a good American. HE is not a good American for trying to intimidate me into silence.

Since early summer, I have been calling the White House, my 2 Senators and my U.S. representative every single weekday morning. I tell them the same thing every day: the United States must withdraw troops from Iraq immediately – not in 6 months or one year, NOW. This daily ritual takes 3 minutes total. I encourage everyone to call their representatives regularly about issues important to them. It is an easy, important way to get your message out there.

Michael, it is also good to know that there are other people out there listening to Air America radio. I used to be a big AM talk radio fan, until conservative shock jocks took over its airwaves. Air America offers a point of view you don’t find on any other AM radio station, so I listen to it often.

Great to hear from you. I hope you visit my site again.


Question #2:

Hi Alexandra,

Just a silly question, but if you could chose five words to describe yourself, what would they be?


p.s. I thought you did a terrific job on A Lover’s Revenge!

Dear Cynthia,

I am glad you enjoyed A Lover’s Revenge. I had a wonderful time shooting it, especially because both of my costars, Gary Hudson and Billy Moses, are old friends of mine. I even introduced Billy to his wife, Sarah, when we all went to the same gym together, and Gary and I dated over 20 years ago. It was shot in Canada, a country I admire and where I have shot four of my five 2005 movies.

OK, five words to describe myself, eh?

  1. disciplined (sometimes to the point of being too rigid)
  2. emotional (can flow into neuroses)
  3. athletic (not a talented athlete, but when you are 42 and you are still competing in various athletic endeavors, that earns you the “athlete” moniker)
  4. ethical (the quality most important to me; I work on it daily. I have failed miserably too many times to count, but my ethics guide every single decision I make, every action I take)
  5. reader (I love to read. There is always another book at the library I am excited to delve into)



Question #3:

Dear Alexandra,

What actor(s), or any other person for that matter, has really touched you? It doesn’t have to be your favorite actor, although they are often one and the same I suppose. And if one has touched you, how has this affected your own work/life? Keep up the good work ­ you’re an incredible actor and I really enjoy watching you on TV.

Nicolas Burke

Dear Nicholas,

My favorite actor is probably Sean Penn – his performance in I Am Sam was flawless, I thought. Sean is so brave as an actor, and so real. I also deeply admire how many different characters he has played – have you seen The Falcon and the Snowman? In the last couple years I have also been very impressed with is willingness to lay himself on the line for his beliefs by going to Iraq before the war and being very outspoken in his opposition to the US bombing of that country. He also helped out in New Orleans immediately after Katrina hit.

David Hasselhoff’s professionalism and generosity with his fans touched me greatly. I will never forget his positive energy on the set, and his kindness to everyone. He never took his success for granted and worked so hard juggling an international music career and his television work. He got up at 4:30 am every morning to work out, and he would fly to Europe to give concerts on the weekend and then be back bright eyed on Monday morning to work on Baywatch in Los Angeles.

Jeff Bridges, with whom I shot 8 Million Ways to Die when I was 23 years old, was very relaxed on the set. I was impressed with how he calmly did his work. He was a good collaborator, having long discussions with our director, Hal Ashby. Dean Cain taught me to always neatly fold your clothes, no matter how long you have been working. At 2 am after a 17 hour workday on Superman, the tv series, he was hanging up his Clark Kent suits so the wardrobe people would have an easier time collecting them. Because of Dean, I never leave anything unhung or unfolded in my trailer, as I want to show respect to the wardrobe department.

Andy Garcia (also on 8 Million Ways to Die), was so nice to my dad when he visited me on the set. It reminded me how a little gesture of thoughtfulness, like a 2 minute conversation, can mean so much to someone.

Darlene Carr, who co-starred with me on Piranha, gave me some great advice. I was 30 years old, she was 42 and a veteran of half a dozen series. She told me to “make my money in my 30’s, because it is darn hard for a woman to be an actress in her 40’s”. I listened to her advice, and became more open to opportunity during that decade of my life. It proved to be smart in more ways than just financial: the more I worked, the more I got work. In my 20’s I had been less ambitious, letting things come to me. Darlene put a fire in me to think beyond just the next couple months and to take control of my career. She also made me realize that my career wasn’t going to flourish if I coasted.

My ex-boyfriend, William Ostrander (whom I met on Christine, in 1983), told me that an acting career does not just go up and up and up. There are ALWAYS down times. A life long acting career looks like a graph, with peaks and valleys. Some peaks are higher than others, some valleys lower than others, but there is one thing I can count on: there will not be the steady sameness. That has helped me weather slow work periods, and to not take busy times for granted.

I have been blessed to meet many wonderful actors and actresses in my 24 years in Hollywood. I learned a little something from all of them – the above is just a small sampling.

Thank you for your letter. I enjoyed answering your question, as it brought back good memories.


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