Ask Alexandra – December 2011

Question #1:

Dear Ms Alexandra,

I saw the movie Piranha starring yourself as Maggie McNamara a month ago and I really liked your work. I’ve also read about your activism regarding population growth & other issues. Don’t you think that controlling of population is much more difficult in Asian or Africa countries which already have much of the inflated population. Likewise I am from India which is having it’s own difficulty in curbing population. Suppose the countries like US should advice us on controlling population.

Thanking You,
Mitul Consul

Hi Mitul,

Although Americans are growing more slowly than most countries in Asia and Africa, we are still adding to our population through births. The problem with each additional US baby born is that she/he will grow up using waaaaay more resources than an average Asian or African baby, so each birth here in the America actually stresses the planet’s resources more than several births in most of the countries on those 2 continents. I use twice as many resources as my counterpart in France, and a woman in India who has 7 children would have to have more than 10 children to match the impact of an American woman with just one child!

Therefore, it is especially important that Americans lower their family size – I believe we need to have an average of one child per couple. I just read an article about food and water in the next 15 years, and the stats are too scary to imagine: a worldwide water crisis.

The United States is in no position to advise other countries on their population issues, since we are also way overpopulated. Most countries in Asia and Africa are acutely aware of the problem, but dont have the money or the political will to sponsor campaigns on women’s rights and literacy (for every year a girl stays in school, the fewer children she will have), birth control education and availability. Countries will also need to supply proper medical care so parents are confident their only child will live, a social security system so parents dont have to rely on many children in their old age, and a cultural identity which celebrates small families. The United States needs to support these efforts with money and in some cases help develop efficient programs (this will cost less than war, which is inevitable if people continue to fight over resources), but we also need to encourage smaller families and a simpler lifestyle here in America (a tough thing since our capitalist system wants consumers).

You might feel overpopulation pressures already (traffic, school overcrowding, outdated infrastructure, overcrowding)… or maybe not – the problem is that when we really feel it, it is will be too late.

Thanks for your kinds words about Pirahna 2. I had fun shooting it, and starred in another film with the same producer and director a few years later in Ireland called Spectre.


Question #2:


Loved watching you in Betrayed at 17. I hope to see you in more movies soon! I am curious to know what your plans are to celebrate this holiday season.


Hi Melody,

Glad you enjoyed Betrayed at 17.

This holiday, my beloved Ian and I are going to Aspen, Colorado, to visit
Ian’s mom. It is a lovely place and I plan to do some downhill skiing, some cross country skiiing, go on some hikes and watch some movies! I love my mother-in-law so it will be alot of fun. Ian and I will be back in LA for New Year’s Eve, when we shall go to bed by 10pm and wake up refreshed to get a healthy start to 2012. I start a movie, The Anchor, in early January, and then am traveling to Sierra Leone for Population Media Center later that month.

Best wishes to you for a terrific holiday and a great 2012.


Question #3:

Dear Sweet Alexandra,

Like you I wish to not have kids because I think the world is over populated. There is a family in Arkansas that believe it or not have 19 yes 19 kids all from the same mother and father. The parents believe god will decide how many kids they can handle. The father thinks the family is not leaving a carbon footprint on the earth. I disagree, they buy cloths from the thrift stores and buy other thing used, but the family uses 5 cars and a big RV and what about all the trash and other things that come with a big family. My question was what do you think about all this.

Tasha Vane

P.S. Take care and all the best life has to offer you. Your my favorite actress.

Hi Tasha,

Good for you for taking personal responsibility for our dire population crisis. I agree with you that the Alabama family on the reality show 19 Kids and Counting are in denial if they think their children are not leaving a huge carbon footprint on the earth! Each of them will have children, and those children will have children, all of them living in houses that use energy, driving cars on the roads, eating food (if they eat meat they are especially damaging to the planet), using alot of water… the list goes on and on. Buying clothes from thrift stores helps, but does not nearly compensate for all the resources these people will be using and the resources their descendants will be using.

The Duggar parents dont think that they should be curbed from having as many kids as they want, and that if they can afford that many kids, it is OK. But the PLANET cannot afford it! And the Duggars are actually being selfish to all the other people in the world by taking up waay to many resources for their family and the generations spawned from all their kids.

I think that is it is very insular, sad thinking. I wonder what they would say to a family in Nigeria (the country with one of the highest birth rates in the world) with 20 kids…. I know they have been criticized by many for their large family, so the answer is probably out there.

I dont think we should mandate family size, because that wont work. Forcing folks will create a backlash. We need to educate Americans on the beauty of a small family – a one child family, or no children, like Ian’s and my family! Right now there is a stigma against having just one child. or being child free – people act like the family is unfinished somehow. The US government should also start giving incentives for couples to have one child too, instead of giving tax deductions for each child born.

I think the Duggars now have 20 kids, by the way.

Good for you, for being a wondeful citizen of the world.


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