Ask Alexandra – December 2012

1) Did you like playing Kurt’s ex-husband in saving Emily?
Robert

Hi Robert,

Michael Riley is an excellent actor and it was a real pleasure working with him in Saving Emily. He is very gentle in real life, but he plays an incredible bad guy!

Not only was Michael such a good actor, but Bruce Boxleitner,who played my second husband in the movie, made me laugh alot so it was fun to work with him also.

I loved filming this movie, but I did find it frustrating because when both those men were in a scene with me, I had hardly any lines at all. The writer automatically (and I believe, subconsciously) wrote the scenes so that the 2 men had all the lines and were leading the action, and the woman stood there and basically reacted to what the men were saying! It was very hard for me to stand there and just watch them talk as I felt it was out of character for her, but the writer had not written lines for me. Even though the woman would have stood toe to toe with them, the men led the conversation whenever they were in a scene. So that was the downside of working on that movie, but I learned a bit about how insidious the male as numero uno in our society is.

Bet you didnt think I would start talking anthropology when you asked the question. In sum, Michael Riley rocks and I hope to work with him again! He is Canadian, so I would probably only have that privilege when filming up there.

Best,
Alexandra


2) I greatly admire your political activism and your selfless acts of civil disobedience simply to stand up (or sit down) for what you believe in. My question is this: During election years, do you find it hard to see so-called “liberal” ideas such as same-sex marriage, green energy or universal healthcare turned into McCarthy-istic cries of “socialism” or “communism”? I think that certain news sources (wink-wink) use those terms to make people afraid of change and that even today many people have no idea what either word really means, only that it is opposition to the Far Right. I have tried to persuade my Republican friends that green energy is a booming industry that America should be at the forefront of and also that green energy sources are more often than not far more secure than our over reliance on foreign energy sources, to no avail. Even from a fiscal viewpoint I am scoffed at.

Thank you for your time and keep up the good work! Namaste!
Arron Hoden

Hi Arron,

Since Communism is not the threat it used to be, pundits seem to prefer the term “Socialism” to scare people nowadays. I personally think there is so much to like about Socialism, and I am amazed it has become a dirty word. I see Socialism as a melding of the best things about Capitalism and the idealistic things about Communism (there is reward for individual initiative and private businesses are allowed autonomy, but there is a more equitable distribution of resources, and more help for those who cannot or will not help themselves). I think a properly balanced socialist country can mean the most happiness for the most people: no one is super rich, but no one is super poor either. So call me a Socialist…

I am surprised people are so afraid of “free medical care”, as we already have free schooling and I don’t hear people complaining about having public schools – everything is paid for by our taxes, of course, like subsidized medical care would, and it does not seem like those things brought America down!

As for green energy, I agree that it is a great opportunity for investment. Conservatives may decry the subsidies Obama has given to solar companies etc, but fossil fuels are subsidized to the tune of over $10 billion annually! Alot of diehard Capitalists forget that oil and gas are heavily subsidized by the government, as is corn and wheat and many other products. Not to mention the huge tax deductions corporations get. Those are huge government gifts (aka: free stuff / aka: welfare) for corporations! If all that ain’t Socialist, what is?

You inspired me to look up the definitions of communism and socialism:

Communism:
1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

2. a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

Socialism:

1. political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles

2. movement based on socialism: a political movement based on principles of socialism, typically advocating an end to private property and to the exploitation of workers

3. stage between capitalism and communism: in Marxist theory, the stage after the proletarian revolution when a society is changing from capitalism to communism, marked by pay distributed according to work done rather than need.

I am interested to learn here that the main difference is the fact that socialism doesnt have a totalitarian government? I am sure sociologist and demographers would be able to explain better the differences and similarities of these systems. The bottom line is, I do not support Communism, which moved from idealistic beginnings (no one goes hungry) to, unfortunately, repression. I do not think that Socialism is all bad, and there are many good things about it, just as Capitalism has good things and bad things!

Thank you for writing in. Keep bringing up these questions- they are important for us to discuss.

Alexandra


3) First off, let me just say I am a huge fan of your work. From Christine to Baywatch, to the numerous TV movies, you are always terrific and bring such a depth to every character you play.

I love the movie, Love Thy Neighbor, that I believe you shot in 2005 or so. I just recently found it on Amazon. Could you give a little background on that movie? Where was it filmed, was Arbor Eden a real community, and was the interior/exterior of your home(s) “real” or just a set? Also, do you have any idea what Shannon Lawson is up to or how I could contact her? She was so convincing as Janis and I’d love to write her for an autograph.

Again, thanks for sharing your immense talents with us.

Best,
Jonathan

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you so much for your words of support. I am glad you liked Love Thy Neighbor! It has done very well playing on Lifetime and other networks all over the world.

We filmed about an hour outside of Toronto, in a town called Guelph, in Ontario, Canada. Arbor Eden was not the real name of the community, but we shot inside a walled residential area that did have a gate, which we used in the movie. As I recall, the inside of the homes in which we shot was also the exterior. Those were fake flowers in the yards, however, since it is too hard to keep roses in the same state of bloom for the month we filmed there. There was a lovely cat that came to visit us on the set every day, and the people were all so friendly in the neighborhood.

It was great filming with Shannon Lawson, who is an excellent actress! I have not been in touch with her, so I dont know what she is up to, but I bet she is doing alot of stage work. She is Canadian, so I would unfortunately not run into her here in Los Angeles, where I live. I did look her up on imdbPro and her agency is listed as Premier Artists Management. The email there is: premier@CanadaFilm.com

Another reason it was such fun working on Love Thy Neighbor working with Gary Hudson again. We starred in A Lover’s Revenge together and have been friends for over 25 years. I also met Ksenia Solo , who played our daughter in the movie, and she has become a good friend in the years since. Her career is flourishing and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished.

Yes, you can purchase a copy of the movie on Amazon. I recommend a used copy since the new ones are outrageously expensive!

Alexandra

One Response to Ask Alexandra – December 2012

  1. YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE I WOULD CHANGE THE CHANNEL FROM FOOTBALL GAME TO WATCH YOUR MOVIE. LOVE YOU LOTS.

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