Ask Alexandra – February 2001
Alexandra, its great to see that you have made your career blossom! Do you find it hard to have a real life or do people see you as a Baywatch girl? I recently read Caoline’s book, and as a career firefighter myself could you tell her that I really liked it! Thank You and good luck. Tell Caroline to stay safe,and your brother to keep up his good work. Thank you.
I do have a very normal life! I buy my own groceries, and go to the movies with Ian, and take my cat to the vet, and have to figure out what is the best car insurance to get, etc. etc! The only difference is that sometimes people say “Hey, arent you an actress? That woman from Baywatch?”, or something like that.
Yes, Caroline’s book is really good, isnt it? I will tell her you enjoyed it. You firefighters are an extraordinary breed with a very important job. Firefighting is one of the most respected professions, and it is deserved. You stay safe also, and thank you for writing.
Best wishes, Alexandra
One of my favorite movies of all time is Dragnet. I thought Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks were superb in the film. And you, of course, was my favorite character! Can I ask what it was like making the movie? Do you have any funny stories or experiences while working on the set with such great actors?
| Dear Todd,
I am glad that you like “Dragnet” – I certainly had a ton of fun shooting it! Dan Aykroyd is a wonderful man. He was producing the film and he had all those lines to learn (which he had to deliver in rapid-fire Jack Webb style, which is very hard) and his character was a serious guy, so Dan didnt joke around on the set that much (at least around me, but I had a small part compared to Tom and him so maybe they got goofy when I wasnt there!).
Tom Hanks is as relaxed and friendly as he seems. He would come into the makeup trailer every day with a big smile and lots of jokes. I liked him immensely too. I felt honored to work with the two of them.
My character was The Virgin Connie Swail, but the last scene of the movie is when Dan Aykroyd calls me “Connie Swail” and Tom says “Dont you mean The Virgin Connie Swail?” and Dan gives this look like ” Maybe, maybe not”. I was not in the scene, and it was added on after principal photography ended, so it wasnt until I saw “Dragnet 87” at the premiere that I realized my character had been deflowered!
Thank you for your email!
Regarding the TV program “Fire Co.132” (LA Firefighters), did your sister give you any pointers on actual firefighter work and were you able to do any ride-alongs with her (or any other department)in preperation for the series?
I heard that you were trying out for another TV “fire” role. Can you say anything about it?
Best wishes for the new year
I am not trying out for another firefighting role, although I would love to! I admire firefighters very much ( my sister Caroline and my brother Jonathan both topping that list) and as I am strong and physical I think I am very believable as a firefighter. Several firefighter scripts have come to me, but they have all been in the very early stages of development and have not, ultimately, been made.
My brother Jonathan was not yet a firefighter in 1996 (he began in 1999, and he is now a lieutenant and has won the 3 awards for his work), so Caroline was the one to whom I turned when I was offered “Fire Co. 132”, which was a re-vamp of “LA Firefighters”, that had been on TV for one season.
I had never seen the show, but Caroline had and hated it. She felt it was very unrealistic, especially in the portrayal of women as firefighters (too much cleavage and soap opera-ey love affairs going on) and all the firefighters she knew thought it was a disgrace to the profession. She did not want me to do the show unless it was radically changed, which Fox promised it was going to do. And actually, when she saw the eight episodes we did shoot (which, as far as I know, only aired in France. If anyone knows anything different….) she thought it was a very good show.
I did not get to do any ride-alongs because I was cast just a week before shooting began. Luckily I had read alot of Caroline’s writings about firehouse life and I also got a crash course from her. I was actually brought in at first as a recurring character because one of the leads, had injured her foot. It was uncomfortable because the producers had not told her that another actress would be coming in to essentially take her alot of her scenes, so she didnt know until she got on the set. I didnt realize she didnt realize, and it got me off to an awkward start on that show. I sort of felt like an intruder, and it was uncomfortable. After a few episodes, I became a regular, but truthfully it was a relief to me when it was canceled.