Ask Alexandra – June 2011

Question #1:


You keep getting more beautiful with age. What is your secret?

Yvonne Melton

Dear Yvonne,

I appreciate your email, especially since I am turning 48 within 2 months! I see the effects of aging, but the alternative is worse, isnt it! Iwork hard to make the most of what I’ve got – that is all we can do, right?

Here are some of the things I am diligent about:

  • no cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sodas, caffeine.
  • daily workout – at least one hour of cardio and then a mix of weights and stretching.
  • no meat, eggs or milk products. If it had a mother, I leave it in peace.
  • a facial every 3 weeks from Rita Czimadia and peel or microdermabrasion twice a year.
  • all beauty products are not tested on animals, have no animal ingredients and are as natural as possible (hint: the fewer the ingredients the better, the more ingredients you can pronounce the better)
  • keep it simple
  • healthy, white teeth
  • being in love with Ian!

Here are things I try to be diligent about, but it is a challenge:

  • keeping sugar out of my diet
  • drinking alot of water
  • going with the flow
  • staying out of the sun – with all the swimming I do, it is hard to protect my face enough.

Thank you for writing!


Question #2:

Hi Alexandra,

I really enjoy your movies and wanted to know if you have anything new coming for 2011-2012?
How do you get the mindset to play the different characters and make them seem so real?

Thank You

God Bless


Hi Judy,

I have three movies coming out this year, The Frankenstein Brothers, Christmas Spirit, No One to Blame. I dont know about 2012!

I love playing different characters, and as I get older I am getting more opportunities to do that. I really like people, and one of the ways I get into my role is to construct from the ground up her background and motivations. It is such a creative process! I decide on her style, and what she likes, whom she loves, what her family life is like (even those not onscreen) is like. Often, I find someone in my real life who has some of the characteristics of the role and that grounds the character I am creating. My sister was my inspiration for Lt Stephanie Holden, as Stephanie had a more powerful persona than I had at the time and I was not used to being a take charge person, whereas my twin was more like that. In the film American Flyers, Becky was based on a girl in my acting class back then, Georgianna, who had a very innocent aura seemed to just inhale the world, and a bit on my childhood friend Rita Vitalis, who was a hippy. For my role as a call girl in 8 Million Ways to Die, I interviewed a real call girl. For later parts, I visited several houses of prostitution. My mother-in-law gave me some great advice on how to handle a cocaine snorting scene in 12 Bucks (I have the hippest mother in law ever). To play the recovering alchoholic in A Woman Hunted, I went to AA meetings and read the Big Book, the bible of Alchoholics Anonymous. I love researching for and creating a character!

Thank you for your email


Question #3:


Do you have any more good book recommendations that you’re currently reading? Over the past few years, I’ve gone through your book list and enjoyed all your suggestions. Would love to know if you have any more recent favorites.

Christie Kirkwood

Hi Christie

I have been reading some really excellent books, and have been keeping track, since I know that book list is old. At the gym, I am currently reading Griftopia by Matt Taibbi (I read on the stepmill – makes the hour go by faster plus I learn stuff!). It is an indictment of Wall Street in the 2008 stock market crash. At home I am reading Priceless: the Myth of Fair Value by William Poundstone, about the hidden psychology of value. Fascinating stuff. In my car (the Volt!), I am listening to The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. It is also about human psychology and behavior and I am enjoying it alot. A book I just finished was The Fifties by David Halberstam, about the United States in the 1950s. Also excellent.

Here are the other books I have read in the last few months:

  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely (about human psychology – great!)
  • The China Study byT Colin Campbell (about nutrition and health -amazing book. This could change your life! Or see the documentary Forks Over Knives
  • Vegan Freak How to be Vegan in a Non Vegan World by Bob & Jenna Torres (lots of information on animal rights and why it is important to be vegan. Fast read. Very good)
  • Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geography (fantastic for me, whose geography is abysmal. I learned so much! Did you know the North Pole is only ice, no land? What is the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom? There are about 500 Complete Idiot’s Guides on so many different topics – I highly recommend them if you want to learn a certain area.)
  • The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird (about how amazing plants are! They have feelings and reactions to your moods… written in 1973 but the science is still sound)
  • Scientist and Symbol by Linda O. McMurry (a biography of George Washington Carver, whose name I had heard but knew nothing about him until there was a cahpter on him in The Secret Life of Plants and I wanted to learn more. I got a little bored towards the end, but learned alot from the book. Such an important man!
  • Merchants of Doubt by Naiomi Oreskes (aaaah, loved this one. About the publicity campaigns to discredit the reality of global warming, acid rain, smoking as harmful etc. Such al earning experience!)
  • How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman (the psychology behind doctors’ treatment decisions and how we can better take care of ourselves in a medical setting. As you can tell, I love books on human behavior).
  • Veganist by Kathy Freston (great introduction to becoming vegan)

I choose to read non-fiction, as there is so much I want to learn, but in my book club we read fiction:

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (everyone in my book club liked this very much – and there is interesting 1950s southern history to learn about too)
  • The Priveleges by Jonathan Dee (a runner up for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, but I was not enthralled. )

I get my books out of the library. I love love love the library, and the Los Angeles Public Library has hundreds of thousands of books. I order online and pick them up at my local branch. So fun! I am waiting for Thrive by Brendan Brazier, about being a vegan athlete and next is Green is the New Red by Will Potter!

Happy reading!


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