Ask Alexandra – June 2012
My question is simple. Have you ever played a villainous role? I’ve seen a number of your TV films, and I have always wanted to see one where you portray a villainess.
In the movie Spectre I played a nice, normal wife and mother who gets infused with the devil and becomes a walking demon, trying to kill her child. That was fun! But otherwise, no I havent played a villainess. I would like to one day, however.
Hi! My Mom and I are big fans we loved you in ‘Love Thy Neighbor’. I was looking and I was very impressed with your activism.. I though you may have left one out. Gay rights? Just wondering where do stand on the subject?
I have advocated for gay rights – it is an issue close to my heart, as my identical twin is gay. I have been honoured to play 4 lesbian roles over the course of my career, and hope to play more. I am a big supporter of marriage equality and lobbied to defeat Proposition 8, which wanted to outlaw marriage equality for gays. If you look here you will see photos of me speaking at a No on Prop 8 rally. The last photos on that page show me after the election, when Prop 8 won. I was so ashamed of that kind of discrimination was being endorsed that I made a sign saying “Straight Against Hate” and “Let Gays Marry” and stood alone for several hours at a busy LA intersection. I was nervous as it was the first time I had stood alone in the street with a sign, but I decided the issue was too important to let my fears get in the way.
Twenty years ago, my twin and I were in the LA Gay Pride Parade. I have never been afraid to stand up for gay rights, but it has not been my main focus. Instead, I have chosen to work more on peace, environmental and animal issues.
Thanks for writing!
Successful people often have what is known as ‘a defining moment’ that shifted their life from one path to another that helped them become successful. Do you have one and would you share it with us?
I have had many of what Oprah calls “Aha Moments”, but I would say that one of the most defining moments of my life was when I was 16 and I got very sick. I had abdominal pain and became jaundiced (turned yellow), and was put in isolation because no one knew what was wrong with me. After several months, it was discovered that I had a bile duct blockage that was affecting my liver. I had a 12 hour operation, some of which I had to be awake for, which was especially difficult. When I recovered from surgery, I had some emotional residue which I expressed with an eating disorder that took me 12 years to overcome, and to this day a doctor cannot touch my scar without me starting to cry. However, I also had more drive and determination to have a meaningful life than I would have if I had not gone through that experience. I also believe that I have more empathy.
There are moments which have taught me big lessons: one was talking to the writer of Green Sails, Greg Widen, and learning the secret of his tremendous success: “I just show up, Alexandra, and do what is asked of me. That doesnt sound like much, but believe me, it is more than most people do. If a producer wants a script in 3 weeks, I get him a script in 3 weeks. It might not be the best script in the world, but it is always the best I can do”.
And one day a costar of mine in Pirahna, Darlene Carr, told me to make my money in my 30s, because being an actress in her 40s is a tough go. I was 31 at the time, and I listened to her, saying yes to more projects. I called her 10 years later to thank her, and she didnt remember giving me that advice but I have always been grateful she did.
There are many more, but those are 3 that come to mind…
Thank you for your thought provoking question!