Ask Alexandra – October 2005
Dear Ms Paul,
Just wondering how your electric car is going. As a full-time Green, I’m interested in alternative, less-polluting forms of transport, not to mention the lessening of dependence on volatile Middle East oil supplies.
I don’t have a car myself (you don’t really need one in London), but I would like to persuade some of my friends to adopt more eco-friendly vehicles.
Have you considered doing some free ads for the company that manufacture your car?
I must say I’m impressed that you were locked up for protesting against this mad war. If more people had your guts, maybe things would improve.
Please accept my apologies for Blair’s pusillanimous behavior. He and Bush really deserve each other, the ignorant swine. Go knows what those jerks have let us in for.
My car, a Toyota RAV4 converted to a full electric, is doing very well! It goes 100 miles per charge, and is fast, smooth and quiet. I love that car soooo much, I plan to never go back to driving a gas vehicle. Ian and I have a 100% bio-diesel truck at our ranch home up north, and Ian drives a Toyota Prius (the hybrid car that runs on gasoline with help from an electric motor). Unfortunately, I cannot do ads for Toyota for the Electric RAV4, because they no longer make the vehicle! In fact, no large auto manufacturer currently makes full electric cars, which is unfortunate as 10 years ago, Honda, GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet all did. Chrysler still makes its neighborhood EV, the Gem. And I am not a big fan of hybrids – they are better than the full gasoline cars, but I don’t believe that they are efficient enough: getting only 50 miles per gallon (sorry I don’t know that stat in km per liter!)is just not AT ALL good enough when we can send humans to the moon and build bombs that can kill millions of people at a time. And they still run on gasoline, which to me is an obsolete fuel whose time is over.
The next generation of cars, to me, are the plug-in hybrids, since hydrogen cars are at least 15 years away. Plug-in hybrids take the best of the electric car (emission free, quiet, smooth, fast) and the gas car (no worries about range) and put them together more effectively than a regular hybrid: your car will run on electric for, say, 50 miles, and then switch to gas if it is necessary. Since most people don’t drive more than 40 miles at a pop (except for special trips), they would rarely be using their gasoline engine! For more information on the plug-in, go to www.calcars.org , or www.dontcrush.com.
I apologize, too, for Bush’s pusillanimous behavior. I hope you are in the streets protesting Blair’s war mongering policies also.
Thank you for writing, fellow Green!
With actors jumping from TV to the big screen these days, I’ve often wondered how hard the transition really is. What are your thoughts on this?
I think it is great that actors now have more opportunities to work in all entertainment mediums at the same points in their careers. An actor or actress can be on a television series and do a movie while on hiatus. The one area that still has a a bit of a stigma attached to it is soap operas, although they remain a wonderful springboard from which to jump into television and (but more rarely) film. However, to go back and forth from soaps to nighttime tv or films is still unusual. Of course, a soap schedule is more arduous and consuming, so it lends little time to do other things. I know that many soap actors are excelling on the stage, which is wonderful. I have always thought that daytime television actors have gotten a bad rap, and I hope that soon they, too, will be able to go from a soap to a nighttime series to a film and back to their daytime show with ease.
When I first began in this business, in 1982, you were either a tv actor or a film actor. It wasn’t until Michael J Fox became a film star in Back to the Future while still taping his sitcom that Hollywood started to look at tv stars to star in their movies. Now a lot of film actors yearn for the steadiness of a television series, especially if they have families and don’t want to travel to far off movie locations. Cable has also helped bring esteem to television, as a lot of series or cable movies are as well written a big screen film. By the way, I find that television offers better roles for women than most films do, especially for women over 35. If you watch a film, notice how few decent parts there are for a woman compared to the men (my unscientific observations are that there are at most only 2 decent female parts in a film, compared to 8 for men).
Queen Latifah can be a rapper, then do a sitcom, have a daytime talk show one year and an Oscar nomination for her work in a big feature, Chicago, the next! That is so cool! Jessica Simpson is going from singer to her reality show to a big screen movie.
Those of us who have spent most of our careers in tv are of course now having to compete for roles against film and music stars, and this is a challenge. But overall, I am pleased with the openness of Hollywood and of viewers to accept actors from all mediums, in all mediums.
I recently watched the movie “A Woman Hunted” and was amazed by your ability for acting and your beauty. Directly after, I came across your website and became even more impressed that you are such a multi-talented intellectual. I just wanted to say thank you for being a true role model for the rest of us. So my question is, what’s the catch? Do you have any bad habits?
Well, I am by no means perfect, I promise. I struggled with bulimia for 12 years, until I was 28 years old. I am proud to say that I am now 14 years abstinent, a fact of which I am very, very proud and grateful. It would be nice if I were more spontaneous! I want to have more patience, to listen more and to talk less. I just finished a book called Planetwalker, about Dr John Francis, an environmentalist who didn’t ride in gas powered vehicles for 22 years and who didn’t talk for 17 YEARS!!!! He said the reason he decided to stop talking was because he was always waiting for the other person to finish speaking so he could add his 2 cents, therefore he was never really LISTENING. He is an amazing man. Go to www.planetwalk.org to find out more about him. I am excited that Peter and I will be interviewing him for our September EarthTalk Today show.
I hope you havent changed your opinion about me, even though I have admitted some of my
Thank you for your kind comments.