Alexandra Paul [Interview]
January 27, 2017 Leave a comment
We have a real special interview for you fine folks today! To continue on with our celebration of females on camera, we are showcasing a LEGEND in the world of film and television. Alexandra Paul is the type of person that several generations have had the pleasure of seeing perform in so many different capacities. Some have even grown up with Alexandra, considering the fact that she started out in the business at a very young age. She has been in so many great films, notably for me was the 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s book of the same title, Christine.
But, what surprised me most about Alexandra was obviously not her stellar career, as that is well documented. No, I was more surprised to realize that she is a real deal, hard core activist. For everything. She is what I would refer to as a “power vegan”, and goes far beyond simply being an advocate for human rights. This woman has literally been jailed for participating in her right to protest. Fucking, jailed! If that doesn’t prove that she is a woman who is willing to go the extra mile, I don’t know what could.
So, we were very happy to get some words from the great Alexandra Paul for today’s interview. We talk Christine, Bay Watch, the Jason Stuart directed short The Mentor that I absolutely recommend, and so much more. So please enjoy our conversation with the wonderfully talented actress, activist, and recently acclaimed health coach, Alexandra Paul!
What made you decide to join the world of acting? Was it something you were always passionate about?
I was modeling in New York when I was a teenager, and my agency, Wilhelmina, asked me to take acting lessons so they could send me up on commercials too. My first teacher was David Mann and his classes opened up a whole new world for me. I was taking a year off before going to Stanford University, so I did not think of it as a career until I was cast in the lead of the ABC TV movie Paper Dolls. We shot it in Los Angeles and I decided 3 weeks before I was supposed to show up at Stanford that I would forego college and see if I could make it in Hollywood. The Dean of students wrote me a letter saying I was throwing my life away. About 5 years later he told my twin (who had transferred to Stanford) that he regretted sending me that letter, but I was actually touched that he took the time to write to me. Anyway, I have been acting every since.
One of your very first appearances in film was in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine. How was this experience for you, being in a such a terrifying film so early in your career? Was it a fun shoot?
I was terrified, but not because of the script – it was my second acting job and I was very insecure about how I could possibly have been cast – surely they made a mistake and wanted a beautiful curvaceous blonde instead! I had a wonderful time nonetheless. I fell in love with one of the other actors (Bill Ostrander, who played the bad guy) and that was a very important relationship in my life. It has also been so neat to see how the film has endured and become a cult classic! I never imagined that when we were filming.
Of course, we have to mention Bay Watch. It was a massive success in its time, and for good reasons. So real quick, how was your experience on this project? Was it a fun set to work on, as far as co-stars, crew, etc.?
My favorite job out of my 100 jobs in a 35 year career! It was just so wonderful to go to the beach every day, put on a comfortable bathing suit (no high heels and hair spray!) and be heroic. I loved doing all the swimming sequences and I loved my co-stars. David Hasselhoff was hilarious and such a good role model for the rest of the actors: he knew his lines, came to the set on time, never complained and was kind to everyone. The lead actor sets the tone on the set, so you can see ours was a very happy place to work. I am still close with so many of my Baywatch co-stars – we bonded over a very special time in our lives, starring on the most watched show in the world.
Can you tell us a bit about your role in the brilliant Jason Stuart directed short Mentor? How did you become involved and interested in such a sweet little project like this?
Jason is one of my oldest and closest friends so getting the chance to act with him is always wonderful. We play best friends in the series so he and Paul (the cowriters on the series) included little things about our real life relationship. I hope we shoot a second season.
We all also MUST mention your recent appearance in Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens. We have managed to get some words from several cast members from this amazing SyFy series, so I have to ask….. How was your experience filming a crazy television movie such as this?
It was fun. Being with David Hasselhoff and Gena was what made it special. It was very fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants… they gave us a totally new scene when we walked on set that morning. I like shooting quick and dirty like that, though. Much more creative!
In the world of activism and philanthropy, you are one of those few celebrities you truly puts your money where your mouth is as the saying goes. You’ve been arrested several times for protesting, marched in the Great Peace March For Nuclear Disarmament, and SO much more. So, I have to ask you a very important question: For those out there in the world who may be very concerned with the future of U.S., specifically for the next 4 years to come, what advice would you give young activists who might finally decide to leave their keyboards, and maybe go out and try to make a real difference?
Believe me, I am very concerned about the next 4 years too! First, to be an activist, you need to figure out what issues interest you. Then decide what kind of activist you want to be – not everyone feels comfortable sign waving and rabble rousing like I do. Not everyone wants to join a group. We need all types of activists: check writers, social media pros, video editors, letter/ op ed writers, office helpers, organizers, phone callers, committee members and yes, those willing to hold signs up on street corners or do civil disobedience. And all of us need to live our activism, meaning to practice what we preach in our day to day life (so as a peace activist it is incumbent upon me to treat every person I meet in my own life with dignity, love and peacefulness). Once you know what you can bring to an issue, then find a local group and check it out. It takes time to get involved, so keep coming back and you will eventually find your place. Remember to be proactive, because so many organizations don’t have the time to handhold volunteers – the ones that are the most helpful are the ones who don’t wait to be told what to do every step of the way. Being an activist is a lifelong thing, not a one time march down Main Street. So continue to give back in.
I understand you have started your own health & wellness business recently. What inspired you to start this company? And how has the experience been for you thus far?
My life has been so improved by having an active, healthy lifestyle that I wanted to help others feel as good! In my teens and twenties I struggled with bulimia, so I understand the pain people go through when they feel out of control with their health. I overcame that 25 years ago, so now I know how great it is to eat well, exercise regularly and feel confident in one’s body. Being healthy is in our control, but it is not easy to acquire those habits. A lot of us need help. That is what I do, I help people get healthy when they cannot do it on their own – lose weight, lower their cholesterol, sleep better, eat healthier… whatever they need.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
Every morning, my husband, Ian, and I spoon and for 5 minutes we talk about how much we love each other and why. Sometimes our cat jumps on the bed to join us. In any case, it is a lovely way to start each day.