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Alexandra Vandernoot, Part 2

AlexandraAlexandra returned seeming quite at ease and it was straight into questions. She’s never lied to get a role, although she doesn’t see what lies she’d have to tell short of claiming to be able to fly a plane. She prefers Paris to Bruxelles, feeling that the latter is quite small and bourgeois. Her father was a classical conductor and her mother a dancer and they didn't discourage her from becoming an actress. She said she wouldn't discourage her son either, but would warn him that it is a hard profession and that he would have to like it a lot. Alexandra’s husband is a TV director and she told us he has nothing in common with Duncan MacLeod, (who seemed to come of better in the comparison). Although she is Belgian herself, she has forgotten most of the Flemish she once knew.

She said that a role she would like to play would be of a real historical character, an explorer, (whose name eluded me, I’m afraid) or perhaps Marie Antoinette. When she has a new role, she finds the character through the clothes. She’ll discuss the part with the director, then picture the look and find a wardrobe. She says she has a large collection of old shoes which she uses to help her find the character's walk. The hooped earrings Tessa wore through the first season were waiting for her in Vancouver, but she didn't keep them.

Alexandra Asked what she would have done if she hadn’t been an actress, she said that she couldn’t imagine herself with another career or anything else giving her so much pleasure. It was what she really wanted to do when she was 18.

On working with Adrian, she said that Highlander had been the first time for each of them that they were in lead roles. She had wished Adrian good luck before the first scene shot, which was the break-in scene. She said Adrian hadn’t changed and it was like seeing an old friend every time she came back. Mountain Men was great fun to shoot, although as they were based in the city, she hadn’t liked getting up at 4 in the morning. Marc Singer had made a great villain and was fine with her. She said she would have liked more episodes like that. Asked if she would like be Adrian’s leading lady if he was playing 007, she said she felt she was too old to be a Bond girl, but why not? She told us that Adrian admires Sean Connery, who is one of his role models and that she had got off to a good start with Adrian when she told him he looks like the young Connery.

She says when there is downtime on the set, she gets bored and reads magazines or phones her friends. She cannot concentrate on other things when she’s in that situation.

Asked about her most difficult scene, she said she couldn’t remember any, as the script, the lines and the character were all good. She said if you were confident in all that, then nothing was difficult. So people reminded her of some scenes.

AlexandraIn Band Of Brothers, the confrontation between Tessa and Grayson takes place around a glass cabinet in the antiques store. She said that it was the French director’s idea and was not how she would have done it. It had seemed odd at the time, but she said it worked when you saw the finished scene. That’s where a director pulls out a performance from the actors. Reminded of the scene on the barge where Cahill attacks her in Avenging Angel, she said that the difficult things were forgotten as soon as she’d done them, and she only remembered the good things now. Told that Adrian said the love scenes were hard, she cried “He said that?” and said it was a good thing he’d gone!

Asked if she would have liked to play a female Immortal, she said she would have enjoyed the period costume and different levels of character and she felt that she’d missed out on that with Tessa. Asked about swords, she says she hates sport and that she was supposed to have a fight with Joan Jett on the beach before Duncan arrived in Free Fall, but they were running late and the scene was never filmed. She agreed that it was something that we had never seen if Duncan ever taught Tessa any self-defence techniques. She had never thought of it and assumed that Duncan trusted Tessa enough to get herself out of trouble.

Of her return appearances in Counterfeit and Not To Be, she said that she was approached by Davis/Panzer before the script was written, with a synopsis, then when she agreed, the script was written. She said that the stories had to develop, as after a few years they needed to find new ideas and new dimensions. A lot of development came from Adrian and directors like Dennis Berry. She said that, in the beginning, everything was approved by an office full of writers and producers, but things take on a life of their own. Her driver in Vancouver, a woman called Elaine, had been upset to see her leave and had suggested the idea of an evil twin to Alexandra. Later, she was driving the producer and floated the idea to him, which grew into Lisa Milon. She said that the writers were always looking for great ideas. Of Lisa Milon, she said she had to break away from Tessa and Lisa became everything that she hadn’t been allowed to be with Tessa.

Of her work in the film “Sabotage”, she said that all of her scenes were with David Suchet and she had only had a few scenes with Stephen Fry. David Suchet has a great range and she described him as a nice, gentle man. She had known of Suchet as a theatre actor and was very impressed with him as a film actor. Her first acting job had been in a play by a French writer, staged in Bruxelles, about King Arthur and Percival, which had lasted for four months.

She said that filming The Darkness had been odd. Filming got to midnight on the Friday and she was leaving for Paris in the morning and they had to finish, as the last scene to be shot was the death scene. Of her screen husband in Not To Be, she felt it never occurred to him that Tessa would be unfaithful, as he wouldn’t have had a clue.

So I'm having a problem with this MacLeod guy....At this point, Peter Hudson joined Alexandra and made a point to thank her for the welcome she had given him in Vancouver during the filming of The Watchers. Yes, she said, we couldn’t get rid of him! Asked if they would like to work together, Peter said “yes”, at which Alexandra rounded on him and pointed out that he had staged a play and made a film and he hadn’t hired her! In his defence, he pointed out that she does a lot of work outside France.

Alexandra and PeterShe said that, as actors, conventions were hard as there was a danger that they would disappoint the fans after the preconceptions of what they saw on screen. Peter said it was nice to meet the fans one-to-one. Alexandra said that you never knew who saw the show and letters could take four to five months to reach her. Alexandra said that, at Anaheim, she had been asked for a code name at check-in, but had refused, as her husband and friends wouldn’t be able to contact her. Despite this, no one had bothered her. She regretted being escorted through the service corridors, as she never got to see the hotel where the con was staged or to meet the fans and talk. Asked about the Cruises, she said she had never been invited, but she gets seasick.

Asked if she felt love scenes with all the different girls was hard for Adrian, she said that there had been quite some tension on the set of Not To Be, as the crew didn't know her and one of the make-up girls had asked her if she was comfortable. She had to tell the girl she’d had more love scenes with Adrian than most!

She had been surprised by the security at Anaheim and felt that Wolf 359 was a much warmer atmosphere. She said she was in awe of actors like DeNiro and Al Pacino and said she had once bumped, literally, into Robert DeNiro in a Paris night-club, but that he had vanished before she could tell her friends.

Asked what they feel for Highlander now, Peter Hudson said he had great affection for the show and that he had met people he continued to see. Alexandra said that, for her, Highlander brought nice memories of good times and fun.

Next... an audience with Marcus Testory