Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sasha Alexander: From fan tributes to working with Sizemore

During my set visit to "The Last Lullaby" last week, I spoke with Tom Sizemore's costar Sasha Alexander. She starred on CBS's "NCIS" as Kate for a long spell (2003-2005), and she was also Pacey's sister on "Dawson's Creek" (20 episodes).

These primetime roles, plus her other work, have earned her YouTube tribute status.

Most of the tributes are fanvids, or simple video collages set to music. (I wouldn't call them music videos as their creators sometimes do.)

They are pieced together by fans who appear to have super-sized crushes on Alexander (or Mark Harmon or Michael Weatherly), or a super-sized interest in "NCIS." I take it most of Alexander's "NCIS" faithful are angry about her character’s demise (Kate) and the end of the romance between Kate and Tony.

Some YouTube tributes are sweet. Some are voyeuristic. Some are creepy. Watch a few for yourself. (Hyperlinked below.)

NCIS Tony & Kate
NCIS-Gibbs and Kate
KateGibbs: I’ve learned to walk alone
KateGibbs - It's you I have loved

On YouTube, you’ll also find a some luridly selected clips of Alexander.

What is it like to be the subject of such interest, especially in an age where fans can use the Web to broadcast their interests/infatuations to the masses?

“It’s pretty crazy how the Internet affects everything you do know. What you do and put out there will forever been seen,” Alexander said. A cousin recently showed her a few of the YouTube tributes. “I was shocked by the amount of footage that they got, and the time they spent doing it. In the same way, it’s kind of like receiving a fan letter from a 16-year-old girl in Brazil or Germany or wherever else, and you read it and you go, 'Wow, somebody was moved by what I did.' On the one hand, you’re very grateful. And on the other hand, it’s so scary. It’s, ‘How does this stuff get out to people?’”

If you have ever made a fan tribute video and posted it to YouTube, I'd be interested in knowing what you made and why you made it.

In my view, fanvids do more than simply publicize a personal obsession. They do more than put an itsy bit of power in the viewers' hands to decide who are celebrities, and who aren't. They allow fans to literally repaint celebrities in whatever ways, and in whatever shades, they want. Good thing? Bad thing? I have oodles of boring opinions on this.

Why Alexander chose “The Last Lullaby”

Alexander and I also spoke about why she took the role of Sarah in Jeffrey Goodman’s “The Last Lullaby.” Her choice largely came down to the impact of a single scene shared with Sizemore’s character, the hit man Price.

Sarah is the hit man’s target until he makes it personal and the two bond romantically. (Keep in mind that this is a movie about a lonely hit man. The romance will be noir romance, not happy romance.)

“There is a scene in the film where he sort of saves me from this ex-boyfriend of mine, where I’m looking at him and he just saw me in a very vulnerable situation,” Alexander said. “And there aren’t a lot of words. They just kind of look at each other. Now he has been watching her for a while, but it is the first time that they see each other. The truth is that that moment really sets the tone for the entire film.” If it doesn’t work, she said, the relationship's credibility is shot.

“It was a scene that we took very seriously, and we really tried to show a window into (the relationship),” Alexander continued. “I think it worked great. It felt really great. After the scene, Tom actually started crying. It felt very vulnerable on both sides. The window we both found for these characters was this sort of lonely, very vulnerable place that these two people live in. And they saw that in each other.”

Photo: Sasha Alexander stands on the set of "The Last Lullaby." Greg Pearson/The Times.

No comments: