Alexa Havins is an actress best known for her turns in the popular soap "All My Children" and the sci-fi adventure "Torchwood," but right now she can be seen in Zack Parker's deeply twisted thriller PROXY, in which she plays a grieving mother who befriends a mysterious woman and has her entire life turned upside down. It's the kind of movie you can't really talk about without spoiling, but the part is a challenging one and Alexa surveys its various twists and turns beautifully.
I had the opportunity to speak with Alexa about the intense role, her penchant for all things Italian, her knack for baking, and how she started in the industry.
PROXY is a crazy movie, dark and disturbing but really entertaining. What was your initial reaction when you read the script?
You start out and you're reading the script and then it just start making these hard turns, and I loved that. The viewer gets invested in the film and then it turns into everything that they were not expecting. From our end, being able to do that was fun. I got to play this character that is so wonderfully flawed and I got to take the audience on this journey.
Your character has so many sides to her, sometimes it's hard to sympathize with her and yet you also often can't help but sympathize with her.
Right? You have to almost feel for her, there's something about her that is so flawed and broken; she goes through such extremes in the film that you go, "Oh, I feel bad for her. Wait, no I don't." It's that back and forth that is so great.
Did you ever have a tough time dealing with the subject matter?
Yes, from the perspective of being a parent. I brought my daughter out for filming, but it was so dark and intense and I was playing this twisted character so about four days in I just sent her home with my mom. This was the first time that I ever really wanted to get so deep and dark that I just told her, "Go to the hotel." I was actually pregnant during filming, and that took it to a different emotional level for me. I immediately connected with the motherly instinct of the character.
Was this one of the more difficult projects you've ever worked on?
Probably emotionally. As far as this character, it's an emotional roller coaster, I got to tap into a little bit of everything. There were times when I think I cried for like six hours. It was intense. And there was a lot packed in, it was a really tight schedule.
Are you a horror movie buff?
Always have been. When I was younger I went through a Hitchcock phase, I think that's how it started for me. And then I like the campier ones, like PET SEMATARY, although to me, that's not really scary, it's more fun. What terrifies me is human nature, what we're capable of. I'm more scared of the serial killer than the zombie.
What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
I always go back to THE BIRDS, I think because it got me as a kid. It's not like I have a fear of birds, but that was just so different than anything I had seen. I tend to go toward classics more.
What's your favorite TV show?
Right now it's "Game of Thrones," it's so good. I like "Homeland" a lot. I'm getting into the UK "Sherlock." I was reading the "Game of Thrones" books before but I actually stopped because I don't want the show spoiled for me. I like going in completely fresh. My husband always tries to spoil things for me, "Oh this is about-" and I just say, no, I don't want to know anything. Stop being a spoiler. Don't read Entertainment Weekly, don't go on the internet, they're going to spoil it. I haven't started "Breaking Bad" yet and so when anyone brings it up I just run in the other direction. I don't want to spend my whole summer watching it just to have it ruined.
What made you want to pursue acting?
I am from Arizona and had no connections to anyone in the business, but my mother's brother lived in Los Angeles and I remember going to visit him and there was something so magical about that place, all the film and television. I think that was the allure for me. Without even realizing it, my uncle introduced me to that world. My parents supported me, as long as I got a degree.
What is your biggest passion aside form acting?
I have a love affair with all things Italian. Cooking and studying the language. I also live really close to the beach, and I love my beach time. I get on my beach cruiser and start living that life; I think the Europeans have it right, you need that down time. With Americans it's all about bigger and faster; you need a bigger house or a bigger car, and in Europe they appreciate just taking a moment to relax and live.
I'm on board with the siestas.
Right, what are we doing wrong here? They go and drink a few bottles of wine and then they take a nap in the afternoon. Next time we talk, I may be in Italy.
Are you a foodie?
Yeah, big foodie. I kind of lucked out, my husband is really into cooking so he's the chef of the house. I do more eating than cooking.
What's your best dish when you do cook?
I make a pretty mean pie. I'm very much a modern girl but there's this 1950s touch to me. I'm pretty into baking, so I'm always bringing chocolate chip cookies to set on whatever job I'm on. You don't live here, if you lived here I'd make you a pie.
I'd be so grateful for that but I'm not going to make you FedEx me a pie. Who is your all time celebrity crush?
Can I say my husband? (Laughs) When I was twelve it was Zack Morris on "Saved By The Bell." That was the original. I guess before my husband it was Paul Walker.
I know, so sad! Also Ryan Phillipe. But that was before my husband, now he's my crush.
Well thank you very much for you time, it was a real pleasure talking to you.
Thank you so much!