Growing up Alex Rose Wiesel had always played sports, but after appearing in a theatre production she was hooked. It was after this that her focus shifted from sports to a career in entertainment that has taken her on-screen on such shows as Two And A Half Men, After Latley, Dexter and Hart Of Dixie.
Now a seasoned actress and comedian, the woman with three names took some time out of her busy schedule in Hollywood to speak with us here at The Levity Ball about her career, appearing in one of those saucy Carls Jr. campaign video, her social-media-famous dog Victoria Barkham and what she wants her legacy to be…
Let’s jump back to the past: When did you first know you wanted to become an actress?
Growing up, my family was very involved with sports. My brother and I played soccer, softball, tennis, basketball etc. and my parents coached. I did my first youth theatre production in the 7th grade. Once I did, I had to choose theatre or sports. Theatre was something that was my own. While my family supported me, they couldn’t “make me practice” or “coach the team” and I loved that. I enjoyed the community I got from theatre and that it was something I felt was mine.
Growing up close to Hollywood in San Diego, when did you finally say “I’m moving there full-time”?
I began college in Hollywood. I attended AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) right after high school. Before my audition for the conservatory (which AMDA was when I went) I had never been to Hollywood. I drove up to that audition with my mom, who, after my audition, went with me to the Hollywood Farmers Market for lunch, which is still around today (11 years later!).
You have appeared on some great shows such as Hart of Dixie and Two and A Half Men… any fun memories from working on those sets with their casts?
I was so excited to film Hart Of Dixie. I loved watching The OC growing up. Working with Rachel Bilson and Autumn Reeser (who was a guest star on the same episode I did) was a total dream come true. Additionally, everyone who worked on that set from the lead actors to the production assistants were the nicest people. On Two and A Half Men I remember being so impressed by Jon Cryer. The way he was able to take a script instantly on it’s feet and make it hilarious was so magical. I have such respect for what a professional he is and how well that show was run.
You have also appeared in a sexy Carls Jr. campaign getting hot with a smoked sausage breakfast sandwich… how was it ‘getting down’ with those sandwiches?
It was getting down with A LOT of sandwiches! They had a guy on set who’s job was to hold a “spit bag” for me to spit out the bites of sandwich and to hand me Wet Wipes to get the crumbs out of my lipgloss. The food artist who was preparing those perfect sandwiches (there must have been at least 30) warned me to spit them out since they “enhance” them in some strange ways. Like using mashed potatoes to make the sandwich look full, or vaseline to make the meat look shiny. In the end, the shoot went by so fast, and I felt honored to be a part of such an iconic campaign. And I felt extremely lucky since the actor in the commercial they were shooting after mine was to eat some sort of fish sandwich.
Besides acting, you do improv comedy… why is comedy so important in your life?
Since I began acting in theatre, the community has always been very important to me. Through comedy, I’ve found a similar community. I have been playing on an improv team called Pumps (@PumpsComedy). The girls on that all-female team have become some of my closest fiends. I love that improv forces you to live in the moment and be present no matter what else is happening the the world or your life. In my opinion it’s so necessary for acting. I’ve played with Pumps weekly for the past two years and that ritual is such a great acting “workout” and in a sense a therapy session for me.
What is the best advice you have ever received career wise?
The best advice I’ve ever received when it comes to my career is to be nice to everyone you meet. So much work in this town is achieved by, not only who you know but, who would want to work with you. It’s so much easier to approach life and career with kindness and gratitude. And in the end it always pays off.
We heard that your dog Victoria Barkham has quite a following on social media… do people ever ask for her autograph when you are out walking?
I wish they would! She has her very own hashtag (#VictoriaBarkham). Victoria is a true rags to riches story. A girlfriend of mine from college found her homeless on the streets of Compton, so I like to joke that she’s “Straight Outta Compton.” When I got her they guessed she was around 4-5 years old, I’ve had her now for 5 years and in that time she’s gained 1/3 of her body weight and major trust and love for humans and human affection. She also snorts and snores like a little pig and I just love that about her.
Why is social media so important to people within the entertainment industry these days?
We’re living in such a visual generation. People love the immediacy things like Instagram and twitter give. Often times I’ll go on Twitter and get local news updates faster than I can on TV. For the entertainment industry I think social media is important for perception, it goes along with being a nice person too. If your social media is interesting, uplifting and fun who wouldn’t want to see what’s happening in your world? I think social media allows your audience to relate more to you and therefore care more about what your doing with more interest invested on the projects you may be working on.
Where do you see yourself and career in five years from now?
In five years I’d love to have more stability in my career. With my love for comedy ideally I’d be on a long running sitcom hopefully filming at a studio near me, with a dressing room full of chilled La Croix, gluten free snacks and a dog bed for Victoria. How LA does that sound?!
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?
Since we’re talking about career I’d love for people to look back and say “she was so fun to watch!” I’m so inspired by the fierce female comedians and actresses making TV shows and films today. I’d love to leave a legacy in that circle.