Alex Cord movie star, author, horseman, scriptwriter, progressive jazz fan and rancher is shown here in a candid interview from 2004. This little known interview lets you right into the life of one of Facebook’s newest trendsetters. Over the last couple of weeks Alex has seen his Facebook following continue to grow, book sales rise and has become a followed and respected member of the Twitter community.
This interview will be the first of many we will be posting over the next few weeks. Interviews are said to be an entry into the soul of a person– so for Alex Cord fans these interviews should prove to be interesting and revealing in ways no previous Alex Cord interviews have. This interview has had very little attention over the years and I thought it would be a good one to share with you all. Thank you for taking the time to come over and read it! Okay, so lets roll with Alex and see what he has to say about movies, movie stars, writing and life itself.
AC: Yes. I would do a series now if it were something that appealed to me. Most of the things I’m offered do not hold any charm for me. Television is a wasteland for the most part. I like writing because I am not depending on anyone else. It is all me. It is hard work and always challenging. You sit and stare at a blank page until drops of blood appear on your forehead.
Q: Have you stayed in touch with any of the fellow actors you’ve worked with down through the years?
AC: Yes. Kirk Douglas and I have remained friends over the years. We see each other periodically. Ernie Borgnine is a dear man, a good friend and a consummate pro. We also share a passion for good Italian food that we prepare ourselves. I was recently at a surprise party for his eightieth birthday. God bless him. Bob Fuller (Dr. Brackett, Emergency!) is one of my very best friends. A finer man, this spacious world cannot again afford. And there are many others. Actors are very special people. It takes great courage, tenacity, and faith to commit to being an actor. The odds against one making a living at it are enormous.
Q: What would you say is the greatest accomplishment in your professional life?
AC: I don’t think there is a “great” accomplishment in my professional life, not yet anyway. Perhaps when “Feather” is published (now available here) I will feel some sense of accomplishment.
Q: Is there a chance we will ever see ‘Harbinger’ (now published and on sale through Timber Creek Publishing) in print? Or Trellium (Sandsong, Alex’s first novel) as a movie?
AC: The Harbinger is in very rough shape and needs a lot of work. I’m still very much intrigued by the idea of a hoax on such a grand scale but I have other projects that are higher in priority. Trellium (Sandsong) is a beautiful love story and has been optioned five times by film makers who have not been able to put it together. I have every confidence that it will happen. It’s simply a matter of the right people coming together. Some of the best films that have ever been made have been the most difficult to mount and taken the longest time to do it. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” took fifteen years from the time it was first bought until it made it to the screen.
Q: What would you say is your great accomplishment as regards your personal life?
AC: In my personal life, I think staying alive for as long as I have is pretty good. When I was very young I thought that there was something glamorous about being convinced that I would not live to be thirty. Now, I think it would be glamorous to live to be a hundred, as long as I could still get around without dribbling on myself, and not be a burden to anyone.
Q: If you could go back and do it all over, would you do anything differently and if so, what?
AC: I would not have married at the tender age of 21. Other than that I don’t think I’d want to do anything much differently than I did. Of course I do wish I’d been smarter, better educated, and kinder and gentler to others. More tolerant, more forgiving. I work on that every day. I’ve had a great variety of experiences that most people don’t even dare to dream about much less live them. Most of my dreams and fantasies have come true. If I had more than one life to live then there are many things I would do other than what I’ve done in this one. I would study veterinary medicine, be an archaeologist, work with wild animals in Africa and pray that I would have the treasured gift of a musical talent.
AC: I love all horses. Well, mostly all. I wish I could say the same thing about people. Those that I love, or even like, I am passionate about. Those that I don’t like, the blunders that never should have occurred, give rise in me a total lack of tolerance. Somebody once said, “One should forgive one’s enemies, but not before they are hanged.” I like that.
Q: Will you list some of the charities you have been involved with?
AC: As captain of the Piaget Chukkers for Charity Polo Team for 5 years and 13 years of competing in the Ben Johnson pro/celebrity Rodeos for charities, I had the opportunity to work with many charitable organizations. The March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, the “Roundup for Autism” in Texas, The Shriners Children’s Hospital, a Cancer Treatment Center in Oklahoma, therapeutic riding programs for the handicapped, a great one called “Ahead With Horses.” It is a very rewarding, humbling and fulfilling thing. It enrichs the soul.
Q: What was the most rewarding acting role you ever did and why?
AC: A play I did on the London stage with a wonderful and famous Irish actress named Siobhan McKenna was called “Play With A Tiger.” I was nominated for the Best Actor Award by the London Critics. The other nominees were Christopher Plummer in Becket and Albert Finney in Luther. Christopher won but to have been nominated with such illustrious company was a great honor. The part was an actor’s dream.
AC: I played a cop posing as a homeless derelict. A great opportunity to create a character wherein I was totally unrecognizable. Spent a lot of time studying, observing those poor desperate people.
Q: What do you want other people to remember you for?
AC: I’d like it if people would say, “He was a kind man, honest, courageous, cared about other people, and always rode a good horse.”
Q: Are you happy with the way things turned out for you in this life?
AC: I am not happy about losing my son. I believe it is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. The pain never leaves and the vacancy is never filled. It is with me every moment of every day. I would like to have had a cohesive, loving, lasting family. And yet there is a very real part of me that has always wanted to ride off into the sunset and seek the next unknown adventure.
Q: What advice would you give to someone following in your (acting) footsteps?
AC: Don’t become an actor unless everyone tells you that you should not, and yet you are compelled to do it anyway. And never give up.
Q: What’s your basic philosophy of life?
AC: Dream. Follow your dreams without fear. Ride a good horse, and keep him between you and the ground.
Q: What does Alex Cord really want out of life — right now — and what did he want earlier in his career? Did you achieve everything you’d hoped to?
AC: The only thing I know for sure is that I am far too complex a person for someone as simple-minded as I am to understand.
Q: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you’d like to impart before closing?
AC: Whatever their other contributions to our society, lawyers could be an important source of protein. Seek wisdom. Just because you think something is true today doesn’t mean it will be true tomorrow. Never stop learning. Adios.