Ask Alan

Wednesday 10 Feb 10

From Kat: I just want to say I think Lady Gaga should be asking you to be in her videos - you'd be perfect for it, and that would be twice the awesome, if you forgive my grammar. So along those lines, my actual question: what other music do you like?  Well, Kat, I am a flighty thing when it comes to music.  My favourite thing is to leave my Ipod on shuffle and see what happens. When you are as old as me you tend to have collected a weird and wonderful music selection. I am very into The Wet Spots right now, and I got Paolo Nutini's album for my birthday form my brother and I am loving that.

Luba from Russia asks: What the Russian film do you like anymore? I wish you successes! I give regard your Honey!   Hello Luba.  Thanks foryour good wishes, and Honey sends you a regard back.  My favourite Russian film that I have seen is Tarkovsky's Solaris.

Tina from Australia writes: I was just wondering if you think there are any plans of there being a 3rd Mask movie and if you might be in it again. It's my fave movie you've been in :)  I haven't heard anything about a third Mask, Tina. Much as I enjoyed making the second one, it wasn't exactly a smash hit so I sense any plans to make a third wouldn't get very far. Did you know we shot the second one in Sydney?!

I know you are invested in a lot of important political issues, such as gay rights. Would you ever run for office?  I have thought about it, well maybe not running for office, but having a more full-time activist role with an organisation. But then I realised that I have more power to be heard and to make a difference because I am well-known as an actor, and if I stopped being an actor I wouldn't have that anymore.  So I sort of fell that it is best for me to stay as I am -  a noisy arty type.

Hi Alan! I have heard rumours of Tin Man becoming a regular TV series, do you know anything about this? And would you reprise Glitch/Ambrose? I Loved your preformance of him very much. Thank you. I did hear rumours of there being a series, but not for some time.  The version I heard they were working on was a sort of prequel, in which the Tin Man character was working as a policeman, before the whole overthrow of the O.Z., so that would mean that Glitch wouldn't be in it.

Any chance you could convince the people who did "Into the Night" ft. you and Ian Rankin to allow it to stream in the US? I had watched it up until the bit with you and Mr Rankin in the Scottish Parliament(lovely interior, all light and airy)... Then sleep ambushed me. The next day was a no-go on watching the rest ): Have you never heard of espresso?  For those of you who don't know about Into the Night, it's a French/German TV show that gets two artists together and sort of follows them going off into the night in some city. I did it in Edinburgh with the novelist Ian Rankin. I'm not sure I can do very much about getting it streamed into the US!! But I do have advd of it so maybe I will look into getting it put online.  Here is a trailer for it, below...

Can you speak German, or are you just good at doing the accent?
My German is limited to phrases like 'that is very good' and 'how are you'.  I have played a few Germans, notably the Emcee in Cabaret, and Nightcrawler in X2. When the latter was released they wanted me to go to Germany to promote it but I was too scared because I thought German people would scoff at my bad German speaking. I guess I was wrong.

It's said to be okay to be homosexual or bisexual in the army as long as you don't tell anyone, they don't want to know, but apparently what it is about is trust (yet soldiers lying about who they are keeps trust?). It tears at moral fibres, and somehow effects discipline and morale....but they insist this is not about homophobia or a persons sexuality.  Do you think there is anything else that is adding to the issue - are those of us opposed to this policy blinkered as to how this policy could negatively effect the army and America? Or in other words are any of the arguments from the other side valid, or are the less homophobic arguments such as it costing America money, just there to cover up homophobia? Given as the army represents America, and certain stereotypes or ideals about men in particular (the world over, not just the US military), do you think getting rid of this policy or changing it would be a step forward in gay/bisexual/asexual/pansexual/hetrosexual/anythingsexual  equality and rights?  I think that equality means just that.  I find it especially ironic that in America, a country that prides itself on justice for all and even calls itself the Land of the Free, there is still a large portion of the population that are treated as second-class citizens.  I think that if you replace the word 'gay' withcthe word 'black' or 'women' (two sections of society that have also had to fight to be treated equally) you see just how iniquitous and wrong DADT is, as well as the lack of so many laws and protections that straught people take for granted.  I don't think about what the other side thinks, because that in some way gives credence to their bigotry.  Being gay is being prejudiced against and that must stop.  No concessions, no negotiations

Claire sent me this limerick: 

There was an actor from Carnoustie,
Gifted, queer, free-thinking and feisty
-- no angel, no villain --
Who'd dared us: "ask Alan!"
But freaked out from a kinky Aussie.

Jane asks: In 'Ghost Writer' John Vandermark plays the cello ~ can you play the cello in real life? I did play the cello at hgh school for a short time. I found it a very anti-social instrument: I couldn't sit beside anyone on the school bus because I had to have my cello sitting beside me.  So my cello career didn't last very long, but I did remember the basics so that when I played John in Ghost Writer, I was able to fake playing quite well.  In one sequence when I am playing a really weird piece, just before the torture sequence, it's not actualy my hand that is on the strings! It's the cello adviser, Ira, squatting behind me and miming the fingering. Check it out!!

Jeff Arsenault wrote me from Ottowa in Canada recently about Project Greenman.  This program was started to make people of all ages aware of issues affecting the environment and how we can all play a part to make a difference. Planting seeds and growing plants represents the continuation of life, a rebirth of our world and promise for tomorrow.  Sharing seeds with one another symbolizes the growth of connections and friendships we have with others. In the classroom Jeff has focused on and promoted issues around the environment, taking care of the world, and peace. He feels that creating peace with the younger generation in schools will reach the most impressionable and create many memorable moments for students. Sending seed packets around the world displaying a peace symbol would assist in promoting their message of peace. His vision would be to have these seeds travel to countries throughout the world, including war-torn countries. If you wish to learn more about Project Greenman, please visit their website:

Finally, there's a big storm about to hit New York, apparently. Here's apicture of Leon and Honey from the last time it snowed.  Keep warm, everyone!