23 August 1974 |
Mannheim, West Germany
|Other names||Lexi Mirai|
Lexi Alexander (born 23 August 1974) is a Palestinian-German-American film and television director. She is a former World Karate Association world champion in karate-point fighting. Since 2014, she has also been an advocate for feminist issues in Hollywood.
Early life and career
As a teenager, Alexander was a sensei and some of her students were football hooligans. She would attend football matches with them but drifted away after she felt they overstepped their bounds. In 1993, at the age of 19, Alexander became world champion in both point fighting and karate. She then retired from professional fighting and moved to the US, where she landed the part of Kitana in Mortal Kombat: Live Tour.
Alexander continued to work as a stunt performer while studying acting and directing at the Piero Dusa Acting Conservatory and UCLA. The first short film she directed, Johnny Flynton, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003.
Having spent her childhood watching her family's favorite German soccer team Waldhof Mannheim, Alexander always had a fascination with the sport and its passionate fans. Inspired by these experiences, she co-wrote a screenplay with a former soccer hooligan turned writer, Dougie Brimson, about the firm of West Ham United. She directed the film of their screenplay, titled Green Street. Released in 2005, the film was only the second in the history of the South by Southwest festival to win both the audience and the Jury awards, after Alex Holdridge's Sexless in 2003.
Alexander then directed the 2008 film Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson in the leading role. At the time of its release, the film was considered a commercial and critical failure though some critics have pushed back against the film's negative reception.
Disappointed about her first studio experience, Alexander wrote and directed the 2011 spiritual film Lifted.
In 2015, Alexander directed the Arrow episode "Beyond Redemption". The following year, she directed the Supergirl episode "Truth, Justice and the American Way", the Limitless episode "A Dog's Breakfast" and the Taken episode "Hail Mary".
Alexander is outspoken on Hollywood sexism and has spoken at length about the directorial opportunities she says were denied to her because of her gender. In a 2014 interview she stated that she and director Catherine Hardwicke were denied a meeting to discuss possibly directing The Fighter, as the producers were not interested in hiring a woman to direct.
Comments on copyright
In June 2014, Alexander criticised the anti-piracy actions of Hollywood on her official website, as well as its general "lack of diversity" and gender and racial inequalities that she notes exist in Hollywood, referencing articles from both the UCLA and other news/opinion sites. Alexander, however, made it clear that she does not endorse piracy. She noted that key individuals in the piracy scene, such as Kim Dotcom are "not Robin Hoods", saying in the case of Dotcom: "He's got a big house, a lot of luxury cars and all kinds of other toys [...] This is unfortunate, because in a way it makes him just like the Hollywood elite". She also criticized The Pirate Bay's association with Carl Lundström – a Swedish businessman who financed the right-wing Swedish Progress Party, which later merged with the Sweden Democrats (The Pirate Bay accepted funding for their servers from Lundström). Despite a clear criticism of both Hollywood and its anti-piracy agenda, and key figures in the pro-piracy scene, while clarifying that she does not endorse piracy, she stated "[t]here's a real opportunity for someone to come in and turn our industry into something better". She finalized her post with a daring picture of her holding up a sign reading, "Free Peter Sunde Now", in reference to his prison sentence as part of The Pirate Bay trial.
- Fogan, Sara (June 2003). "Former Karate Champ Fails To Bag Academy Award". Black Belt. 41 (6). Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- Raftery, Brian (1 August 2017). "Virtuoso Action Director Lexi Alexander Fights Back Against Hollywood". Wired. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
- "The girl addicted to hoolies". The Guardian. 18 September 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- Lexi Alexander [@LexiAlex] (1 March 2016). "My father was born and raised in Ramallah..." (Tweet). Retrieved 22 June 2016 – via Twitter.
- "KeramCast.com podcast interview with Lexi Alexander". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Black Belt Vol. 41, No. 6 (June 2003)
- "OSCAR FILMS; Forecasts and Favorites: the Critics Weigh In". New York Times. 9 March 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "SXSW Past Winners by Year". www.sxsw.com. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Punisher: War Zone at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- "Punisher: War Zone (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Rabin, Nathan (October 13, 2015). "WHY PUNISHER: WAR ZONE DESERVES CULT STATUS". rotten tomatoes. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- "In Defense Of: Punisher: War Zone". Filmbagger.Com. March 10, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- Thomas Drufke (28 October 2015). ""Arrow" Beyond Redemption (TV Episode 2015)". IMDb.
- ""Supergirl" Truth, Justice and the American Way (TV Episode 2016)". IMDb. 22 February 2016.
- "Lexi Alexander on Twitter". Twitter.
- "Discrimination in Hollywood? A chat with Lexi Alexander". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- Libbenga, Jan (May 7, 2007). "The Pirate Bay admits links with right-wing benefactor". The Register. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
- Alexander, Lexi (June 1, 2014). "Will the Real Pirates Please Stand Up". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
- Official website
- Lexi Alexander on IMDb
- Factory-publishing.com audio interview and photoshoot
- Comic Book Resources interview—on challenges faced by female directors
- TorrentFreak.com – articles of Alexander's comments on digital piracy
- Lexi Alexander, Hell Is For Hyphenates, July 31, 2014