Friday, Aug. 18, 1 p.m. ET
Snakes on a Plane
Friday, August 18, 2006; 1:00 PM
"I play 'Three G's,' a rapper -- a P. Diddy-type -- a businessman. And I'm a germophobe. I'm on the plane heading home from a show and the snakes get loose," reveals actor Flex Alexander in an interview with washingtonpost.com, referring to his role in "Snakes on a Plane," the highly anticipated, Internet-buzzed, action horror film of the season.
Alexander was online Friday, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m. ET to talk about the movie and his part in it, what it was like working with "The King of Cool," (Samuel L. Jackson) and, of course, acting with real live snakes (it's not all CGI effects).
Jackson stars as one of two FBI agents escorting a witness to testify in a high profile case aboard a flight between Hawaii and L.A. But an assassin pays airport security to sneak a time release crate of over 500 snakes on board in hopes of killing the witness. Needless to say, pandemonium and utter chaos ensue with Jackson yelling already famous one-liners.
Philadelphia, Pa.: How did you first learn about Snakes on a Plane and what about made you want to get a role on the film?
Flex Alexander: I first learned about it through my agent and they told me about the script and when I heard the name of the movie, I thought it was a joke because I had done a show called Homeboys in Outer Space so I was leery but when they said Samuel L. Jackson was doing it, I dove right in.
Washington, D.C.: Who came up with the title?
Flex Alexander: Honestly, I'm not sure, I believe it was the writers.
Philly: Are you amazed at all the Internet buzz SoaP has gotten?? The movie has this cult following to it already and it's purely because of the title!
Flex Alexander: Totally surprised. But once you see the movie, it lives up to it.
College Park, Md.: How is this movie different from any of the hundreds of horrible SciFi channel movies about snakes/scorpions/sharks/spiders or any other animal that can kill you?
Flex Alexander: Because none of those animals or insects have you trapped on a plane.
New York, N.Y.: I want to know about the snakes! How close did you come to any real snakes? Were any of your fellow actors (or you) freaking out about the prospect of working with all those slithering creatures?
Flex Alexander: I had some snakes fall on me but it was done very well. Our snake wrangler, Jules, had us well prepared and no one was in danger at any time.
Washington, D.C.: Did you pattern your "Snakes" character after anyone in particular? He suggested Kanye West to me, but I wasn't sure if I was reading too much into it.
Flex Alexander: No, there was no pattern. It was just a smooth cat who happened to be on this flight and who happened to be a rapper. I didn't want to play or look like the stereotypical rapper with a thousand gold chains and just over the top. If there's anyone you want to compare the character it would be P. Diddy but I really didn't pattern him after P. Diddy.
Wheaton, Md.: So, did you get bit at all?
Flex Alexander: No. Not at all. Of course I'm glad I didn't.
Baileys Xrds, Va.: True or False: There is no movie concept that Samuel L. Jackson will turn down.
Flex Alexander: Not true. Not true. If that were Harrison Ford would you ask that question? The man is an amazing actor and amazing person and he loves to work.
Silver Spring, Md.: What would have happened if someone had let snakes loose on the Space Hoopty?
Flex Alexander: Ah ... you're talking about Homeboys in Outer Space. That's funny. I don't know, I think would've run off set.
Washington, D.C.: I'm a big wimp and usually don't see scary movies, especially in the theater. But this one just seems so wacky that I'm tempted to go. Is it scary enough that I should stay home and wait to rent, or should I just bring a strong arm to squeeze during the scary parts?
Flex Alexander: Bring a strong arm but also come to have fun. Don't cheat yourself by waiting for the DVD.
Omaha, Neb.: Wghat WAS it like working with all those snakes? What kinds did you work with, how many, what was the weirdest thing you had to do with them? Let us hear all the creepy details and thanks so much for doing this chat!
Flex Alexander: We worked with a 250-pound Burmese python. We worked with some corals, some black racers. Those are the only names I remember. Nothing weird happened. Things were pretty controlled, very well orchestrated.
Woodbridge, Va.: It's great to have a chance to talk to you. I'm more interested in knowing whether you are going to do another TV project. I thought "One on One" was great until they shifted the focus completely to the kids. It really lost something. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing your next project, so I hope one is in the works.
Flex Alexander: I appreciate that compliment very much. That was a terrible move that the network made and I'm not saying that just where I'm concerned but also for the character Dwayne and my daughter's friend Spirit on the show because it gave a bit of something for everyone and I definitely would love to do more television.
I've written a project that I'm shopping now and we'll see what happens but I've also just finished a movie with Danny Glover called Poor Boys Game. It's a boxing drama and it comes out next year.
Alexandria, Va.: So are the sequels going to move around the transportation modes, i.e., Snakes on a Ship, or around type of predators, i.e., Crocs on a Plane?
Flex Alexander: (LAUGHS) We may do mice on a train (kidding). I don't think it'll get that crazy.
New Carrolton, Md.: I really love the projects you do. Watching the Proud Family is one of my guilty pleasures, keeps me young. Is this your first suspense movie? Was it as fun on the set as I imagine Soul Plane was.
Flex Alexander: It was fun on the set but I had no idea what the set of Soul Plane was like because I wasn't in that movie nor am I on the Proud Family. My television daughter Kyla Pratt. She plays Penny Proud on The Proud Family.
Washington, D.C.: Sorry your UPN show was canceled. I thought it was a good example of a black father and daughter with a strong relationship. Anyways, I anticipate this movie being campy more than scary. Your thoughts?
Flex Alexander: I'm proud of One On One for four seasons. The fifth was a blur.
Take your camping gear and go see the movie. You will enjoy it.
Washington, D.C.: Your wife, Shanice will be here in town this week, I'm so glad that she's back and her album's kicking. How you feel about that?
Flex Alexander: I am super duper proud of my wife and I am also excited that she is doing what she loves to do.
Washington, D.C.: Being that skinny, how did you get a name like Flex?
Flex Alexander: Well first off, I'm not skinny. I am in impeccable shape at 195 pounds and 6' 4". It came from breakdancing back in the early '80s.
Omaha, Neb.: What is the King of Cool's off-screen persona like compared to his on-screen persona? Also, I heard S.L.J. agreed to do this movie based on the title alone, that the writers wanted to change the title at one point and he wouldn't let them? Any truth to this? Can't wait to see the movie!
Flex Alexander: He's still the King of Cool off-screen. From what I heard, what mention in your question about the film's title did happen, from what I heard.
Washington, D.C.: Hey bro,
You and your wife are a beautiful example for young couples especially for young Black people on marriage. Are you putting more focus on movies now? Will you be doing anymore TV series?
Flex Alexander: Thank you again for the compliment. I'm definitely branching out into film.
Washington, D.C.: What was the atmosphere like on set? Generally laid back? Enjoyable work environment?
Flex Alexander: It was fun and laid back, never too serious, always fun but when we had to take care of business, we took care of business.
Arlington, Va.: I saw "Snakes on a Plane" last night at one of the not very well publicized sneak previews. I have to say, it was m'f'n hilarious, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks for the laughs, I needed them.
Any thoughts on how much stuff didn't make the final cut and will be on the DVD?
Flex Alexander: First off, I'm glad that you enjoyed it. The DVD will have loads of extra stuff.
Boston, Mass.: At what point during the film's production did the quantity of Internet buzz become apparent? And, in your experience, how much content was truly added or changed in response to it? Thanks!
Flex Alexander: We didn't really start hearing about the buzz till the movie was done. The re-shoots didn't affect me.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Dude. You should TOTALLY pitch this to Disney: "Snakes on a Plane: The Animated Series." Three G's starts his own airline, hires Samuel L. as head of security. Every week someone famous boards your plane. Every week ...! More snakes. I'd schedule my freakin' Saturdays around it.
Flex Alexander: (LAUGHS) That's a great idea. But the studio would benefit from that more than I would.
Roseland, N.J.: What's been your favorite non-reptile-on-an-aircraft role to date, and why?
Flex Alexander: I guess Airplane and the sequel.
Pleasantville, Va.: Aren't you concerned that our impressionable youth might get the wrong idea and think it's OK to let snakes loose on a flight? Must we relive The Money Train again? Who will think of the children?
Flex Alexander: Dude, it's a movie.
New York, N.Y.: Are you a germophobe in real life? And why does your character hate Germans so much?
Flex Alexander: My character doesn't hate Germans. And no, I'm not a germophobe but I am careful.
Rockville, Md.: How much of the movie was re-shot after the Internet buzz began?
Flex Alexander: From what I remember, it wasn't a whole lot, nothing major.
Arlington, Va.: I saw Snakes last night and had a great time. The audience's energy was contagious. Do you think it has a chance of replacing Citizen Kane as the top ranked movie of all time by the American Film Institute?
Flex Alexander: I don't know about the top movie of all time in the film industry but I think it's gonna be darn close and it will be the biggest cult classic ever.
Washington, D.C.: I remember you from back in the day on Def Jam doing stand up. You are funny. Def Jam put out DVD of the best stand up comedians. Are you on any of them? If so I will buy it.
Flex Alexander: Yes, I am on some of the collections. I'm not sure which one but I have been told that I am on a couple.
Arlington, Va.: Saw the movie last night and absolutely loved it. In a fight to the death, who wins -- Samuel L. or the enormous snake?
Flex Alexander: Samuel L., of course.
Flex Alexander: We want people to go see the movie, have fun and as I told one interviewer who thought the title sounded too campy, I said, "If you're looking for Four Weddings and a Funeral, you've got the wrong movie." Go watch us get these m-f'in snakes off the m-f'n plane.
And thanks for your questions.
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