'Seinfeld' star Jason Alexander on McDLTs, hairpieces and being the 'most hated man in America' (for a time)
He said he hopes his personality isn’t much like that of the character George Costanza. “George is inordinately insecure. George is incredibly reactive. If he perceives an injustice, insult, ‘You’re not giving it to me!’ (He’s) perceiving a slight that hasn’t even happened yet.”
Alexander said his proudest accomplishment is undoubtedly his children, who were conceived in vitro. He describes himself as not religious but incredibly spiritual. When he’s asked why he believes in God, he said, he thinks of his sons, and says, “Because I have two miracles every day.”
His character George Costanza was dressed by costuming in clothing two sizes too small, Alexander said. “George was always dressed in pants cuffs too high, jackets cuffs too short, waistlines and buttons too tight, and they never told me.” He never really noticed at the time.
The top three shows on his DVR are “The Walking Dead,” “Family Guy” and “The Colbert Report.”
Alexander also explained how he’s come to have so much more hair than “Seinfeld” fans remember George having. He now wears a hairpiece.
“I’ve never had a problem with being bald. Being bald led to more interesting parts, helped my career and my wife never had a problem with it.” However, he said, some of his post-“Seinfeld” roles did not work. “I am a character actor, but I’m equated with one character. And it used to just be by the audience, and now by my own industry. So the first thing I said is, ‘All right, you guys, (I) gotta shake it up a little bit,’” he said as he mimed putting on a hairpiece.
Aside from career purposes, he admitted another reason was “pure vanity.” “I was doing a part, they put one of these on me and I went, ‘That’s kind of cute.’” His wife also encouraged him to do it during performances of a play. “No matter what product I used on my head, the lights would bounce off my head like I was wearing a pith helmet.”
He started wearing a hairpiece, planning to just don it sporadically, but it becomes an issue each day for people who aren’t used to it being one way or the other, so he wears it consistently.
Following his presentation, Alexander fielded media questions before signing autographs and taking photos with fans.
When it comes to working with students, Alexander said, “I absolutely am capable of pushing too hard.” Now that he’s had 12 years of experience, however, he doesn’t think it happens anymore, although “the complexity and amount I’m throwing at them is overwhelming.”
His reaction when Mitt Romney referenced “Seinfeld” and George Costanza at a presidential debate last week was that it “was actually very flattering.” Alexander admitted that his tweeted response “was a bit snarky, but I was genuinely pleased.” He said the tweet generated a “funny chain of reactions,” including “Costanza for President” tweets, and resulted in “just a fun day where my inbox was filled.”
Alexander treads with caution when using social media in general. “I find when it’s anything of substance, it creates controversy where I don’t intend controversy,” he said.
The Seinfeld reunion had been imagined for years before it happened, Alexander said, but the cast had always said no. He didn’t think anybody had “an idea good enough to merit doing it.”
“We’re all 12 years older,” he said. “What was kind of acceptable and quasi-adorable then would just look pathetic now.” He saw the potential for it being bad as greater than the potential for it being good. But they were put back together, on the same set with all the same extras in place, and “it turned out really beautifully.”
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