It's Ask Alan again!

Monday 29 Mar 10

From Jay in Missouri Hi Alan! I'm new to this vegetarian thing, and I don't like the texture of burgers, so I don't want to eat fake ones (veggie or bocca or whatever), and I've tried tofu and really don't like it. What are some common vegetarian things to eat besides those things? I don't want to be stuck eating salads and mac & cheese every day. Help! Hmm, have you tried seitan?  I really like it.  Also there are lots of different types of tofu so you might want to give it another go.  Basically all these things provide protein, which we need to supplement in our diets as we're not getting it from fish or meat.  I really like tofu, and I also eat a lot of veggie mince things, that taste delish and can fill out stews and things like mincemeat can. There are dry kinds that you add to water called TVP (Texturised Vegetable Protein) or you can but them in packages ready to go into the pot. There are loads fo good websites out there that can help too.

Two questions in the same vein: I am only in high school at the moment but i've always loved musical theater and very much want to get more involved at the moment and hopefuly after high school!! i know you have done a lot of musical theater which has also inspired me to get involved in more and really follow my dreams! So i was wondering if you have any tips or suggestions! that would be fabulouse! and Andrew in Australia writes: Hi Alan,  I'm a Big fan of  yours loved the spy kid movies
I've joined my local acting School and just got accepted from an Actors Agency called Blackbox
is there anything I Should know about the industry ?
  I think it's good to know that the showbiz industry is just like life: there are some evil, conniving people and there are some absolutely lovely, kind people. It can be shit, it can be amazing. You ca be loved one minute, hated the next.  And just like life, the most important thing is for you to be happy and to change your circumstances if you're not. And be yourself!

Conny from Austria has two questions:  1. What is the question you never get asked but which you would love to answer? Would you like me to give you a massage right now, Alan, whilst my team of people cook your favourite food, run all your errands, read all the things you're supposed to have looked at by now, walk your dogs, and arrange for all your committments for the next six months to be cancelled but still remunerated for so you can go to the country and loll around and write and just relax?  Well, what is your answer, Alan?
2. Would you mind if I had a character in my new novel based on some roles you´ve played and then I write in the foreword or something: blabla... thanks to Alan Cumming because he was my inspirtion for Tommy Fegan... blabla. something like that? Its also a very great character. The most innocent pimp you could ever imagine. Really sweet one. And Funny to write. Please go ahead. Go forth and create!

Claire asks: Have you ever been on Ellen? Never! What's up with that?

Jane says: We saw you on BBC2 last night in 'Nicholas Nickleby'. You do a really good Highland fling! Did you learn how to do it especially for the part, or did you learn it as a little boy? I actually did have to learn it for the role.  We don't all jig around in kilts all the time in Scotland you know!!


From Rachel: I was first introduced to you on The Good Wife.  Fascinated by your stellar acting ability, I researched your other work and was dumbfounded to learn that you aren't anything like Eli Gold.  This speaks volumes of your immense talent.  With that said, "How the hell did you get that gig?".   Did you go after the role and audition or did someone bring you the script or were you in the right place at the right time or do you know cast members or production people?  I am not in the business, thus do not know how this all comes together.  Please excuse my ignorance.  I will end by saying that the suit, NY-Jewish accent, grayish hair and cocky demeanor suits you beautifully.  Your face is utterly beautiful.  You sure as heck do not look your age.  Good genes or good lifestyle? Why, thank you, Rachel, I blush. First of all, I like acting because I am able to play and explore people who are very different from me. I think that is the difference between European and American actors: we are encouraged to be different in every role, and Americans are encouraged to form a sort of personality and to stick to it. I am aware that that is a contentious and sweeping generalisation but I think there is some truth to it.  Secondly, The Good Wife people just asked me, out of the blue, to play Eli. I had never seen the show and had no idea what I was getting into, I just responded to the first episode they sent me and took a risk!

August asks: Well i was wondering, if you have ever thought about releasing a CD with all the musical numbers you have sang through out your theater performances? Unless one already exists, then i must find it I do have a CD out, it's not a collection of all the songs I have sung on stage, but more songs that I have always wanted to sing. It's called I Bought A Blue Car Today. I have also sung on the soundtracks of Cabaret, Annie, Reefer Madness, Spy Kids, The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas and recorded a duet with Liza Minnelli on Home for the Holidays.

Sally with a little nugget: After reading your blog with the picture of 1st Lord of Cawdor, John Campbell, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1778 it made me think of this little fun fact. Food for thought: Do you know why men in the 17 century paintings angle their legs  to show their calves? It is because it was consider a turn-on and was 'sexy'.  Go figure, huh? Thought you might find that interesting. I do indeed find it interesting, Sally. I wish we all looked more kindly on our calves these days. Let's start a 'Calves are hot' campaign!

Hello Mr Alan Cumming! I was just wondering, since you were born in Scotland and spoke with a Scottish accent, did do you find it difficult speaking with an American accent? Or has it just become second nature to switch back and forth between the two? I study languages, so this sort of thing facinates me. Thanks! I think people in America don't understand how much the rest of the world is bombarded with your culture, and therefore people are exposed to American accents and habits and are more able to impersonate them than Americans can do the other way round, as American culture also dominates America!!  Also I think that being Scottish, I was always taught at drama school that it was imperative for me to lose my accent if I wanted to work as an actor. I don't actually think that is true (Hello Sir Sean!!) but I think that perhaps made me more attuned to picking up other accents.  Sometimes on films there are accent coaches who help you, but mostly I just do the work myself. I've done tons of films in  an American accent now so I feel quite comfotable with it.

Hi my name is Katie and I am 16, 17 April 3. I am a really big fan of yours I really love all of your movies. You were my ispiration to becoming a movie director. Now I have just joined my high school's latest play "The Women" and I wonder if an actor of your caliber can give me any tips as to how to remember my lines. I would greatly appreiciate any advice you could give. Thank you so much for your time to read this. It just makes me love you even more. Practise, Practise, Practise!  Run your lines in the shower, run them on the bus, run them as you're having conversations with people.  If you're having trouble, I have found that writing them down is a good way of etching them into your brain! Good luck!

Tess writes: Have you ever wanted to do a musical such as "Little Shop of Horrors" or something like "La Cage aux Folles"?  Which would you like to do, who would you be  and why? Actually, neither of them, Tess.  They're not really my cup of tea. I mean, I think they would be fun to see, but I don't have an overwhleming urge to be in them.

And finally Gwen from Malaysia: I would like to ask is ,do u think your life is nice or happy enough? And if 2012 really is the end of the world,what is the first thing u will do? Maybe you will think the questions senseless, but unless I know you read the mail that I sent you.Is already enough for me.^^ What interesting questions, Gwen.  First of all I really do think that yes, my life is nice and happy enough: I am doing what I want to do, living the life I want to live.  I am in love with the person that I want to be with forever, I have great friends, great mum, great brother and family, great dogs, and I really feel fulfilled in my life and career.  I have always thought that being happy and fulfilled is being able to say that if you got run over by a bus tomorrow you'd die happy.  And I would. And if the world ended in 2012 (though I don't think it will) I would have a party with all those I love and celebrate life!

My friend Eddie sent me this picture, from, naturally, LA. It was only a matter of time...

And this is the funniest video of a Japanese tribute version of We Are The World