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Rising Star Alexandra Cohler: “I would like to inspire others to shine even when they’ve been told not to; It can be scary to stand out but that’s when you’re going to be at your happiest!”

I am passionate about breaking down barriers, especially for young people. I love playing roles that people say I “can’t” — Hamlet was one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played! I would inspire others to shine even when they’ve been told not to. It can be scary to stand out but that’s when you’re going to […]


I am passionate about breaking down barriers, especially for young people. I love playing roles that people say I “can’t” — Hamlet was one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played! I would inspire others to shine even when they’ve been told not to. It can be scary to stand out but that’s when you’re going to be at your happiest! I love encouraging others to find what’s unique in them and truly embrace it, waving that standard high!


I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Cohler. Alexandra is a native New Yorker (she describes herself as a unicorn) and stage, screen, and voice actress. She plays quirky, off-beat characters, excelling at those chasing after fame or fortune.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve wanted to be an actress for as long as I can remember. When I was just two-and-a-half, I would pick a different character to “be” each day, responding only to that name and reacting as I believed that character would to a variety of situations. It was my own version of improvisation!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Early in my career, I had a featured role in a play by Romulus Linney, 2, produced by Primary Stages, in which I played Herman Goering’s daughter. He was Hitler’s right-hand man, the second in command — hence the name. When I was leaving the theater, I overheard one older patron say to the other while looking at the Playbill — “Oh, isn’t that cute — a little Jewish girl played the Nazi’s daughter!” I was blushing and glad they hadn’t recognized me!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Before segueing more into filmwork, my background had been all in theater. In the theater, especially the independent all-hands-on-deck theater that I was mostly a part of, there aren’t such clearly delineated rules of who does what. If something needs doing, everyone does it! My first film, in which I played a waitress in a bikini bar, I noticed a large number of chairs sitting around on-set and saw one sole assistant in charge of moving them. I wrapped a robe around my bikini and walked over and got to work. The assistant looked at me and stuttered “But you’re talent! Talent can’t move furniture!” At first I was offended but then I laughed and enjoyed the luxury of “just” being an actor. Now I always ask before jumping in!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

In a couple of months, I’ll be heading to Denmark to perform Hamlet in the shadow of Elsinore Castle, where it takes place. I’ve never been to Denmark and have always aspired to an international stage and screen career so this is a dream come true! I’ll be playing the Player Queen — an actress playing a queen — and Osric — an obsequious courtier. I can’t wait!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I usher sometimes — it’s a great, free way to see theater! — and the late, great James Gandolfini was once in the audience of a play I was ushering. He was sitting in the middle of the audience and had a distinctive and infectious laugh. Everytime he laughed, everyone in the vicinity would look at him, realize it was him, and then laugh along with him. I think many were enjoying his reactions even more than the play!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Take time for yourself! Many of us work lots of odd jobs and sometimes it’s hard to delineate between work and play — which is something I’m very grateful for most of the time — I love my job so much that I always want to do it! Sometimes, though, you just need a day for self-care where you take a bath or have a massage or just stay in your pajamas all day! When traveling, I always make sure I do at least one thing for me each day — checking out an antique store or a restaurant or walking around a park or just going for a swim in a hotel pool!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am passionate about breaking down barriers, especially for young people. I love playing roles that people say I “can’t” — Hamlet was one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played! I would inspire others to shine even when they’ve been told not to. It can be scary to stand out but that’s when you’re going to be at your happiest! I love encouraging others to find what’s unique in them and truly embrace it, waving that standard high!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Ask before jumping in to help — sometimes you don’t know what the greater plan is!
  2. Don’t be afraid to say no. Earlier in my career, I said yes to everything because I was afraid that if I said “no”, I wouldn’t be asked ever again! But sometimes, saying no makes you even more desirable for the next project.
  3. If something doesn’t speak to you, don’t do it. The only times I haven’t been proud of the work I’ve done on a project has been because I wasn’t feeling the project. If I had turned it down, I would have remained open to even better options — and left that project open for someone who would have really loved it!
  4. Embrace what sets you apart. I spent a long time trying to make myself more like everyone else rather than focusing on what makes ME special.
  5. Dream big! Often we’re told: “that’s hard — don’t be surprised if you don’t achieve it”. While true, even if you don’t get that huge thing you’re reaching for, you’ve opened yourself up to bigger possibilities and who knows what other goals you might achieve while working for it! And you may even get that “impossible dream” as well!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” — Michelangelo. I fell in love with this quote during a dark time in my life, when I was questioning many of my choices, including my decision to be an actress. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough and everything I’d been doing seemed futile. A mentor shared this quote with me and reminded me that I am stronger than I realize. Whenever I’m feeling low, I imagine the angle inside me and ask myself what I get to do that to to set her free.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Virginia Gibson was my first acting teacher and I studied with her from ages 8–12. She taught in an overheated, stuffy basement room and I couldn’t get enough of those classes. She had an incredible gift at corralling young people and inspiring us all to show up and always give our best, even at 10a on a Saturday morning. She gave me responsibilities early on and pushed me to go out for bigger and bigger auditions, including helping me book an off-Broadway play at 10-years-old! She never sugarcoated how hard this business can be but also always encouraged me that, with perseverance, I could achieve anything I wanted. She sadly passed away in 2013. I still sometimes wish I could ask for her advice or encouragement.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Amy Sherman-Palladino. I love her writing and how she’s been true to her distinctive voice and remained a strong, empowered woman in this industry that isn’t always kind to women who speak our minds and aren’t cowed! I’d love to work on one of her scripts one day — and fangirl a bit as well!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My website is alexandracohler.com. I’m on instagram as @alexandracohler: https://www.instagram.com/alexandracohler/; Facebook as Alexandra Cohler: https://www.facebook.com/AlexandraCohler/ and Twitter as @AlixCSpiegler: https://twitter.com/alixcspiegler?lang=en.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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