THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED PRIOR TO THE JULY 13TH STRIKE BEFORE SAG-AFTRA MEMBERS WENT ON STRIKE.
ALEXA SWINTON: UNLEASHING A SYMPHONY OF TALENT AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND!
BY EBBY MAGAZINE
Explore her extraordinary journey as an actress, singer, and writer fueled by family influence and artistic prowess from a young age. Discover why she’s a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood and beyond, with exciting
HBO Max and Netflix projects.
“WHAT KEEPS ME GOING IS THAT FOR ALL THE REJECTIONS, THERE WILL BE ONE OFFER FOR A ROLE, WHICH IS ALL YOU NEED! ”
Step into the enchanting world of Alexa Swinton, and you’ll find yourself captivated by a mesmerizing blend of talent, passion, and cultural diversity. This versatile actress, singer, and writer boasts a rich heritage, with Canadian, Scottish, and Russian-Jewish roots infusing her performances with a depth that resonates deeply with audiences worldwide.
As an esteemed SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity member, Alexa has solidified her place in the pantheon of exceptional performers across television, film, and theater. Her journey of artistic prowess continues to garner attention, with her recent addition to the illustrious cast of HBO Max’s “And Just Like That...” in the role of Rose Goldenblatt setting the stage for yet another remarkable chapter in her career.
But that’s merely the tip of the iceberg. Alexa has left an indelible mark on the silver screen, starring in the gripping 2020 thriller, “Old,” masterfully crafted by the renowned M. Night Shyamalan. Her exceptional talent was further showcased in the compelling feature “Sometime Other Than Now,” where she effortlessly shared the screen with acting luminaries Donal Logue and Kate Walsh.
Alexa’s captivating performance as Piper in the ABC prime-time series “Emergence” during 2019-2020, a role that showcased her prowess in bringing complex characters to life. Not to be outdone, she also graced the screen as Eva Rhoades in the widely acclaimed Showtime series “Billions” from 2016 to 2021, further cementing her status as an actress with limitless potential.
Venturing beyond the boundaries of acting, Alexa embraces her musical calling as a singer and songwriter. With her debut single “You, My, and My Purple Docs,” released in July 2020, and the soul-stirring “Happy As I Wanna Be” in August 2021, her talent as a musician has been met with adoration by fans across iTunes, Spotify, and other major music platforms.
The allure of the stage beckons to Alexa as well. She has showcased her theatrical brilliance by originating the role of Addie in the Bess Wohl-directed play “Make Believe” at Hartford Stage, earning accolades for her captivating performance. Not stopping there, she also breathed life into the character of Young Inna in the world premiere of “Kooky Spook,” a spellbinding production written by none other than Inna Swinton herself and directed by the acclaimed Maria Smushkovich at the New York New Works Theatre Festival.
Remarkably, Alexa’s illustrious career began at an astonishingly young age, merely three years old, when she graced the screen opposite legendary actors Paul Giamatti and Elaine Stritch in Matthew Barney’s “River of Fundament.” This early start paved the way for a journey that has seen her evolve into a genuine force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world.
Beyond the glimmer of the limelight, Alexa’s heart beats for the timeless charm of old-style comics, with a particular fondness for Mad Magazine, Richie Rich, Archie, Duck Tales, and Scooby-Doo. She creates her own comic strips, adding another layer of creativity to her already impressive repertoire.
But her talents extend far beyond the realm of entertainment. Alexa’s linguistic prowess shines through as she fluently speaks Russian, skillfully communicates through American Sign Language, and diligently works on mastering French, showcasing her intellectual curiosity and determination to embrace diverse cultures.
Born and bred in the bustling state of New Jersey, Alexa comes from a family that embodies artistic brilliance. Her father, Rolfe Swinton, stands as a prominent technology and data entrepreneur, while her mother, Inna Swinton, is a distinguished actress, lawyer, and author. Alexa shares her extraordinary journey with two equally talented siblings, Maxim Swinton, an actor, standup comedian, and singer, and Ava, a gifted singer and musician in her own right.
As Alexa eagerly awaits the highly anticipated premiere of season 2 of HBO Max’s “And Just Like That...” in June 2023, her star continues to rise with another prestigious project on the horizon. She is all set to grace the screen in the upcoming Netflix biographical drama “Maestro,” sharing the stage with an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Bradley Cooper, Maya Hawke, Matt Bomer, and Sarah Silverman, a testament to her standing in the industry.
Alexa Swinton’s journey is a symphony of talent, passion, and cultural tapestry that inspires us all to embrace the multifaceted brilliance that resides within us. As her artistry continues to weave its spell, we eagerly anticipate the next enchanting chapter in this extraordinary performer’s saga. Alexa Swinton shares with us about her life and journey.
What motivated you to pursue acting at such a young age?
My mother, Inna Swinton, is an actor, and she has been one since she was very young. She did her own school plays when she was in the Soviet Union, and one of her memorable roles was the narrator in a play about growing vegetables in time for harvest. In Soviet Latvia, that was a significant role for a girl. When I was around 1 or 2 years old, my mom noticed that I had star quality. I would dance and sing on the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum, and people would stop to watch me. She thought it could be a fun hobby for me and something she could help me with, so she introduced me to acting at a young age. I’m grateful that she did, because I’ve enjoyed it ever since.
How has your experience working on a zombie film influenced your approach to acting?
Working on that zombie film, which was a creative Matthew Barney project about Norman Mailer, was one of my earliest memories. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of acting. It made me realize that there are so many different things I can do as an actor. The people I worked with on that project have also become collaborators in different ways throughout my career. For example, Sam Nuvola, who played my brother in “Maestro,” and I were scared kids together in that zombie film. It also taught me that every role is valuable, whether you are the main character or just another zombie in the room. Both aspects of acting are enjoyable to me. Additionally, I had the chance to work with the legendary Elaine Stritch, who praised my performance and said I was stealing the scene. That experience showed me that I can do well in this field and enjoy it without being afraid.
Apart from acting, what other interests bring you joy and comfort?
Spending time with my friends is always fun. Acting takes up a lot of my time, so I don’t have much opportunity to pursue sports. However, I plan to try soccer, lacrosse, and maybe even club volleyball when I start high school in the Fall. Before I fractured my back, I used to enjoy jogging in my neighborhood, and I am starting to get back into that now, which is exciting! I have a deep love for drawing, and I am an avid listener of music. I spend a lot of time playing my guitar and listening to music in my room, which is a creative outlet for me! I enjoy picking out solos from songs or even creating my own music. These activities help me experience joy and comfort in my everyday life.
How has your family background in the entertainment industry influenced your career?
Having a family background in the entertainment industry has made it more accessible for me to pursue acting. Instead of waiting till I am older to audition, I have been fortunate enough to already discover my passion at a young age. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the chance to immerse myself in different periods and characters. It has also taught me that there will be times when I’m constantly working and don’t have much free time, as well as times when I have nothing lined up. Both aspects are part of the acting industry, and I’ve learned to embrace them early on.
Tell us about some luxurious experiences you’ve enjoyed on your journey to stardom.
One memorable experience was during the production of “Maestro” with Bradley Cooper. We were on a four-week trip to Italy, which was initially intended as a break for us. We had planned a large family reunion, with eight different families coming together for a week. Unfortunately, due to scheduling challenges, we had to come back early to keep shooting the film. To make the unexpected trip back easier, my dad surprised me with an upgrade to Emirate’s business class for the trip back home to get back to the set. It was the best flying experience I’ve ever had! I had another incredible luxury hotel experience while filming “Old.” We spent a week at the Amanera in the Dominican Republic, shooting the beginning of the movie. The accommodations were amazing, and the attention to detail was incredible. It was truly a luxurious experience that I’ll never forget. It was at the height of the COVID lockdown, and I was with my mom in this super strong COVID bubble where everyone was masked and safe. I was going for these long, beautiful walks where there were no other tourists. The hotel took such amazing care of us, and this, on top of the timing, was truly haute luxe!
What was it like working with Bradley Cooper on Netflix’s upcoming biographical drama “Maestro”?
I feel like I met a LOT of Leonard Bernstein! Working with Bradley Cooper was a great experience because he is extremely committed and an incredible director. He made it easy for me to step into a completely different period and portray a character of a different age. I felt comfortable and supported throughout the process—we did a lot of improvs! I found that I had a really easy time with that because he made it so easy and nice. Overall, I loved working with him.
How do you approach embodying your characters?
I work closely with my mom, memorize lines, and make choices on how to embody my characters. When I’m on set, being surrounded by the cast and crew who create a world that is different from my own helps me immerse myself in the character. The costumes, sets, and props all contribute to the transformation. Once I step into the character’s world, it becomes easier to be present and in the moment as the character.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how do you deal with them?
I am Jewish, and that’s an important part of my identity. I got a chance to audition for Anne Frank, and I think that pretty much every single Jewish girl actor out there has one dream role. It would have been such an honor to help tell her story. I was so excited when I first got the audition. I spent so much time, I think maybe 15-plus hours, on that first self-tape, only to get to get a callback and then another callback. I was over the moon about this, and I ended up working with a dialect coach to make sure I had a very proper British accent and mine was just OK; it needed work. Despite all that and lots of positive feedback, I got a note that they decided to go in a different direction with casting. One of the key challenges is dealing with rejection, like the Anne Frank audition. What keeps me going is that for all the rejections, there will be one offer for a role, which is all you need! I have also found that the key lesson is not to not try harder but rather to look for the larger lesson.
How has your knowledge of foreign languages and American Sign Language benefited your career?
Knowing foreign languages and American Sign Language has opened up new opportunities for me. Recently, I had an audition where I had to improvise and create my own script in Russian. With the help of my mother and grandfather, who are native Russian speakers, I wrote the script and ended up getting an offer for a Russian-speaking role in a feature film. It’s exciting to have the language skills that allow me to go for different kinds of roles and create my own opportunities.