SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Alex Gravenstein: I usually introduce myself as a “filmmaker, actor, editor”, but I find “filmmaker” properly encompasses it. I love being on either end of the camera and have been fascinated at a young age by the dynamic storytelling to which film has rather unique access. My daily/weekly/monthly work is to be a better storyteller and to encourage anyone else I can along the way.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Alex Gravenstein: Probably not until about 8 years ago. I had always been acting for fun as a kid and did plays throughout my life, but it wasn’t until the last decade where I realized how important storytelling was to my life. Before then, I was on the track of mechanical engineering with the prospect of medicine.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest Stop Dollar Baby film?
Alex Gravenstein: I’ve known Stephen for a few years, and we’ve always chatted about collaborating on something. He messaged me a few weeks before the shoot saying he’d like to have me for a part in the project, and I happily accepted.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Alex Gravenstein: It portrays a great twist on the struggle of self identity when the world of fiction butts heads with real-world morality. And who doesn’t love some action scenes?!
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Alex Gravenstein: When I saw some auditions posted on Facebook I applied, and he later offered me the role. Stephen has seen me audition for past projects and I believe he felt comfortable giving me the role without the audition, especially since it’s not particularly demanding.
SKSM: You worked with Stephen Baxter on this film, how was that?
Alex Gravenstein: I’ve always appreciated his sense of vision for his projects, so it was wonderful seeing it come to life with this full production. He stayed focused on the task at hand and yet remained open to pursuing alternate choices. I’d be happy to work with him again.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Alex Gravenstein: I’d say a special moment was every time Kevin transformed seamlessly between the friendly guy behind the scenes to the deadly gunslinger.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Alex Gravenstein: I always keep an eye out for what anyone posts on social media, but not much close contact since the shoot.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Alex Gravenstein: Apart from weekly acting training, I’m working on developing workshops to help actors with the audition experience. Otherwise, I’m doing corporate editing, VFX, and event videography/photography.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Alex Gravenstein: Yes! I’ve only read a shameful amount of his work, but he is doubtlessly an incredible storyteller, who brings extraordinary depth to his tales.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Alex Gravenstein: Most people are surprised to learn I grew up with random pet, such as geese, iguanas, hedgehogs, and others.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Alex Gravenstein: You’re welcome! Stories come to life only when they’re shared. If you like what you see, tell others!