The Splice Interview
Alex Winter's Excellent Adventure

By Joyce Runer

From Splice No. 11 May (1988)

Wouldn’t you think, after staring in last summer’s hit movie The Lost Boys, and wrapping two more, that Alex Winter would want to kick back a little, get a California tan, tool around on his motorcycles, maybe buy a car? A firm shake of the curly blonde head reveals the adamant answer; No.

"I'm a workaholic," Alex admits in a SPLICE interview. "I turn everything I make back into my film work, so I really don't have any money yet. I don't even own a car.

But that's okay with Alex For someone who's spent 18 of his 22 years on stage (he toured with the Broadway productions of Peter Pan and The King and I) and in numerous TV commercials and series appearances, Alex prefers to stay behind the camera. To him, acting is just a means to writing and directing his own short films-a craft he learned while attending film school at New York University. Lack of funds and an interest in vampires and motorcycles piqued Alex's interest in the character Marko in The Lost Boys.

"I ran out of money, and I needed money to make a film at school," he says. "My agent said that if I came to L.A. I could probably get some work. I said, like, L.A., no way! But the story interested me a lot, so I hunted it down."

Though Alex frequently visits the West Coast, New York City-his hometown for 11 years-"will always be my base," he says. And he's starting to earn well-deserved respect for the work he has already done. His directorial debut, a black comedy called Sequel of Death, has gathered a loyal cult following after appearing in select clubs and on West Coast cable TV. His sequel, Aisles of Doom is stirring interest, and he's completed several music videos for underground rock bands.

"I see myself, hopefully one day in New York, making films that I want to make," he says “Not necessarily big budget Hollywood films. I'm not out to kill anybody. I just want to do the work the way I want to do it."

His next picture, the soon-to-be-released Bill and Ted's excellent Adventure has Alex and Keanu (The River's Edge) Reeves starring as high school daydreamers who find themselves on a time-tripping journey to save their skins in history class. Working with Keanu, says Alex, was "a riot." "It was fun," he adds. This is the type of movie that if the chemistry doesn't click, it's just not going to work because we spend the entire movie together and we have to be really tight. It was great to work with him."

What was next for Alex? A serious role? Naturally. Tipped off by a friend that a director was casting Haunted Summer this life of young Romantic English summer's account of the writers Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, London born Alex, a big Byron-Shelley fan, hit pavement in order to land unusual role of Polidori, Byron's drug-addicted, embit-tered doctor and friend.

"I looked up who the casting director was and I kind of barged into his office and him I knew all about Polidori and that I wanted to meet the director," he says. "And that's pretty much it." Costarring with Alex is Laura (Blue Velvet) Dern, and her Mask costar, Eric (Some Kind of Wonderful) Stoltz.

How does Alex handle it all? Alex lives by his own personal code: "Always remain in focus, have a very definite understanding of what your value and beliefs are, and don't go off that track for any reason, or you're lost."

Looks like Alex will never be a lost boy again.

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