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Friday, June 23, 2006
She sticks the boot into a male world
By KAORI SHOJI
There aren't a whole lot of women filmmakers and even fewer of them who choose to depict fighting, mayhem and group violence.
But Lexi Alexander, 31, is of a rare breed. A stuntwoman and a karate and kickboxing expert, she also knows soccer. "Green Street Hooligans" is her first feature film. "Some people said that the movie glorified, or justified hooliganism. I had no intention of doing that," she says. "In Europe, the consensus is to sweep all that under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist. I wanted to drag it out, and show the world what hooliganism was about in the most informative and entertaining way possible."
Did you get a lot of flak about making a movie like this -- we hear it's very much a man's world in the U.K. film industry.
It is a man's world, but once everyone realized I knew my material, that I can handle the fight scenes and that the choreographer is actually a good friend of mine who used to hire me for stunts, then I had no problem.
There's only one woman in the film (Matt's sister) and her personality seems a little flimsy. . . . Did you not want to flesh her out a little bit?
Yes, I've had people tell me before that the sister seemed a little weak but to me she is very strong. I myself am that type of woman, someone who stands by her word, or a pact she makes with her husband or partner. The sister abhorred violence and she wouldn't compromise on that. Like her, I wouldn't discuss it or give the person a second chance. I would just walk away. For me, the sister symbolized that strength.
What is your personal take on hooliganism?
The simple fact is that it's a defining factor of football culture. And the firm legends like Pete and his brother -- these men have amazing lives. It's like they're schizophrenic. During the week they're wonderful husbands/boyfriends or whatever. At work, they're good at what they do, and then on match days they turn into hooligans. On the other hand, if their employers find out about them, they'd lose their travel permits, get fired, etc. They'll be shunned by society. That's the way it works and that's why they hate journalists so much, because of the exposure. And even after they retire, they keep going back because this is the only forum where they are so lauded and put on a pedestal.
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