Jane Alexander might not play a judge again for a while, so for now, she’s content to be the Queen.
A Tony winner, two-time Emmy winner and four-time Oscar nominee — as well as a former director of the National Endowment for the Arts — the veteran stage and screen actress appeared twice last season as a judge on CBS’ “The Good Wife.” Her next television role is Queen Elizabeth II in the Hallmark Channel movie “William & Catherine: A Royal Romance,” debuting Saturday, Aug. 27.
“I hope they ask me,” Alexander tells Zap2it about possibly returning to “The Good Wife,” which relocates from Tuesdays to Sundays soon. “I have a feeling they may be moving on to other ‘judges,’ because it’s such a hot spot right now. Everybody wants to do that show. I love the character they wrote for me; she’s so liberal, a really interesting woman who spends her time doing things like trekking to Tibet.”
A co-star of such movie classics as “All the President’s Men” and “Kramer vs. Kramer” (both of which earned her Oscar bids), Alexander trekked to Bucharest to make “William & Catherine,” which features newcomers Dan Amboyer and Alice St. Clair in the title parts. Tackling a role for which another performer won many honors recently didn’t deter Alexander.
“I was the biggest fan of Helen Mirren and ‘The Queen,’” she says. “It was a beautiful film, but this is a totally different story about this young romance and how the Queen weighs in on it. It’s also a different personality, a side of Queen Elizabeth that I don’t know people have seen before.”
Though her four-year, President Bill Clinton-appointed tenure as chief of the National Endowment for the Arts ended in 1997, Alexander has continued to keep very close watch on the state of the arts in America.
“It’s always the first thing to go when there are budget cuts,” she reflects, “and goodness knows, most of our states are in real trouble. The new Republicans in Congress are looking again at the NEA and the NEH — the National Endowment for the Humanities — and not only to cut their budgets, but to possibly eliminate them.
“I don’t think it will happen,” Alexander adds. “I don’t think it’s something that President Obama would ever allow. He’s a huge fan of the arts and arts education, but just the fact that we have to go through the fight again … we’ll certainly be in it to save federal, state and local funding for the arts. We’ll see what happens.”