INTERVIEW, December 1987
We hear you've had quite a week.
I don't want you to think I'm the bad luck kid or anything, but it's been unreal. First I go out biking the other night 'cause the air's better after dark, and I'm coming down a hill at 25mph when my tire gets caught in a groove and I go down, skid 20 yards on asphalt and break my hand. The next day, I'm moving into a new apartment, I lose my keys and a barbell falls on my foot. Then I'm playing with my dog and she gives me a black eye. THEN I park my car and it gets stolen and stripped. It's been a rough week, but I guess it could have been worse.
Why do you like playing tough guys?
They're not tough; they're headstrong but misdirected. In "Throwback" (a.k.a. "Spike of Bensonhurst"), my character's a boxer involved with the Mafia. It's a movie about tribal justice. My characters are not villians.
Did you have to pump up for the role?
No, I had to shrink.
What are the disadvantages of being beautiful?
There aren't any.
Sasha Mitchell comes across as a 50's style Italian-American rebel - his hair is slicked back and his favorite outfit consists of jeans, T-shirt and a leather jacket. So it's a surprise to learn that he is the youngest child of a wealthy Russian-Jewish family who grew up in
Sasha was a student at
After a few TV commercials, Sasha won the starring role in the film "Spike of Bensonhurst" - "There's something very strong about Sasha's personality," says the film's producer Paul Morrissey. "All the young actors now play innocent and sensitive, groping for true love. But Sasha is a throwback to the self-assured actors of the 50's. He's not the type to look down at the floor and cry sensitively." That's not to say that Sasha isn't a caring type. He has done public service announcements about the dangers of crack, refuses to appear in beer or underwear ads, and won't do sex scenes for the cameras - "I think it's garbage, and it's wrong to do it," he states. "I don't want kids to have to watch them. Sex is something for the bedroom."
Last year Sasha won a plum role in "
So, did he really say that? "Maybe I said, 'Hi, how're you doin'?'. I've never called him Larry. But maybe I sounded casual. I certainly didn't mean any disrespect."
When he's not acting, Sasha likes nothing better than working on his collection of trucks and motorcycles - his yard and garage are filled with vehicles that he has custom-built.
Sasha, do you think your good looks have ever worked against you in terms of getting a movie role?
What do you mean? Isn't this a face only a mother could love?
Well, obviously you were a model for well-known photographer Bruce Weber for a year, and then as Spike (in the movie "Spike of Bensonhurst") you were a real ladies' man.
I know what you're saying. Well, I'm 25 and haven't started wrinkling yet, and I do get typecast into a certain type of role. Kind of like a good looking tough guy who proves that he's okay in the end. I can't really complain about the roles I've gotten, even if some of the characters are similar - there were enough different qualities in each character that made each one a new experience.
When did you start in the "biz" they call "show"?
Well, I didn't get any serious acting roles until '87. I made my debut in the TV movie "Pleasures" and then landed a role in the feature film "Death Before Dishonor" the same year.
In real life you seem to have a very "get outta my face" attitude.
Yeah, people always think I'm this Italian-American tough guy from the streets - especially since my favorite expression is "forget about it". But I'm really of Russian-Jewish heritage and from a pretty well-off family (Sasha's dad is president of Evan-Picone, an expensive line of women's business suits and dresses and part owner of an Italian fashion house called Max Mara).
Let's go back to the beginning. What were you like as a toddler?
Let's start off by saying that my good attitude towards life started when I was born. I was born on
What's your Mom like?
She's a good ol' housewife. My mother is like THE MOM! I have great parents. My family is No. 1. Forget about it!
But didn't your family get upset when you began to let your school studies slide?
I had too many ideas for the teachers. When I got bored with regular school in LA, I was sent to the
So is that why you're such a tough guy - military school did it to you?
Yep. But then I moved on to a college - also in
Do you mind being a sex symbol?
Yes...and no. I like that people think I'm attractive enough to be a model and actor, but they can forget about me ever doing a sex scene in a movie. I mean, they can really forget about it. I think it's garbage and really wrong to do it. I won't want kids to have to watch them. Sex is for the bedroom.
You're very protective of your family, right?
My family is real tight. It makes me feel good when I see interviews with my older sister Marissa where they ask about me and she always says "Sasha was right there if someone was bothering me!". People never liked to mess with me anyway - I've always kept pitbulls and rottweilers! I love my dogs because they don't want anything in the world except to make me happy.
Erm, lovely. Do you like being on "Step by Step"?
Yep. It's nice to be reunited with Patrick Duffy from "
Do you work out a lot to keep yourself looking so hunkin'?
My idea of working out is using free weights. I benchpress 270 pounds.
To what do you credit your success in general?
Well, everything I've done comes from hustling. I've got a big mouth and I can hustle people (laughs).
TV HITS, March 1993
What similarities do you share with Cody Lambert?
We're both as dull as buzzards! No, seriously, Cody is an extension of myself. If I was a lazy goof-off I'd be Cody, but I'm much more ambitious. I want to do more than sleep out in a van in my uncle's driveway.
You started out as a model for the famed
It's really boring being a model. I can't complain about the bucks - I was working for Calvin Klein and I was only 18 or 19, so it was great for me - but it's really shallow. The only good part is getting to travel. Anyway, I just knew I wanted more after a year or so of modeling. People thought I was a real character, so acting was a real natural thing for me to do.
People in the media have called you a 50's recall. Does that bother you?
No. I realize that between the greasy hair and the Harley I ride, people think that I'm something from the past. But look at everyone who's popular on TV now. I mean, doesn't Luke Perry look like James Dean with those bowling shirts and long sideburns? Even Jason Priestley to a certain extent. And then there are guys who don't even have to work at it at all - like Tony Danza. I'm a greaser and proud of it. My hair has been greasy since I was a baby (laughs).
You once made a Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson. What was he like?
Great guy. Forget about it...he's way OK. Don't listen to that bullshit you hear about him. Very professional, very cool, nice to everyone he works with.
How about you? Does anyone you work with have a problem with your tough guy attitude?
Yeah, I seem like a tough guy, but I like people and that comes through. People relax with me right away.
What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on set?
A newly hired second assistant director on the set of "Spike of Bensonhurst" thought I was a delivery boy from a pizza parlor and asked me to get the hell off the set (laughs).
"Spike of Bensonhurst" was a highly acclaimed movie. Do you feel like "Step by Step" is a bit of a step down the ladder?
No. I would definitely like to get into films again...and see myself as a film actor in general. Actually, between "
What happens when someone comes to your house and sees your pet pitbull Luke in the front yard?
A couple of times, I was expecting company and I got phone calls like "Sasha, do you mind putting the dog in his doghouse before I come over? I feel a little uneasy.". I love my dog. A pitbull is not only a loyal dog, but it's great protection. Everything you hear about them is bullshit. I got mine before all that shit came out about them. The ones that are vicious are trained to be vicious. People put them on these machines that look like giant turntables and they go round and round for hours - and they go nuts. They want to kill. If somebody did that to me, I'd want to kill too!
You've never had a role where you've had to cry. Would you consider it?
Nah, that's for wimps.
And you're definitely not wimpy?
No, they can give all the crying scenes to Andrew McCarthy. No offense, he's a great actor.
Well, you do one thing only sensitive guys do - you grow Bonsai trees.
It takes a real man to do that (laughs). Pruning is hard work.
Are you flattered when you're compared with Montgomery Clift and James Dean?
Yes, because they were groundbreakers and trendsetters. But I'd like to be compared to Marlon Brando even more. He was strictly non-wimpy.
Well, one thing's for sure - you'll never get as plump as him! You're quite thin.
So was Brando in the 50's. I was blessed with a great metabolism. But I work out too.
Do you think that part of your attitude stems from being educated in a military school?
Could be...but really it's just old world thinking. I really resented when my parents put me in a military school, but they did it because they thought I needed the discipline. And I probably did.
You also studied acting at
Pretty cool. A lot of strange characters, though. Not that military school doesn't have a lot of strange characters, either. Everybody looks super-normal from the outside looking in, but that's not true.
You were born
You know it! I've tried to be more flexible though. When I was dating, girls always thought I was pigheaded because I only wanted to go to one kind of restaurant.
What are your professional goals at this point in your career?
To become the first Jewish president (laughs).
Oh yeah? What reforms would you make?
Socialized medicine. And free veterinarian care for pitbulls.
You wouldn't give free vet care to poodles? I like them.
No, they're wimpy dogs with lousy personalities. Really moody. Get a cat instead if you like that.
What part of LA do you live in?
Lastly, which shows do you currently watch on TV?
"Married...with Children", "In Living Color" and "The Simpsons". Fox does some great programming - they're the groundbreakers.
Are you anything like Bart Simpson?
Oh, I should have told you - they based the character of Bart on me (laughs).
But you have a better haircut, and are a lot better looking.
Oh, now that's really a compliment!
Celebrity Name: Sasha Mitchell
Famous for his "Kickboxer" movies and the charecter Cody in "Step by Step", we also remeber him from the series "
Question: How do you stay in such good shape, when you have four kids to look after?
Answer: I love to cook and therefore I am always getting wholesome food even if I make it a little less healthy, it is still better than eating out. I also workout a lot every day.
Breakfast: Eggs, pancakes and waffles
Mid-Morning: Protein Shake
Afternoon: I ussually make some sandwiches, anything from eggs to tuna or cheese.
Mid-Afternoon: Protein Shake
Dinner: Steak, rice, ceaser salad
Favorite Foods: Steak, Steak and Steak.
|Shocking! An Interview with Cody Lambert
by Jake Jarmell
the early to mid-1990s, actor Sasha Mitchell dominated the minds of
teenage television viewers across the United States. As the
wisecracking and dimwitted Cody Lambert on STEP BY STEP, Mitchell took
stupidity to a new level, while also catching the eye of many female
followers. Unfortunately for them, Mitchell was married at the time,
which turned into quite the fiasco in itself. I had the lucky
opportunity to sit down with Sasha at his agency, where his agent was
hard at work trying to find him a spot as an audience member in an
Jarmell: So, Code-Man, what’s up, dudesy?