Every decade includes two winter Olympics and a few young women all Americans root to bring the gold home. The sport is women’s figure skating and Sasha Cohen is one those American women we hope will bring the gold medal home in 2010. For now though, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist is concentrating on her acting career with a cameo in Blades of Glory and her first non cameo role in Moondance Alexander. Cohen discusses her acting projects, being confused for Sacha Baron Cohen, the struggles of putting the perfect program together, and not having time for a personal life right now.
Listen to the Sasha Cohen interview:
Chris Yandek: I heard that meeting Ben Stiller at the Oscars really lead to this role in Blades of Glory.
Sasha Cohen: “Well, he was talking to me about making the movie and I was really excited about it, and told him I’d love to be a part of it. He was like definitely. When we get to that point we will write something in for you. I guess you could say that.”
CY: Tell me about your role in this movie. You are playing yourself, but how much does it give you as far as the acting experience goes?
SC: “This was a fun…fun cameo. I would say that every time you get to work with different producers, directors, and you learn where to hit your marks it always helps. Working on CSI: NY, Las Vegas, and filming Moondance Alexander last summer, I made really huge steps on every project I have worked on so practice makes perfect.”
CY: How did Will Ferrell and Jon Heder do on their skates?
SC: “They actually had to learn to do quite a bit of their own skating, which is really tough learn to learn and get comfortable with in that sort of time. They had some stunt doubles do a lot of the really difficult stuff. I think Jon Heder actually broke his ankle and he was off for a bit so he was really getting in there.”
CY: Any funny stories from the set?
SC: “Actually, when I met them, they were both very quite calm. I think they saved it for the movie.”
CY: What do you gain by playing yourself in a movie like this?
SC: “This is just a lot of fun. This is something where they are making fun of skating, and just looking at it in a really young view going to get a great audience for this. For me, it is just, not that I am out there making fun of the sport, but making fun of myself. Just being very light hearted.”
CY: Sports Illustrated did an article last year and it was titled Skater vs. Instigator. Were you surprised you had things in common with Mr. Borat Sacha Baron Cohen and what do you think of him?
SC: “I actually met him at an Oscar party and he’s really…really funny. He didn’t want his picture taken. It’s just like I can’t have my picture taken. I have watched his movies and his show and he’s hilarious. He’s really talented and has given people a really good time, which I think Blades of Glory does as well. Whenever film can really give people something that fun and take them out of their world I think it is awesome.”
CY: You have so many different things in common with him. I thought it was just a really interesting comparison.
SC: “Yeah. It’s funny. Sometimes I will be making reservations and it will be like, ‘Wait is this Borat?’ And it definitely throws a lot of people off.”
CY: You also have an acting role coming up in a Don Johnson film titled Moondance Alexander. Can you tell me about your role and has it helped you grow as a performer since again you aren’t playing yourself?
SC: “This is actually the first acting thing I have really done not playing myself. I play the mean girl, which was really fun. I had to learn how to horseback ride for this and it was a great experience. I learned a lot of the terms, how to really just work, to act. I have come such a long way since then taking lots of classes. It was a really good building block for me.”
CY: Is acting the thing you definitely want to do after your finish career like roles in Blades of Glory, like roles in Moondance Alexander for example?
SC: “I definitely see myself transitioning as an actress in the next five years. It’s something that I really love as a performer. To be able to work someday with great actors and great actresses would be an amazing dream.”
CY: You won the silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. What do you think happened in the long program after you were leading after the short program?
SC: “I had a lot of problems around the Olympics, injuries and not being able to train. It was a really tough time for me. I kind of just pulled myself together as best I could and focused and did my best. I was even surprised probably how well and how badly some of the things turned out. All I can say is that I really try to stay in the moment and believe. I think that helped me through to the end. It was definitely a really tough…tough time for me.”
CY: Well, even though it was a really tough time for you, were you even shocked you were leading after the first program, and even though you won the silver, was it still as you consider it a high accomplishment even though you didn’t win the gold?
SC: “Yeah. Definitely at that point it’s so hard because you don’t have any perspective. You are right in the middle of it and all you see is that you made some mistakes and you were trying to accomplish something and it wasn’t what you wanted. When you come back and you come out of it, an Olympic medal is a huge accomplishment. I think the thing that I am most proud of was just being able to overcome myself and keep going and finish a great program even though inside I was just like really in shock. That is something I will always have.”
CY: You have led after many short programs. Why do you feel it’s been hard for you at times besides injuries, besides other things, to put two straight clean programs together and finish in some of these bigger competitions at times?
SC: “It’s been something that’s been tough for me. I have a lot of different things to deal with. It’s something you are always learning with experience. Taken this year off to put some things into perspective. There is different things I would change in my training to see if I couldn’t make two back to back programs happen.”
CY: When you say about taking the time off, personally speaking, is it just the matter of putting things in perspective and seeing what I’ve done or I need to take care of things and then I get back to ice and finally in 2010 in Vancouver you’ll finally get that opportunity to pursue the gold?
SC: “I think it’s definitely experience. You learn things. That’s the bottom line. You really don’t know what’s gonna happen or if you will be injured. You do your best, but there will definitely be some things I would address.”
CY: You are definitely going to be at the Olympics in 2010 though?
SC: “You know, all I can really say is I really want to be, but I can’t really predict the future and three years is a long way away, but that it is my goal. That’s what I am working towards.”
CY: You seem very busy with all these different projects. Does someone in your position even have time for a relationship at this point and balance everyone strives to have?
SC: “Well, I date a little bit here and there. I am really busy running around and also kind of picky. I am just used to being very busy and programmed and getting things done. I think that makes it a bit hard.”
CY: Finally, many other athletes have been part of it, have you been offered to do Dancing with the Stars or would you like to do that ABC show?
SC: “To my knowledge, no I have not been offered to do that show and you know, I do love to dance and think it would be fun in that perspective, but at the same point, I have a lot of other goals that to me much higher on the priority list.”
Blades of Glory is in movie theaters nationwide. You can check out www.bladesofglorymovie.com for more information.
You can keep up with Sasha Cohen at her official website at www.sashacohen.com.
Sasha Cohen will be part of the Champions On Ice running through June 2007. You can check out www.championsonice.com for more information.
A special thanks to Sasha Cohen’s official website for picking up the interview. You can find the headline at the link: http://www.sashacohen.com/glory.shtml