‘Seinfeld’ Alum Jason Alexander’s 1 Movie Role Had Fans Punching and Spitting on Him
Sure, being a Hollywood star sounds like a pretty nice gig. You get the adoring fans and wealth you can flaunt. The downside, of course, is that sometimes those same adoring fans can have some pretty ridiculous reactions.
For actors who take on villainous roles, this can be particularly true. Sometimes, fans have a hard time separating out the vile person they see on the screen from the real-life actor who was just doing their job. Just ask Jason Alexander.
Alexander may best be known for his role as the affable and hilarious George Costanza on Seinfeld, but there was one movie role that left fans furious at him.
Jason Alexander was adored on ‘Seinfeld’
Alexander got his big break fairly early in his career. He began acting in the early 1980s with a few small film roles, but then he landed a recurring role on E/R.
From there, it was just a few more parts — including a recurring role on Everything’s Relative — before he was cast as George Costanza in Seinfeld. The famous “show about nothing” premiered in 1989 and Alexander played the part of George for its entire nine-season run.
At first, Alexander looked at a script for the absurd show and felt it was too ridiculous to work. When comedian and show writer Larry David pointed out that George was based on him and his own real-life reactions, Alexander dove into the part with zeal, figuring out how to turn George’s flaws into endearing quirks.
Over the years, viewers have repeatedly told Alexander that they identify with George. Alexander tries to convince them this isn’t a good thing. “That’s not a compliment. If your friends are telling you are George you either need therapy or new friends,” Alexander once quipped.
However, fans are undeterred. They can’t get enough of the flawed but lovable character.
Jason Alexander has had a thriving career since ‘Seinfeld’
While George Costanza is still Alexander’s most recognizable role, it is far from his only one. While Seinfeld was filming, Alexander found time to work on several other projects including comedies like Coneheads and Dunston Checks In.
Since the show concluded in 1998, Alexander has maintained a steady schedule of work including voice acting for several animated projects. He has voiced Poseidon for the Hercules TV series and Catbert for Dilbert as well as Hugo for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its many video games and sequels.
Alexander has also continued to take on film and television roles. In 2001, he played the titular character in the short-lived TV series Bob Patterson. Other recurring appearances included Listen Up and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Most recently, Alexander voiced Sy Borgman in the TV series Harley Quinn and has some new projects — including a documentary on The Gettysburg Address — in the works.
One film role angered Jason Alexander’s fans
During this long and active acting history, Alexander took on the role Philip Stuckey in 1990’s Pretty Woman. Philip played the primary antagonist of the show. The main story revolves around Richard Gere’s character Edward Lewis who falls for heartwarming sex worker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts).
Philip’s role is to try to pull Edward back into his life of greed and corporate takeovers just as his relationship with Vivian is making him re-examine his life choices. Along the way, Philip attempts to rape Vivian. The attempt is thwarted by Edward, but not before Philip slaps Vivian across the face, leaving a welt and a collective gasp from the audience.
Pretty Woman has remained an iconic romantic comedy, and the appearance certainly helped Alexander’s fame. However, it came at a cost. According to People, viewers would shout mean things at Alexander on the street and even punched him because of his association with the terrible character.
“It was a help as far as having a bigger career, it was an odd way to meet a national audience because I was known around the world as the a–hole that tried to rape Julia Roberts,” Alexander explained.