TV Article

SHE'S NO SAINT

ALEXANDRA POWERS OF 'L.A. LAW'

The gospel, for actress Alexandra Powers, isn't the Bible. It's a 164-page volume by Beneth P. Jones, wife of evangelist Bob Jones III, called Beauty and the Best: A Handbook of Christian Loveliness. ''It's about how a Christian woman should present herself in the workplace,'' says Powers, 23, who plays born-again chastity-belter Jane Halliday on L.A. Law. ''It talks about the way you sit, the way you walk, your skirt length, fingernails, makeup-it's amazing.'' Going by the book, Powers herself could be in trouble with the Lord. On her day off, the TV virgin is smoking a Chesterfield, ignoring the four open buttons on her shirt, and sporting a pixie haircut (her Law 'do is a wig). ''According to the book,'' she says, ''hair so short that it looks mannish is against God. I know, I'm a sinner.'' For the New York City-born Powers, who grew up in an ''artsy, liberal environment'' on both coasts with her divorced parents (Dad teaches acting; Mom used to write for Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island), learning fundamentalist fundamentals is a job requirement. If Law lecher Arnie Becker is scrutinizing Jane's every move, so are the preachers and religious pundits. Powers says she asked Law's producers, '''Is she a virgin now, and then in eight episodes a nymphomaniac?' They assured me they weren't going to do that. A lot of care is being taken to make sure that if she says she stands for something, she stands for that.'' Powers, who got her big break as a coed in 1989's Dead Poets Society and played a white-trash seductress in the recent NBC miniseries A Matter of Justice, doesn't adhere to any religion: ''I've sort of looked and searched. I was a Buddhist for about six months.'' But she does share with Jane an old- ) fashioned faith in love. Married three months to actor Barry Sherman, 23, Powers laments, ''I have to take my ring off when I go to work. And that makes me sad, because I put the ring on and I don't want to ever have to take it off.'' -Jeff Gordinier

Originally posted Dec 03, 1993 Published in issue #199 Dec 03, 1993 Order article reprints
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