The Individualists: Superheroes Hit the Spot for Jaimie Alexander

Jaimie Alexander Interview Individualists
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
SPONSORED

The 'Blindspot' star opens up about what she loves about her Marvel and NBC characters

Jaimie Alexander has super powers in real life.

Perhaps she’s picked them up from her roles as Thor’s battle partner Lady Sif in Marvel’s “Thor” films or as Jane, the tattooed mystery woman of NBC’s “Blindspot,” but she was most likely just born with these abilities: She can photographically memorize things (like her lines, which she learns instantly the morning she’s to do a scene) and read minds (like anticipating questions before we asked them).

Her talent and those “superpowers” have served her well. She was just out of high school when she filled in for a sick friend at a meeting with a scouting agency, and that led her to a career in acting. Alexander chooses roles that speak to her, and for those that don’t, she isn’t shy about recommending another actor she thinks is best for the job.

As part of a collaboration between the Autograph Collection’s The Individualists series and Variety, we spoke to Alexander between “Blindspot” takes about relying on her gut to find the right projects and refusing to take roles that cater to a male lead.

***

You seem to easily go between big-budget television projects (“Agents of SHIELD”), small-budget/indie drama (“Savannah”) and blockbuster sci-fi (“Thor”). Do you work differently in each arena?

I do. I tend to draw from people around me. For now, I’m in New York City walking around the streets with my headphones in; I watch people. I’m very interested in what makes people tick; people are so weird and complicated. I want to incorporate what I see in the world in my art. Shooting here at the moment (is being a part of a) mixing pot — culture, languages, food, different skin tones, hair, height, weight, everything. I (incorporate this stuff) differently with each role, but I guess the process is all the same. Especially because I have no formal training to rely on, I just wing it. I go with the flow and follow the energy. I’m lucky it’s gotten me this far.

There you go, answering my question before I ask it. Tell us more about working in NYC.

I find the energy in NYC is more free flowing — so many levels of it. I find Los Angeles a bit desperate. For me, the energy there is bad. I’ve really enjoyed being in New York because there are so many other industries here, while where I live in L.A. the only industry is the entertainment industry. You tend to feel like you’re in a bubble of redundancy. Not to sound too hippie, but I work so much off of energy. I’m a Pisces, and that’s part of who I am. I just gravitate towards NYC.

What was the energy of your character Jane in “Blindspot” that drew you to her?

I’d read so many pilots, and I got offered a lot of stuff, which I’m extremely thankful for, but nothing was really striking a chord with me. All of the female characters were written to cater to the male lead, something I’ve always had a problem with. There are a lot of strong, female actresses out there — physically and emotionally — who are able to show so much range, yet the writing these days still isn’t on par with the talent. When I read “Blindspot,” it really struck a chord because I knew I’d need to utilize all of my talents — my fight background, (finding) the emotional depth of the character, her vulnerability. I love showing vulnerability. It’s important and not a weakness. Deep down, I felt like (Jane) was written for me.

Another strong female role you’ve taken on is Lady Sif. You’ve played her in two “Thor” films, hopefully the third — directed by indie darling Taika Waititi — and in “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”

I genuinely love the character Sif. Each time I get to play her, there’s this growth in the character and we find out more of who she is. That is a blast, because I’ve been able to slowly create this woman while still taking directions from all the comic books that existed before my performance. It’s interesting that Sif has such a big backstory, whereas Jane has no backstory at all; they’re very opposite while at the same time both very tough and vulnerable. It’s a bit of a niche for me, I guess.

You were up for “Wonder Woman,” but Gal Gadot got the part. Was that a disappointment for you?

Not at all. I’m excited to see what she’s going to do with the role. I was one of a few people that were an obvious choice for Wonder Woman, but it was never going to happen. I’m contracted with Marvel and it would (be) strange. Sif, in her way, is Marvel’s Wonder Woman. They’re both ethereal and have armor and a sword, and have special abilities; the physicality of the role is very similar. The thing I really enjoy about Marvel is that they start with a character first and all the explosions and costumes, the glitz and glam, are secondary to who the actual character is deep down. That’s something I haven’t really been able to find with DC Comics. I know that’s a bold statement, but it’s been my experience.

I’m a huge comic book fan, and I’ve read a lot from all different comic book outlets. I enjoy Marvel, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in the “Thor” films. I gravitate towards the Marvel characters. Of course, growing up I really loved Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman; there will never be a better Wonder Woman. I was also a huge fan of Sigourney Weaver. Walt Simonson told me that his version of Lady Sif was very much modeled after seeing Sigourney Weaver walk down the New York streets in a red trench coat. I thought, ‘Oh, well she’s my favorite, so that’s perfect. That’s just so perfect for me.’

Do you have a particular place you like to escape to?

It always was New York, until I started working here a lot. I think, for me, a place that I like to escape would be Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love Santa Fe, it’s my favorite place. I can’t even explain it, and that’s why I know it’s true. There’s just a feeling I get when I’m there. I love the altitude, I love the people, I love the energy there. I love the hippie vibe there. I love the food, I love all of it. It’s just a relaxed way of life there I really enjoy.

See More: Chelsea Handler on Netflix: “I’m Asking Questions, Making an Idiot of Myself”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 12

Leave a Reply

12 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Robert says:

    Sif is a much better character than Wonder Woman anyway, in general. There have been a few well written Wonder Woman stories, but often she’s been written terribly “I don’t know who I am,” said Diana (many, many, times…) I do think Sif COULD use a power boost to make her closer to an equal to Thor- she was the Goddess of Skill in Norse Myth, that should translate more in comics- maybe making her clearly the best swordswoman, and a better, faster, warrior, even if she can’t equal Thor in strength and doesn’t have Mjolnir (she still can carve dimensional portals with her sword, however, which is pretty cool…) And maybe give her an items that allows her to fly (Freya’s winged cloak will do…)

    • peeper says:

      Robert. Good points all. So tell me why the powers-that-be selected a skinny brunette to play this role? Yes, I understand that casting crews have license to rewrite lore… but then, why did they take such pains to portray Thor in a true light? Lore of Lady Sif states that she had an obsession with her corn colored long locks. She is also a woman of strength. Although Ms. Alexander is beautiful, she doesn’t appear to look the part of the Norse Goddess she portrays, nor does she- with those frail skinny arms and pencil thin legs- look like she could kick the arse of a pre-teen boy let alone a man. Maybe a good hairdresser and a few months in the gym could have better prepared her for the part. Just not believable.

  2. Binx says:

    Are all those claiming they sense jealousy in the article male? Maybe she actually likes Marvel better. Or is she not allowed an opinion?

  3. i know what sif’s superpower is. its jealousy.

  4. Chi D says:

    Dear Variety: Ms Carter’s first name is spelled “Lynda”.

  5. beautiful woman, terrible actress…

  6. Theodore says:

    She jelly. Big time. God, girl, ask your producer what he sees in DC.

    His name is Greg Berlanti.

    Funny woman.

  7. AllComicsFan says:

    This chick has obiviously never picked up a DC comic in her life. In fact if I was one of the great DC writers/artist they have had over the years I think they would have a right to be a little insulted. (That’s not to say Marvel hasn’t had their great comics over the years because they have)
    Also Lady Sif is what Wonder Woman would be if she was powerless but then even Wonder Woman could probably kick her ass.
    On another note what is the MCU casts obsession with casting shade on DC and their characters? Insecure much?

  8. lol smh, so you telling me that if zack snyder came to her and said (hey we want you to be our new wonder woman) and become the first women to play the most the most female iconic super hero of all time in BvS which you will also get your own stand alone film, she would have said: nah ill past ill just stay as lady sif? Get the fuck out of here!!!!

    • AllComicsFan says:

      Exactly, honestly she just comes off as bitter. She would not turn down that role if she could have signed with them because ‘oh DC doesn’t have much character in their books,’ what a load of crap. You head the nail on the head.

  9. sureeeeeeeeeeeeeeee says:

    Lol ok

More Film News from Variety

Loading