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Our interview with Jaimie Alexander from “Thor”

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Adrian

Recently we had the great honor of speaking with Jaimie Alexander, who plays Lady Sif in the upcoming film Thor. Thank you to Jaimie and to Page for arranging the interview.  Don’t forget that the film comes out on May 6

Before The Trailer: How did you become involved with the “Thor” production?

Jaimie Alexander: I went into an audition back in 2009 and a few weeks later I got the part.

What was it like finding out you had this part?

JA: Pretty surreal. I had heard about the project months and months in advance before auditioning for it and I just thought ‘Oh, it would be such a great experience to be a part of this,’ and I just kind of got a feeling about it. But, you know, that kind of goes away and then all of the sudden I have an audition for it. And I’m a huge comic book fan, so I knew I could play Lady Sif. Like I knew physically I was very similar to her in the comic books. I just thought, man if they go with somebody with less credits then that would be amazing. And sure enough Ken Branagh did.

BTT: You’re a comic book fan then? So you were familiar with the story already?

JA: I’m kind of familiar with “Thor,” not as much as I was with “X-Men” or “Spider-Man.” I used to read those because my brothers had them growing up. I did know about the “Avengers” though and that’s how I started looking into “Thor,” and I really refreshed my memory back when I first heard about the project which was – I think the summer of 2009 that I started hearing about “Thor.” So I just kind of looked at it anyways just to refresh my memory, and sure enough I auditioned a few months later and got the part.

BTT: You were a little familiar with it then, so from what you were able to tell was it pretty faithful to the comic book or were there some artistic liberties taken?

JA: The movie itself – it does have some similarities to the comic book, but the film also has its own story, its own spin on things. So it’s got a little of both for everybody. You know, the diehard comic book fans I think will be quite pleased and then the newcomers to “Thor” will also like it. I mean, it’s an action film, it’s got romance, it’s got sci-fi fantasy. It’s just everything across the board.

BTT: So this is one of the films that leads into the “Avengers,” so do any of the other heroes show up in “Thor”?

JA: I can’t tell you that. (Laughs)

BTT: Fair enough.

BTT: Going back to the audition period – you’re doing physical action in the movie, aren’t you?

JA: Yes.

BTT: Did they test you to make sure you were able to do that or was it just acting skills you were audition with?

JA: No, it was just the acting I auditioned with, but when I went to have an interview over at Marvel, Kevin Feige and Craig Kyle both kind of asked me about my upbringing and my childhood. I said, ‘Look, I have four brothers, I was on my high school wrestling team.’ And there were things about my personality that I think they figured ‘Oh, she can definitely handle this.’

BTT: And will Lady Sif be apart of the “Avengers” movie?

JA: I can’t comment on that either.

BTT: Fair enough on that!

BTT: What were the most difficult aspects for you for filming this movie?

JA: At first I was very nervous about doing a British accent, but I worked with an amazing dialect coach. Her name is Julie Adams. Fantastic woman. She worked with all of us and then it was… and then it was easy and it became more about an attitude than an accent and once I looked at it that way it became easier. But the physical stuff wasn’t – for me it was tough but I loved it and I wasn’t scared about it because I knew I could handle it, but yeah, that accent made me nervous at first.

BTT: From what I hear you’re running around in corsets?

JA: Yeah. (Laughs.)

BTT: That wasn’t difficult?

JA: You know… I forgot about that! You know what happened was, when they were training us in stunts we – I trained for about three months prior to shooting, and I had to lose some weight as well. I wasn’t particularly in that great of shape when I got the role. So they said ‘We want you to get real strong.’ They didn’t ask me to get thin, which I thought was awesome because I wouldn’t do that anyway. But they asked me to lift some weights, run, get flexible, get skilled with my weapons and that sort of stuff. So part of that was wearing the corsets during the training because I thought, if I can – I need to know if I can run in this thing, because I can’t really breathe as much as I’d like to and my movement’s restricted, so I started training with it on. And I had like three different corsets that I switched through – some were tighter than the others and that sort of thing. And then I started training in the boots, which had a bit of a heel on them and so that way… cause I could run all day long without the corset, but with it on – which I had to wear every single day all day long. There wasn’t one outfit that I had that didn’t have a corset under it. So, yeah, it was rough! I’m not gonna lie!

BTT: There’s some bigger names in this film, like Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. How was it working with them?

JA: They were great. I love Anthony Hopkins. He was really good. During rehearsal he would always help me out a little bit and he would tell me the funniest stories about what had happened to him when he was younger first entering the acting profession. You know, he just made everyone feel at ease and he would always come into work with a huge smile on his face and give everybody a hug and just chat with everybody. I didn’t matter what rank you were. You know what I mean? Like, you could be the lead cast member, you could be an extra, you could be a janitor, you could be the director – he treated everyone the same, which I thought was really awesome. And Natalie is an incredibly intelligent woman who’s very regal on her own and she’s a fantastic actress. She’s very respectful and very funny and she’s a hard worker, so it was fun working with both of them.

BTT: If you don’t mind – if we could change gears for a moment and talk about “Savannah”?

JA: Sure.

BTT: What can you tell us about “Savannah” and about your character in the film?

JA: Well, it’s a post Civil War drama about a fella named Ward Allen played by Jim Caviezel and this is based on a true story. I play his wife, Lucy Stubbs. And pretty much it just chronicles this man’s life. And he gave up a lot of wealth to just live on his own on the river, being a duck hunter. And he also befriends an ex-slave, which is really unheard of for the time period, which was the late 1800s to early 1900s. So he was a very unconventional man for his time and my character was in love with that because she was quite liberal for being a young woman in Savannah, Georgia post-Civil War. So they fall in love. It’s very, very much like a Scarlett O’Hara/Rhett Butler relationship. They just love each other so much that half the time they hated each other. And it’s a fantastic story. It’s a very sad story, but it’s got some funny bits in it. And it was just a great period drama to work on and I’m lucky that I got it. And Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Christmas Moultrie, is such a fantastic actor and such a pleasure to be around. And Sam Shepard, Hal Holbrook – I mean all those guys are really great and they’ve been in the business far longer than I have so it was a really great learning experience.

BTT: For the part of Lucy Stubbs, did you audition or did they come to you for the part?

JA: I read for it back in June of 2010, right when I got finished with “Thor.” And at the time I was pretty muscular. (Laughs.) I was probably way too fit to be this dainty girl in the 1800s or early 1900s, but I went in and I read for it. The script was written like a novel. I mean it was so beautifully written and I hadn’t read anything like that in so long that I was hellbent on being a part of it. And then fast forward to December 2010, I get this call and they’re like ‘Hey, the movie’s a go, we want you to play this character. What do you say?’ And I just said, ‘Yeah, why not?’

BTT: And what was it like transitioning from working on this major blockbuster action movie to a reality-based period film?

JA: You know, they’re very different, but it’s interesting because Lady Sif and Lucy Stubbs have this same sort of fire in their eyes that I was attracted to. Their personalities are very fiery and very passionate and I think that’s why I was attracted to those characters. But I had already done an independent film last year in the summer and fall called “Loosies” that was written by Peter Facinelli – and he also stars in it, and so I actually quite like independent films. It was a lot of fun. There’s a lot of freedom on them and you have a little more control than you would have in a big blockbuster.

BTT: To wrap things up – at Before the Trailer we like movie locations – so from all the places you’ve ever filmed in, do you have a favorite location that sticks in your mind?

JA: Oooh… umm… actually my favorite city I’ve filmed in is New York, and that’s mainly because there’s an energy there that is like nowhere else I’ve been and luckily, when you get off late from work there’s always places to eat. Like, “Savannah” – we would get off at 10:30/11 o’clock at night and everything was closed like the grocery story, the convenience store – I mean, maybe a gas station was open and you’d just be like ‘Well, I guess I’m not eating dinner tonight!’ But New York is such an amazing place and I filmed “Nurse Jackie” there and it was – it was awesome. I mean, it’s such an awesome place.

BTT: And – just for fun – if you could be in a movie – it doesn’t matter what the movie was about – that was being filmed anywhere in the world – where would that be?

JA: Ooooh…. Ummmm…. There’s so many places I want to travel to, but I have to say I would love to film in London. I’ve never been to London and I have a few friends that live over there that have worked as actors over there and they tell you it’s incredible. So I say London.

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