Recently, the lovely Jaimie Alexander who played the character of Sif in this years box office hit, THOR, sat down with HomeTheaterForum for an exclusive interview.
Jaimie talked about working on Thor, her days on ABC Family's short-lived Kyle XY, and her upcoming drama, Savannah.
Thor arrives on Blu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray, and DVD on September 13, 2011.
HTF: Hi, Jaimie. How are you?
Jaimie: Pretty good. How are you?
HTF: I’m doing well. Thanks for talking with Home Theater Forum today.
HTF: So you were born in South Carolina. You still live there or are you out west now?
Jaimie: Well, I was born in Greenville South Carolina, but I moved to Texas at a really young age and I grew up in Grapevine, Texas.
HTF: I don’t hear a southern accent.
Jaimie: You know, I’ve, I’ve been British, I’ve been so many different accents that I think I got rid of my southern accent. However, I can pull it out when I need it.
HTF: There we go. So I watched Thor last night and I was paying particular attention to your British accent because I myself have a British accent. You may be able to tell.
HTF: And I thought you did really well, so congratulations.
Jaimie: Thank you. Thank you so much.
HTF: Was that tough? ‘Cause I know the production was pretty international. British Kenneth Branagh, you had Idris Elba, Australia, Chris Hemsworth. And I think Stellan is from Sweden. Did you find that difficult to keep up with your English accent with all those other competing ones going on?
Jaimie: I mean, sometimes, and, and I think more so than having an English accent it was more about all of us matching each other’s accent, so sometimes it may not be full-on, uh, you know, standard RP British accent or whatever, but it, it would, you know, Ken just really wanted us to make sure that we matched each other so that we have, had a uniform way of speaking, so, our whole goal was just to make sure that we were all the same.
HTF: Well that makes sense.
HTF: So how did it feel stepping into the Thor and the Marvel universe?
Jaimie: Oh, it was so great. I just, I found that I fit really well there, you know, and parts of it came really easily, like the physical side and that sort of thing, and I’m just so proud to be part of that family over there.
HTF: So were you familiar with the Thor universe and Marvel Comics or did you have a geek friend who filled you in, or how did you enter that universe?
Jaimie: Before shooting Thor I was pretty familiar with Marvel Comics, like X?Men and Spider Man, and all, you know, all the major ones. And I knew about Thor but I knew more of the mythology, less about the comics so I really had to refresh my memory and that was obviously the most fun research ever, you know. Who gets to say that they get to go and train and, you know get an impressive body and at the same time get to go and read comic books for work? It’s just like –
HTF: Yeah, it’s not a bad thing.
Jaimie: is there anything better?
HTF: Yeah, it’s not a bad gig at all.
Jaimie: No, it’s not.
HTF: So you did get to kick some butt and I’m sure your wrestling team days helped you with the physicality of that role. Did you do a lot of your own stunts? Did you have a stunt person handle the more dangerous stuff, or were you itching to roll up your sleeves and start punching?
Jaimie: I did a lot of my own stunts. There were a few there that, um, I was not allowed to do, and I have a great stuntwoman who’s doubled me for years. Her name is Kylie Furneaux, and she just did such a fantastic job I think. We trained together three months prior to shooting and learned all the stunts together and learned the fight sequences and, you know, they were always changing. I went from fighting 12 guys at once to fighting 3 and then to fighting 8, and so, it was just great. She’s a terrific lady to learn from and a very perfect double for me.
HTF: So how did you find working in the special effects environments, because I know there were likely some physical environments, but a lot of backdrops where visual effects and some of the things you had to fight were visual effects. How did you find some of that work? Was that a challenge?
Jaimie: You know, I thought it was gonna be really difficult but because Ken is so theatrical when he needs to be, he would get on a megaphone or a microphone and call out to us what was happening so that the six, the core six of us, would react in unison. Because sometimes it’s hard. One person will react before the next person does or whatnot and he was just so great at it, and really, you know, you started to be afraid when he was telling you what was going on because he’s so animated in how he describes things and so it was a lot of fun. He definitely was the glue that held us all together.
HTF: So, you know, Kenneth of course is pretty well connected with the Shakespearean universe. Did you at times feel you were participating in a pseudo-Shakespearean play during some of the Asgard scenes in particular?
Jaimie: You know, I think there was that, that element was definitely there, whether he tried to have it or not, but I would say more so in the preparation for shooting, you know, in the rehearsals and all of that stuff. We did a lot of rehearsing, which is very new to me. I hadn’t really done that on a film or television before, so yeah, his preparation, like that was, I think that’s where most of the theater background that he has came through during rehearsal. You know, we were very prepared. We knew exactly what we were gonna do and when the day came and especially with the stunt work and, and all that kind of stuff, and so it was great. It was definitely a huge learning experience because I don’t have a theater background at all.
HTF: So I actually remember you from Kyle XY–
Jaimie: Mm hmm.
HTF: – and, I wanted to ask you about that. Did you have fun on that show and do you miss it? I mean I know you’ve moved on –
Jaimie: Oh yeah. I had a great time on that show and it was a huge learning experience for me. We shot it in Vancouver and so it was my first time to work outside of the country for that long of a time, you know, for two years. And I still keep in close contact with all the cast members, most of them, and, you know, most of us were thinking, it’s a shame how ABC Family ended that series and didn’t give proper closure and we’ve tossed around the idea between each other about doing like a finale movie or like something that would end it properly, but I’m not sure ABC Family is too keen on that idea, but I would definitely be a part of it.
HTF: Yeah, it was a shame how they ended it.
Jaimie: It’s a huge part of my career, you know.
HTF: Yeah. And, and so I see that you’re gonna be in the period drama Savannah which I think’s in post right now. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jaimie: Well that was really fun for me. The character’s very much a Scarlett O’Hara type of character and so it’s very different from Thor, but there’s still that same fire that I had in Thor, I have in Savannah, and working with the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who’s amazing. He’s definitely a good friend of mine now and, and I learned a lot from him and, you know, Sam Shepherd. Love Sam Shepherd. And then of course, Jim Caviezel is in it and it was a great experience and the costumes were lovely and being down in Savannah. We actually shot where it took place. It’s based on a true story. It was just really neat to learn, you know, or to relearn that history that some of us forget that existed, you know.
HTF: Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s a good point.
HTF: I’m looking forward to that. That sounds like an interesting story. So what do you know about a Thor sequel?
Jaimie: I know, um, bits and pieces, but I’m not at liberty to tell you what they are, sir (giggles).
HTF: So outside of what you know and can’t say, what would you like to see happen, what kind of continuation for your character and Thor at the movies would you like to see?
Jaimie: Well, what I would like to see, and I honestly, I don’t really know the storyline of the sequel or anything or everybody’s participation in it. We still don’t know, but I would love to see things progress between Thor and Sif. I think that’s the natural thing for me to want to see. But I’d also love to see Beta Ray Bill. If, if they were gonna do that, that would be awesome, and I’d love to see,, you know, I’d love for the audience to be able to get to know Sif a little bit better, just from my point of view, you know, and maybe a little bit of history between the queen and Sif, or the king and Sif, and a little bit of back story there about how they grew up and that kind of stuff. So, we’ll see though. I mean, Marvel’s, Marvel’s got their own agenda there and they always execute it perfectly, so.
HTF: Yeah, I thought it was interesting, I know it’s probably not an obvious parallel, but a little bit of Robin Hood and the Merry Men, and of course you and your three compadres were the Merry Men and I always think that’s a really great dynamic to show on screen, especially, you know for action adventure films like Thor is, to bring some of that dynamic more to the fore. Like, like you did in the, in the town scene, fighting the big Destroyer thing. I thought that was a a really fun scene and it would be fun to see more of that in a sequel, so here’s fingers crossed that that comes about.
HTF: How was it seeing yourself in 3D?
Jaimie: Um, you know, it’s weird, to be in the theater and you look up and you’re, you know, ginormously tall and huge on this huge screen, but it fun because honestly when I was watching it, I didn’t really notice that it was me. I know that sounds silly, but I was, I felt like I was watching somebody else and then there were times where I was like, oh yes, yes, that was me. I was there. I remember that. But it’s fun, and it was so fun to see all my friends that I’ve become so close to up on that screen and doing their thing and, I mean, we worked really hard. You know, we trained three months prior, and then we shot for five months and each day was physically draining, in the best way possible, but it was just so awesome to see the finished product. But yeah, the 3D thing is a little weird. It totally tripped my mom out. She thought it was pretty cool.
HTF: So I know this is Paramount’s first, or I believe it’s their first, commercial 3D release on Blu-ray. Are you set up for 3D at home, or not yet?
Jaimie: Not yet. I do have a Blu-ray player but I haven’t progressed to the 3D TV just yet.
HTF: Well, you will have to now that it’s out on 3D and Blu-ray in the next week or so.
Jaimie: That’s a good excuse to go get one though, isn’t it?
HTF: Yeah. Well thank you again for talking with Home Theater Forum, and congratulations on the film and, looking forward to Savannah, and of best of luck for the future.
Jaimie: Thank you so much.