If Jaimie Alexander has somehow flown under your radar thus far, you might want to get a new radar.
Yes, Alexander's awfully nice to look at, but that's not the only reason to keep an eye on the rising star; she's also well on her way to becoming a bona fide action hero.
Alexander is probably best known for playing Lady Sif in Marvel's "Thor," a role she'll be regally reprising in "Thor: The Dark World," which debuts this November.
And with her recent gig playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Governator's big comeback film, "The Last Stand," Alexander certainly pumped up her action resume. Alexander plays Sarah Torrance, a small-town police officer who stands shoulder to shoulder with grizzled Chief Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) and a ragtag host of deputies (including Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville) to fend off a drug kingpin trying to shoot his way across the Mexican border. It's an old-school, good vs bad action flick, and Alexander more than holds her own.
While promoting this week's home entertainment release of "The Last Stand," Alexander spoke with us over the phone. Besides chatting about why the film got a bum rap and what it's like to shoot an action flick with Arnold, Alexander also spoke candidly about what we can expect from Lady Sif in the next "Thor," how her high school wrestling days prepared her for action, and whether or not she can beat up her boyfriend, "Twilight" star Peter Facinelli.
Adam Pockross: I have to say, I loved "The Last Stand". But it wasn’t received the way that I thought it would be. What did a lot of critics miss?
Jaimie Alexander: I think a lot of people didn’t know what to expect from the movie and that has a lot to do with marketing. And I think what was on the surface wasn’t as appealing to some people.
And also at the time, unfortunately, the horrible tragedy of the Newtown shootings, we had a lot of that with what was going on with our film. A lot of the press questions had to do with gun control and so it just kind of outweighed the fun aspect of something that’s an alternate reality. It's fantasy and I just think people didn’t want to see that type of movie at that time.
I think they missed the fact that this is a movie about a small town that bands together to try to do what’s right, to try to put an end to a violent man who has hurt a lot of people. We were all law enforcement, and I think people kind of missed that story and just thought it was about shooting guns and blowing stuff up.
Unfortunately, that’s kind of what happened, but I’m hoping that people in the comfort of their own homes with a DVD will enjoy it and see that it’s a fun movie. It’s a movie that makes me very proud. I’ve worked really hard on it and I’ve really truly loved my cast members and crew. And I think when you see the movie you’ll be able to see how well everybody really got along and how much we actually really do care for each other off screen and on screen.
AP: How did you get involved with the project in the first place? What was the first time you met Arnold?
JA: Well, I got called by a casting director. Actually, my agents did and said, "Hey, I think this is a perfect role for you." And so I read the script and I went in and met with the director and producers and I was like, "Wow, I really like this." And then a couple of months went by and I said, "Well, I guess maybe they’re not making it."
And then the offer came through and within nine days I had to be on the set and I was like, "Oh, geez," like I probably should learn how to correctly handle these weapons because I’m playing a law enforcement agent. And then I met Arnold at work on set and he was just so, so sweet, down to earth, funny, extremely excited to be there. Just like seeing a small child on Christmas morning, pretty much.
AP: You were at the "Iron Man 3" premiere recently. Have you ever gone to any of the Twilight premieres with Peter [Facinelli]?
AP: So you get the call and realize nine days later you have to show up for something that you’ve never done before. What was the first thing you did to prepare?
JA: I tried to get in the gym because I know what this feels like, I know what action movies require. At the time I had gone through – it’s really funny, well now it’s funny, it wasn’t then – I had shot something in Toronto and they have really bad poison ivy there, or poison sumac or something, and I was covered in it. Because I spent two days straight soaking wet in a riverbed, like army crawling up this riverbed and I didn’t know that there was poison ivy everywhere. So it took me out off work for two and a half months. I mean it was horrible. I couldn’t work out, I couldn’t do anything.
And then I get this call and they say, "You have nine days. You’ve got to get out to Albuquerque." And I said, "Oh God." And the first sequence was the shoot out at night, and I said, "I’ve got to get in the gym and start running!" Because I know that this is going to be a lot of cardio. It’s going to require a lot of stamina. And so I did that first and then as soon as I got to Albuquerque, they trained us with an ex-LAPD officer on how to handle the guns and how to follow protocol so I could come across as an officer and have some authenticity to it. Because sometimes people don’t go that extra mile to make it look real, and I wanted to do that.
So from everything down to the hair, the make-up, everything, I wanted everything to be very, very simple. I didn’t want to be dolled up. I didn’t want to be the hot girl in the movie. I wanted to be the officer in the movie, the female officer. You know, I really wanted it to be realistic.
AP: Well, you were definitely that, but you were also the hot girl.
JA: No! That's Genesis's [Rodriguez] job!
AP: Speaking of jobs, when they announced they’re doing a reboot of Lara Croft, our managing editor was like, "Jaimie Alexander is definitely Lara Croft." Would you want that role?
JA: Absolutely, I would love that. I’ve been approached by outside parties about it. Nobody directly having to do with the film, but I’ve seen some of those campaigns on the internet. It’s either Lara Croft or Wonder Woman and both are very flattering to me and I’m very appreciative that people think that I could play a role like that. I mean, I do something similar as Lady Sif, but Lara Croft would be a lot of fun. I like the sassiness of her, I like the strength. She’s not quite a superhero which is really great. But she does have these amazing abilities. And I just -- yeah, I would love that.
AP: Speaking of Lady Sif, I'm wondering what we can expect from her coming up in "Thor"?
JA: Well, you definitely see her sacrifice a lot for the man that she loves and the people that she loves: the Asgardians. You really see how strong of a woman she really is and you see a more vulnerable side. And what’s great about this is that you get to explore more of the Asgardian's everyday life. So you get to see the warriors, where they came from, what their families are like.
It was really fun to film. We do obviously explore the Thor-Sif relationship a bit and just the hardships that go with that.
Jaimie Alexander: I’ve been to one but it was a small one in New York. I actually didn’t get to stay for the movie either. There were some people there that didn’t have seats. So we gave them our seats. So I've actually never seen any of them.
JA: Yeah. I know.
AP: Is that a sour point between you two?
JA: No, not at all. Oh my goodness, no. It’s all good.
AP: Any chance we’ll see Lady Sif in "The Avengers 2"?
JA: There’s always that possibility, but I can’t tell you.
AP: Did you work Joss Whedon a little bit?
JA: Oh, you know, I’m always like, "Hey, Mr. Buffy." Oh, I was a huge fan of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," a huge fan. I mean, I think that man’s work is fantastic. So – yes, there is a possibility that you may see Sif in "Avengers." But to be quite honest, I have no idea. They wouldn’t tell me until right before, but I would love that.
AP: And have you spoken with Arnold lately?
JA: We have – it’s so funny now. We have a lot of mutual fitness friends with different fitness magazines and stuff and I write a little bit for his website. I’m doing some fitness tips on a female side, from a female point of view, which is really cool.
AP: So, have you always been into fitness? I have been reading through some of your tweets and seen that you tweet a lot about it. And I noticed something on your IMDB page that you were a high school wrestler?
JA: Yeah, I was. I know, I don’t know why I laugh now because back in the day I was like, "Yeah, so?" But now it’s like, kind of weird.
AP: Did you wrestle against guys?
JA: In the beginning, I trained with guys, I wrestled two boys in exhibition matches; they didn’t count. It was at R. L. Turner High School – which I think Vanilla Ice went to, in Texas – and I won both matches. But I still, to this day, I don’t really know, I mean it was hard, but I really don’t know if I won because they gave up or if I won because I actually beat them. I’d like to think I actually beat them. But they were punks so they deserved it.
AP: I'm pretty sure they didn’t let you win. Can you beat up Peter Facinelli?
JA: Oh, I don’t know. Probably not, he’s pretty strong. He works out a lot.
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