In the Marvel’s newest sequel “Thor: The Dark World,” actress Jaimie Alexander reprises her role as Sif, an Asgardian warrior who fights alongside Thor in a battle between good versus evil in hopes of bringing peace back to the Nine Realms. During an interview with me, Alexander, 29, who actually suffered an injury on the movie set last year, talked about portraying a strong female character and revealed what her true dream role actually is (contrary to popular belief, it’s not Wonder Woman).
After your injury last year on the set of “Thor: The Dark World” and going through therapy, was it a little daunting for you to jump back into the physical aspects of your role?
Well, I’m a superhero, so it wasn’t that scary. (Laughs) Honestly, I got back out there pretty quick and just kept fighting. I was literally fighting on set five minutes after it happened. But I did the rehab to make sure everything was working the way it should, and then I got back out there. I was ready to kick some butt again.
Does it feel liberating to be playing this strong female character? I mean, not many actresses get a chance to wield a sword and, as you say, kick butt for a living.
It’s kind of awesome. I wish I could do that in real life with some people, but I’d probably get arrested. But, you know, it is difficult to find well-written female roles. I’ve been really lucky to be a part of the Marvel universe. They write women well and there’s no catch. Nobody is asking me to run around with big boobs. I’m very selective with the roles I choose.
Yeah, I mean, it would’ve been easy to put you in a costume that showed a lot more skin, but Marvel usually tries to keep it classy.
Yeah, it’s really great when you’re in a movie where they start with the character and build on that and then describe the [character’s] looks and other things. That’s what you have to do when you want to write a well-developed character.
What were your initial thoughts about the costume change Sif gets from the first movie to this new installment?
You know, the first film was our first go at it. I don’t really think we understood how much we were going to have to lose in the costume. When we started doing the fight scenes [in the first movie], we started ripping the pants and breaking the armor. So, during the second time around for “Thor: The Dark World,” we were able to make adjustments to make the costume more flexible. A few adjustments can make all the difference, especially since you’re in it day in and day out.
Are you ever surprised when something as small as a costume change can rile up so much conversation between hardcore Marvel fans online?
Yes, it’s amazing! I’ve been asked a few times why Sif doesn’t wear a Viking helmet. But we definitely try to keep the color tones the same even though it’s a little bit of a different design. We didn’t want to change too much.
Of course, you can’t make everyone happy with every decision the studio makes with these comic book-inspired movies. Does that put added pressure on you as an actress to get it right for Marvel fans looking at the little things others might not see?
Yeah, I always want to do a good job, especially when it comes to these types of films that have such dedicated fans. It’s my job to do well. I adore these fans. I did as much research as I could and I made sure I added in the little quirks and gestures of the character in the comic books just to appease the fans. And when it comes to the costume, there are so many cooks in the kitchen, but it really does come down to the editor as to what ends up on the cutting room floor and what doesn’t. You never know what it’s going to end up looking like until you see the movie.
In the comics, the relationship between Sif and Thor is the main love story, but in the movie the powers that be decided Jane Foster would be Thor’s new love interest. So, tell us: Why do you think Sif makes a better girlfriend than Jane?
(Laughs) Well, I’m a goddess! (Laughs) That would have to be the No. 1 reason why! But really, Sif and Thor grew up together. They know each other really well. There is a camaraderie there. There’s an expectation to uphold the Asgardian way. There is a partnership there that was instilled in both of them. It’s like growing up with your best friend and then realizing you’re in love with that person as you get older. It’s as big of a shock to you as it is to them. I think we touch on that a little bit in this film. It’s just the beginning of it.
Do you think Sif could handle her own movie? What would that movie look and feel like?
I would love for Sif to have her own movie. I would absolutely love to do that. I think it would be fun. I think it would be similar to “Thor” and really explore her personality and the training she goes through to get ready for battle. I would love to see “Sif and the Warriors Three.” It’s like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” you know?
Do you know if Hot Toys is finally going to make a Sif action figure?
You know, I know there is an action figure out there because I was sent one. I know there was one for the first film. I don’t know if there’s going to be one for this film. I imagine there would be something. Maybe you can get a teddy bear and put a Halloween costume on it.
I know you’ve probably been asked about Wonder Woman a billion times already and I’m sure there are a lot of elements you have to consider before saying yes to a hypothetical role. But let’s say that you get offered the role today and everything is perfect: the script, the director, the tone, everything. Would you say yes or no to that right now?
Well, if all the ducks were in a row I would absolutely say yes. I’m a huge fan of Wonder Woman growing up. I just haven’t seen anything that proves [a movie] would be good. I’ve been one of the candidates for [Wonder Woman] since 2007. It just seems like the franchise is cursed or something. They really need to make [Wonder Woman’s] looks secondary. Hair and makeup and costumes can do wonders, but it’s not what’s important. Really, they’re only looking at models to play her – not to say a model can’t be a good actress – but they really need to find someone that embodies who Wonder Woman is. There is a real void out there that needs to be filled when it comes to female role models. I think Wonder Woman would be an amazing role model if it is done well.
Well, on Twitter you describe yourself as a “professional ninja and pizza eater,” so maybe your real dream role isn’t Wonder Woman. Maybe you really want to be a Ninja Turtle.
Oh, I would totally be Donatello. Actually, I would’ve probably be Splinter. When I started my Twitter account I put that on there because it sounded like a Ninja Turtle, but nobody has ever said anything about it except for you! But, I’m really looking forward to the new “Ninja Turtles” movie. I hope it doesn’t suck.