Actress Jaimie Alexander discusses playing the Goddess of War Sif in Thor, her training, working with Chris Hemsworth and Kenneth Branagh, Thor 2, The Avengers and much more.
Actress Jaimie Alexander cut her teeth through Hollywood with roles in Rest Stop and TV shows Watch Over Me and Kyle XY. The lovely actress will likely receive a big push after her latest role, portraying Sif, the Goddess of War, in Thor, which hits the shelves on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. I recently had the chance to speak with the actress over the phone, to promote this upcoming home video release. Here's what she had to say below.
I was wondering if you could start off with discussing the audition process. I read there was quite a bit of competition for Sif. Can you talk about that process and how much of the story you were actually given when you were reading for this?
Jaimie Alexander: Sure. I think I was one of the last girls to go and audition for the role of Sif. They didn't really tell us too much back story, but I knew to look towards the comics and educate myself more about who Sif is and what she's like. I went in for one audition and, a week later, I heard that (director) Kenneth Branagh, who was in Sweden at the time, wanted to do a conference call with me. I did that and then went and put myself on tape again for him, sent it to Sweden. Then I met with Marvel and got the part. It was a very fast thing for me, which is extremely rare in this business. Usually it takes awhile to get something like this. It was a two-week ordeal, and I was Sif. Yeah, it was very serendipitous, I believe, and I owe a lot of it to Kenneth, who really pushed for me. But yeah, there was a lot of competition out there, so I was very blessed to have gotten the role.
Yeah, for something like this, I wouldn't expect it to be such a short process. Were you doing anything in costume? Did you know anything about the costume you'd be wearing?
Jaimie Alexander: I didn't, no. They're very secretive. I went up to meet with Craig Kyle and Kevin Feige over at Marvel and we had some chats. They're cool dudes. We talked about my upbringing. I have four brothers and I was on the wrestling team and all this other stuff. I guess they maybe thought, 'Whoa, I guess she really is Sif.' That was on a Friday and, on the following Monday, I went in, thinking I had to do a screen test, and instead I walked into a conference room full of Marvel peeps and they all clapped and said I had the role. It was really sweet. They sort of pulled a prank on me (Laughs).
You got punked.
Jaimie Alexander: (Laughs) I did. I got punked by Marvel. It was great.
I read that you were a wrestler in high school. Was it a female wrestling team, or were you on the guy team?
Jaimie Alexander: Well, at first we trained with the guys, and then I recruited a few other girls. There was another girl that helped me start the team, and her brother coached our rival high school in wrestling, so we were like yeah, we're going to do this. There were 81 schools in Texas, at the time, that had female wrestling, so there was enough competition for us. It was really great. I think a lot of us learned self-defense, and what it means to work really hard and we each learned a lot of discipline. It was good. I'm definitely glad we did it.
In my high school, we had a girl who actually wrestled on the guy's team. I was wondering, if it was that scenario, if you drew on those experiences in wrestling to play Sif, the only female on this male team of warriors?
Jaimie Alexander: Yeah. You know, it's funny, I get that a lot. On a lot of projects I do, I'm usually one of the guys, that sort of thing (Laughs). The strong butt-kicker, that sort of thing. It definitely helped me, more so than I realized, training with the five guys that I trained with, and with Chris (Hemsworth) being the beast of a man that he is. Each of us had our own strengths and weaknesses, so we helped each other. It was really fun.
So you all trained as a group then, with the fight training before shooting?
Jaimie Alexander: Oh yeah. We had some martial arts we did every morning together. That was first up, and then we would go and get our, I would say toy weapons, but our stunt weapons, because our weapons hadn't been made yet. We would go and get into sequence and start fighting the stunt people, who were playing the Frost Giants. Then we would take a break and have lunch together, so it was pretty much like going to school. I felt like an X-Men. Professor Xavier was Kenneth (Laughs).
These sets were really phenomenal and I was really impressed with the scope of these set pieces. Can you talk about walking onto these sets and seeing Asgard with your own eyes?
Jaimie Alexander: Yeah, oh my gosh. I think the favorite set I walked into... well, it's a tie between the ceremony room, the throne room, and the observatory, Heimdall's observatory. That thing was incredible. You'd go in there and, I know the CGI made the walls spin, but they actually moved. It was really creepy. We'd be in there and these little clock things would start spinning. It was just incredible. I think I pinched Tom (Hiddleston) at one point and said, 'Are we really doing this right now?' It was just so funny coming to work every morning and transforming into these other-worldly characters.
Can you talk a bit about working with both Chris and Kenneth? I loved Chris' performance, and Kenneth, as an actor himself, can bring out those kinds of qualities. Can you talk about working with them both?
Jaimie Alexander: They're both very humble men and both very deserving of all their success. Neither one of them gloats about anything, neither of them treats anybody any differently. Everyone is equal in their eyes, and I think that's really special and very rare out here. Chris deserves every bit of success that's coming his way. He's such a gentle person, such a nice man, and so is Kenneth, and, so is Anthony Hopkins. It seemed so funny to me that the three of them were so very similar. Everybody, in general, was such a pleasure to work with. I loved everybody so much.
There is a Road to Avengers special feature on the Blu-ray. I was wondering if there's any chance that you'll be appearing in The Avengers at all?
Jaimie Alexander: Well, I definitely can't say, but that's also because I'm not sure. You never know. They could call at the last minute and say, 'Hey, we need you for this.' Yeah, you never know. I don't think I even knew Jeremy Renner was in Thor until it came out. There were some things where it was like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot about that scene.' It's anybody's guess. I'm not sure.
When I was reading up on the character Sif, just to get some more background, there is a lot more you could go into, either in The Avengers or Thor 2. I assume you're signed on for sequels, even though it's not really official yet.
Jaimie Alexander: Right.
Are you looking forward to exploring a lot more of Sif, and maybe getting into the romantic aspects of Sif and Thor?
Jaimie Alexander: Yes. I would love for that to happen. I don't know what the story is going to be just yet, and nothing has been made official, but the hope is that it will be made official, and I would love to explore more of that. And, in future endeavors, I would love to see Beta Ray Bill, or something like that. I think that would be really cool. Like you said, there are so many avenues to go down, so many endless possibilities.
Thor did very well at the box office, and deservedly so, but for those who might not have gotten to see Thor, what would you like to say to those people about why they should pick up the Blu-ray or DVD on September 13?
Jaimie Alexander: Well, there are a lot of extra features. There are a ton of deleted scenes, and a lot of behind-the-scenes of us learning how to fight and getting into shape. Then there is how they built the town in Santa Fe, a lot of the CGI and special effects things. It might take you a few days to watch it, but it's a good movie with a good story and strong performances and a great director. There is so much heart that went it and all of us really appreciate all the blessings and good reviews that have come our way. To have that continue, would be just epic.
Excellent. Well, that's my time. Thanks so much for talking to me, Jaimie.
Jaimie Alexander: Thank you. Bye, Brian.
You can watch the lovely Jaimie Alexander as Sif when Thor is released on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD on September 13.
Thor was released May 6th, 2011 and stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh.