We kind of have a girl crush on Jaimie Alexander. How could we not? The actress not only kicks butt as Lady Sif in the Thor movies and has a wicked cool sense of humour (just watch her in HBO Canada’s The Brink), but she also plays a pretty bad-ass gal in her new fall TV series.
In Blindspot, Alexander plays a Jane Doe — a woman mysteriously tattooed from neck-to-toe who wakes up naked, with no idea who she is, in the middle of Times Square. To make matters worse, the only connection to who she might be can be found squarely on her back, in the form of an FBI agent’s name. Cue one of the coolest mysteries of the fall season.
As the pilot unfolds, it quickly becomes clear that even though Jane can’t remember who she is, she’s got some mad skills (think martial arts and the ability to speak several languages).
In real life, Alexander is just as awesome. After interviewing her during the CTV upfronts — an annual event where the network announces its fall lineup — we’ve pretty much decided we want her as our newest drinking buddy and BFF. Observe.
1. She comes up with some awesome similes
We asked Alexander about the process of getting all tattooed up for the role, and as it turns out the process takes roughly 7.5 hours. And then to get them off? Three hours. But, the star reveals, if she’s super careful the tattoos should stay put for three days.
“It’s just that eventually they get a little sticky and they pick up lint in the air,” she shrugs. “So I’m like… I guess a walking lint roller, essentially.”
2. Her real-life tattoos are awesome too
“All of my tattoos mean something, obviously,” she says. “None of them were bad choices. Well, maybe one of em.”
Of course, Alexander wouldn’t say which one of her nine tattoos was her “bad” choice. But she did tell us a little about some of the others. Like the initials of her four brothers on her arm. The prayer on her right wrist. The quote on her right bicep.
— Jaimie Alexander (@JaimieAlexander) September 16, 2015
Our favourite of the batch is the one that eagle-eyed fans might actually be able to spot on the show. It’s a small tattoo that says “ES.” She got it because when she was a little kid she would mouth the words “elephant shoe” instead of “I love you.” “So I got an ES on my wrist to remind myself to always look at things with a child’s eye and just remain childlike. And just grateful, like playful,” she says.
3. She loves the Beatles
Because Alexander couldn’t get any cooler, right? The actress admitted that she’s a little superstitious when it comes to the process of putting on those tats; the one time they weren’t listening to the Beatles was the one time the makeup wouldn’t stick. As she’s talking about her character, Jane, Alexander reveals that all this woman has left is her intuition and instinct. “She has procedural memory, so she knows what music is, but she has no idea who the Beatles are,” Alexander says. “Which, you know, that would suck. I like the Beatles!”
4. She’s a quick study
In the pilot, Alexander’s character randomly speaks foreign languages (we apologize if that’s a little bit of a spoiler, but we promise it doesn’t take away from anything). In real life, the actress can’t necessarily speak Mandarin or Cantonese, but she definitely learned to say her lines in the proper dialect. “The lines are not dubbed, I learned Mandarin and Cantonese,” she says. “Just the things that I say. I could repeat it now, what I said, but if somebody was speaking Mandarin I’d be like, I have no idea. But I’m sure I’ll be learning other languages.”
5. She can go toe-to-toe with the guys
One of our favourite moments in the pilot is when Jane Doe breaks out some mad fighting skills. Of course in real life the fight scenes are more like a choreographed dance. But that doesn’t mean Alexander is any less skilled at it. “The fighting is very easy for me, I can learn it in 15 minutes,” she says. And we don’t even feel like she’s bragging, because then she adds, “I have a great stunt double who trains me and teaches me in martial arts and other things.”
6. That said, she likes looking like a woman
For the role of Lady Sif, Alexander knew she had to buff up. In Blindspot, even though she’s playing a hero of sorts, she doesn’t want to make it look as though she’s a superhuman femme. So for her training, she turned to mixed martial arts, yoga, pilates, and anything that helped her flexibility. “I want to make sure my body stays very feminine,” she explains. “I don’t want to get ripped and hard-looking because I don’t want Jane to come across as a superhero or alien. I want her to be relatable and very womanly.”
7. She’s got body image issues too
You’d think someone as gorgeous as Alexander would be uber confident with her body — especially since the first time audiences meet her in Blindspot she’s completely naked. Not to mention all of those hours banked in the makeup room, where she stands with just a “sticker over her lady bits” in front of several artists, male and female. Turns out, she can be just as insecure about her bod as we can be. “I have issues like everybody does, you just have to focus on the parts that you enjoy the most about yourself — inside and out,” she advises. “With this, I just had to go ‘screw it’. I gotta do it. It was very nerve wracking the first couple of days, and then it was actually kind of liberating.”
8. We can definitely relate to her
Speaking of body image issues, how often does a gal complain about the parts of her she’s less inclined to love? Alexander is no exception, and we love her a little more for it. “My body is not perfect. I do not have a six pack of abs. I have cellulite. I’m flat as a board — my chest is completely flat!” she begins. “And yet my body serves its purpose. It’s good, it keeps me healthy, I keep it healthy. You just have to appreciate yourself. Everybody’s got issues, no matter what it is. I just say join the club, but also start to learn to appreciate yourself because without your body you’d be dead.”
9. She’s a positive role model
How many messages a day do women receive about the importance of looking younger, fitter, more beautiful? Too many to count, we think. And sure, Alexander could very well be the model for what some women would strive to be, but that doesn’t mean she’s always going to stay that way, and she knows it. She just wants to do her. “It’s important these days to show what a natural body looks like. I’m not going to lose weight, I’m not going to get breast enhancements, or do whatever else just because I’m naked on camera,” she says. “It’s not gonna happen. I want to make sure I look just as my body is in everyday life. I’ve never done anything to myself and I’m 31. So… maybe later? Probably not though. I just don’t care enough.”
10. She loves Canadians
With so many superhero shows on the schedule this fall, we couldn’t help but ask Alexander what her version of a Canadian superhero would look like. And of course, her answer was one of our favourites too.
Hey Canada!!! Happy Canada Day 🎉 — Jaimie Alexander (@JaimieAlexander) July 1, 2015
“I believe a Canadian superhero would be somewhat like a Peter Parker, because I always find Canadians are so nice. They’re so nice and very accepting,” she explains. “The Peter Parker character was always like that in Spider-Man, yet you guys are a big ass country. But everybody is sort of equal in Canada, which I love and it’s a very liberal country. A Canadian superhero would be gentle on the outside but extremely fierce on the inside and strong.”
Can we please just send her some maple syrup already?
11. She’s an everyday hero
Sure, we only spoke with Alexander for 10 minutes or so, but we think that was more than enough time to get a real sense of her personality. In between her apologizing if her boobs slipped out of her plunging neckline (she was having tape issues that day), to her taking some time to ask us about our day too, we genuinely believe she’s a great person.
We also believe she’s an everyday hero, since she fits her very definition of one:
“An everyday hero is someone who is loving and accepting towards people, and who doesn’t judge. They just try to be kind because everybody’s going through something. Even though on the outside somebody could look really strong or happy, everybody’s been through something. So I just say an everyday hero would be somebody who’s kind, loving, accepting and non judgemental.”
Cheers to that, Jaimie.