Making her mark
Blindspot star Jaimie Alexander trained so hard for the role, she wonders if the CIA will actually recruit her. By TIFFANY BAKKER
AS the majorly tattooed, memory-challenged “Jane Doe” on the hit new television drama, Blindspot, Jaimie Alexander reckons she’s found a novel way to keep up her training for the role.
“When I first started, I had a Navy SEAL train me for a couple of months. Now I lift my dog up over my head and carry him around. He doesn’t seem to mind,” smiles the 31-year-old. “At this point, I’m just wondering if the CIA is going to recruit me. I mean, it could happen.”
Not that Alexander’s a stranger to a few battles. After all, she’s best known for her big-screen roles as the hardcore warrior Sif on Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Indeed, television wasn’t even on her radar, until Blindspot’s creator Martin Gero came calling.
“I had always loved her as Sif and I thought she was exactly who we needed for this role,” Gero says. “She’s vulnerable, she’s tough, and she’s a hard-a---. I thought she was perfect.”
Alexander, though, needed a little convincing.
“I didn’t want to sign on to a gig that would take several years of my life, unless I knew I was going to have fun with it or be challenged by it,” she says, in a break between shooting on the show’s Brooklyn set. “Thankfully, this show requires all of my talents, and every skill-set I have, so it’s never boring.”
Alexander’s character, Jane Doe, is first seen in the show after she emerges from a duffle bag in the middle of a deserted Times Square, naked but covered in tattoos. She has no memory and the FBI (which includes Aussie actor Sullivan Stapleton, whose character’s name is tattooed across Jane’s back) is tasked with solving crimes through her many inkings.
“She’s covered in story – that’s the way I look at it,” she says. “Her body is literally a treasure map.”
Alexander loves the tattoos, which can take up to eight hours to apply (she also has nine of her own), and occasionally she keeps them on offset. Some folks, though, aren’t always too keen on the ink.
“I had my full sleeves out one day and I got on an elevator at a fancy building in New York, and the two people that were on there, got off,” she says, one eyebrow raised.
“They wouldn’t ride the elevator with me. It made me feel crummy, and then it made me laugh, because I thought, they must have a fun life – I was so shocked.
“They thought I was going to kill them, I guess.”
Most public interactions are more pleasant.
“A lot of people want to hug me, because they feel so bad for my character – they’re genuinely worried about me,” she says.
“They’re like, ‘Jane, I just want to give you a hug’. At first I was a little wary. Now I’m like, ‘OK, I can take a hug’.”