If you’ve ever read Thor, you know Sif and Thor have a long and complicated history (read more about it here). However, when you go to see Thor in movie theaters next summer, their relationship might surprise you. That’s because unlike the comic books where Sif and Thor have been lovers, in the movie, they’re platonic friends. But even though director Kenneth Branagh and Marvel have changed certain aspects about their relationship, she’s still an Asgardian warrior that kicks ass.
Anyway, earlier this year I got to visit the set of Thor was the production was filming outside Los Angeles. While there I was able to participate in an interview with Jaimie Alexander (Sif) and she talked to us about landing the role, how she prepared, working for Branagh and Marvel, working on green screen, her thoughts on Loki, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say:
You can either read the full transcript below or click here to listen to the audio. Look for links to my other on set interviews and my full set report at the bottom of this article. Thor gets released May 6, 2011.
Question: Any missteps on the set here?
Jaimie Alexander: On this one? Like, today? No, luckily. But there were a few times in the beginning, I think I busted my—can I say ass? Okay. Few times I busted my ass doing the fight. But then I got smart and put on my low shoes and, and uh, went off without a hitch.
Is it harder to run in that outfit?
Alexander: Yeah, it’s a metal corset and underneath it is a regular corset, so I’ve got two corsets on, so after a while you, your abs are kind of spasming out and uh, yeah. My stunt girl has to come over sometimes and lift me up under my rib cage, and I let out a burp, and then everything’s fine.
Do you have to wear the corset when you’re doing training? To get used to breathing that way?
Alexander: I did, yeah. I wore the—I didn’t wear the metal one, because it didn’t exist yet, but I wore the one underneath it, and um, and it was—throughout the fight I was like wow, this is going to be really hard when I have to put on high heels and all this other stuff. But you kind of just get used to it, though.
Can you talk about, you know, Sif’s relationship in this movie with Thor (Chris Hemsworth), because they have a history in the comics—
–but that aspect of it.
Alexander: Um, the relationship between Thor and Sif in this movie is quite platonic. I mean, they’re good buddies, they’ve grown up with each other, they’re warriors, they fight side by side. We haven’t take it to the next level yet. I’m going to throw that in there. But yeah, she kind of thinks he’s a little bit pig-headed, but she loves him nevertheless, you know, she’s like that’s my buddy, I’ll do what I can for him. But she’ll definitely call him on his shit, which I like. Because it’s kind of how I am, with Chris.
You said yet. Did they give you any indication that in the future you would?
Alexander: Um, I think that’s a strong possibility due to the comic books, but nothing has really been set in stone.
You and Natalie Portman (who plays Jane Foster), would you say Thor has a type?
Alexander: I would say so, yeah. I uh, you know, it’s funny, I—yeah, the dark hair, the mole, the eyebrows, she’s like a miniature version of me. A more fit version of me. I haven’t yet. I actually met with her trainer yesterday to start doing a little bit of flexibility training with her and stuff, but it’ll be interesting. I’ve heard great things about her and she’s a talented girl, and I’ve heard that she’s a pleasure to be around, so.
Do you have scenes together?
Alexander: Uh, yes. This is like being on Twitter. This is cool. Yes, we do.
What’s been your coolest sequence filming so far?
Alexander: I think all the fight stuff. I’m cut out for that. I used to wrestle in high school so I really love it, yeah. I love all the fighting and martial arts. Hey, why am I not up there? Oh, it’s just a rehearsal. Keep going.
Let’s do the obvious question of when you found out you were getting the part, how many comics did you read, where’d you go to buy them, etc., etc.?
Alexander: Weirdly enough, I grew up with four brothers in Texas and they are huge Marvel fans, so I have read Thor when I was in middle—I guess, yeah, it would have been middle school, seventh grade. It was a long time ago. Yeah. So, I read some comic books back then, and my brother has a bunch of Avenger comic books, so I met Walt Simonson recently, and I totally geeked out and I think he thinks I’m a freak, but it’s totally fine. He’s way cool. So it was kind of neat because I find Sif a lot stronger that Wonder Woman, so I’m really pleased that I got this role and um, yeah. And you know, as you can see, she’s covered. It’s no slutty costumes, you know, no boobs sticking out, any of that stuff. She’s just a strong female, and I think that needs to be done for a lot of young women out there.
Are your brothers losing their minds now?
Can you talk about working for Ken, and what that dynamic’s been like on set? You know, is there a lot of improv, how is he as a director?
Alexander: Um, Kenneth (Branagh) is awesome to work with. He allows us a lot of creative freedom. Um, he’s always saying ‘would you like another take, would you like to try something different?’ And I say you know what, if you got what you want, then you know, I’ll be good, you know. Because by that time I’m usually out of breath. Um, but he’s awesome and he’s very personable and he’s, he um, he really cares a lot about us and a lot about how we feel. If we’re in, you know, any sort of pain in any way, shape, or form, um, but he also, he’s just very clever and uh, he demands a lot of respect, which I think is great. Without being an asshole, you know?
Can you talk about the dialogue? Does it have that sort of Shakespearian vibe that some of the old comics have, or is it more straightforward speak?
Alexander: It’s kind of a cross between, I think. It’s not, you know, over the top Old English, like Lord of the Rings would be or something like that, but there is a very sophisticated air about the Asgardians[?], you know, in their dialogue, and—hold on. Okay. Um, and I’m doing an English accent in the movie. Yeah.
So everybody at Asgard has a British accent?
Alexander: Uh, well, Anthony’s (Hopkins) kind of Welsh. But yeah, you know what I mean. On that side of the pond, yeah, pretty much.
Alexander: Uh well, like, seriously, if I do something, just hit me on the shoulder and I will stop talking. I’ve had some. I’ve had a few. Yes. He’s actually, he is a really cool man. He’s kind of like a little boy in an old man’s body. That’s the best way I can describe him, he has the best spirit and he’s just so happy and—he wears these funky, bright blue shoes to work, and he always like comes in with a scarf and a top hat, and like bright yellow sunglasses and—he’s just great. He’s just so much fun.
Is he Odin or Elton John?
Alexander: Hmm? Oh yeah. Like a—exactly. It’s like a cross between two different people. But he’s, he’s so excited to be in this. It’s almost like I imagine he would be on his first movie, that’s how excited he is, and it’s really great to see somebody of that age still—and he’s had such a career—like that still be so exciting.
The sets are amazing, that we’ve seen. What’s been your favorite set so far that you’ve worked on?
Alexander: And you’ve seen all of them? Don’t lie to me.
We’ve seen—no, we’ve seen a lot of them.
Alexander: Okay. Um, the observatory is the most gorgeous set I’ve ever been on, but I think I had the most fun in this set. So, in the, as you can see, the ice world.
Does it move exactly the same way each take?
Alexander: Uh, the, this does. This is our first day to work with the moving set. Um, and it pretty much, it pretty much moves pretty similar. I mean, I think the rehearsal was worse than the like actual shots that we use, or the actual takes that we did. So.
Do you feel like you’re a little bit on Krypton, in Superman?
Alexander: You know, it has that feel. Yeah. I mean, it’s uh, yeah. I kept thinking about that when we got in here, that first day. I was like wait, where’s Marlon Brando?
Alexander: That’s up in the air, yeah.
How’s it been working with the green screen?
Alexander: Green screen, you know, it’s been interesting, it’s my first time to ever work with green screen technology, and it’s, sometimes it can be really boring because you’re like wow, I’ve got to really imagine all of this stuff around me. But it’s low maintenance, which is nice, um, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be, so. And they’ve showed us a lot of photographs of like what this is going to look like, so we can have it in our mind and really, you know, use that for our imagination. Seeing as how everything is green in here.
Can you explain to us what it’s going to look like in your own words?
Alexander: Uh, no.
Can you explain the other characters that you’re here with today, kind of in your own words, just break them down?
Alexander: Sure. We have Volstagg, who Ray Stevenson is playing, and he’s kind of a jolly good time-Um, Tadanobu Asano’s not with us today, but his double is here, and he plays Hogun, he’s Hogun the grim. Actually, Tadanobu’s really funny, but he doesn’t get to be in this part. Maybe a little bit. Um, and, I forget who else is in this thing. Josh. Who plays Fandral. He’s Fandral the dashing, and he’s been loads of fun to work with. And uh, you know, he’s definitely always schmoozing the ladies and that sort of thing. His character. He’s married, he doesn’t do that in real life. Uh, I should shut up. And then of course Loki, who is our hellion And he’s, and that’s actually Tom (Hiddleston) has actually helped me a lot with my accent, because he is the standard RP British accent on his own, so I’ve worked a lot with him to sort of match him and we kind of all match him in the movie.
Can you say what your character thinks of Loki before he becomes kind of an out and out villain? Like what’s kind of their relationship? Are they fond of him, do they not trust him?
Alexander: I can say, just from—I will be good—from reading the comics, I kind of took it upon myself to sort of follow those storylines more. You know, he’s my buddy, I’ll fight alongside of him, but you know, he’s not as good of a fighter as me. Um, and that’s kind of the attitude I had with him sometimes. Um, but still, the six, the core six of them are very much friends, and it, I think, certain things that happen throughout the film are a little shocking to Sif.
For more THOR coverage: