A cooler blend of culture

Interview with actress Jaimie Alexander

“I’m made of stone on the outside but I’m a marshmallow on the inside,” jokes actor Jaimie Alexander when Cream asks her to confirm or deny if she truly was an active member of her high school wrestling team. She insists it was a voluntary choice to boost her athleticism, which contrasts greatly to her petite frame and deep, dark and yet feminine aesthetic.

Alexander may look all too familiar to dedicated sci-fi aficionados, playing the role of ‘Jessi XX’ in the sci-fi drama ‘Kyle KY’ over the past two years; and whilst television was a valuable launching pad, the actor feels film is infinitely more thrilling. “I think that when you’re in television and you get used to playing a character, it can sometimes become monotonous. Whereas film is always magical.”

That said, the girl doesn’t actually get to the movies much herself. “One thing that people don’t really know about me is that I don’t really go to movie theatres. I don’t want to idolise other people in my profession; I want to respect them. For big dramatic pieces, I have to watch them [on DVD] at my house so I can pay attention; not be distracted by things like someone coughing into their cup behind me or someone making out with their boyfriend next to me.”

Alexander’s transition into film is indeed noteworthy, with two mainstream feature films starring some of Hollywood’s most respected and popular actors. ‘Love & Other Drugs’ – released next week – co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and is based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir ‘Hard Sell: The Evolution Of A Viagra Salesman’ (the Viagra salesman is played expertly by Gyllenhaal).

“I love Jake,” gushes Alexander. “I think he’s one of the nicer people I have met in LA. He’s very laid back and very low maintenance. Anne Hathaway is really nice too, but unfortunately I didn’t have any scenes with her, although she was the first person to give me a big hug and welcome me to set. I play one of Jake’s many, many love interests on his way to finding Anne.”

On the surface, the film is marketed as a comedy, but as with almost all films of this genre, there are deeper levels of interpretation: “The film has a lot of funny bits, sure, but there really is a serious undertone to it that I think audiences will be pleasantly surprised by,” says Alexander.

Next she stars with (surnames only required here) Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Thor’, set for release mid-2011. With a sizable cast and an abundance of talent, working on the highly anticipated film was intimidating to begin with, but not for long.

“The first person that was very quick to help me and hold my hand was Kenneth and also Anthony [Hopkins]. Anthony is the most delightful man! The best way to describe him is like an eight-year-old boy trapped in a grown man’s body. He is just so funny and full of life. He’s got so much spunk and is such a loving kind of person; he was great to learn from. I am so thankful to have worked with such veteran actors in the movie.”

Alexander plays Sif, Thor’s right-hand woman. “She’s an ass kicker, but she’s also very noble and carries a lot of pride. She’s a skillful warrior and you can expect to see a lot of action from this girl; a lot of fighting. And when she fights, she really fights; none of this girly crap!”

One thing is certain about Jaime Alexander – not only is she physically strong, but determined to continue the pursuit to make a name for herself in Hollywood. “I will be grateful for whatever comes my way. I would love to do a dramatic piece with Darren Aronofsky and an off-the-wall piece with Tim Burton. A lot of people don’t think I am the right choice for comedy because of my voice, my height, my jet black hair. There is just something that I guess isn’t funny about that, but I want to try everything.”

‘Love & Other Drugs’ is out in cinemas December 16th.
‘Thor’ is out mid-2011.

Photography by Kevin Abosch.

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