'Thor' warrior goddess geared up for more
For Jaimie Alexander, playing Lady Sif in "Thor" may prove to have many more opportunities beyond being a fellow warrior to the title character (Chris Hemsworth) of the summer blockbuster.
After all, it wasn't by accident that director Kenneth Branagh would catch Sif's subtle, lovelorn gazes at Thor during different moments in the film, even though Thor's love interest clearly is Earth-bound scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
"We wanted to make sure those feelings she had for him were in the film a little bit, at least, especially for the true fans of the comic books," Alexander said. "So we picked these small moments where you see that if Thor and Sif wanted it to, something could blossom there. It's there as an opportunity."
Alexander said there was a scene filmed that explored the potential romance more, but it was ultimately cut from the film.
"Watching it as a whole it was a little too over-the-top because Jane Foster is the girl for Thor in this movie," Alexander said. "Still, Sif definitely does have a loyalty to Thor and she does love him and cares for him very much. Plus, when she sees him become more humble and the king she always knew he could be, it just makes those feelings grow so much."
Even though Sif loses out in the romance department to Jane, at least the character gets to wear the hotter costume.
"I get lucky because I get to wear the high heels and corset," Alexander said, laughing.
New on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday (Paramount Home Entertainment), "Thor" examines the fall and rise of the gifted but arrogant Norse god Thor, as his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), casts him out of the realm of Asgard to Earth to learn about humility after Thor nearly starts a war with an old enemy. But when a conspiracy fueled by jealousy and rage begins to rear its ugly head, Sif, along with Fandral (Joshua Dallas), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) -- aka "The Warriors Three" -- defy the laws of Asgard to come to the aid of their beloved leader.
The film also stars Tom Hiddleston as Thor's brother, Loki, Idris Elba as Asgard's gatekeeper, Heimdall, and Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings as Jane's colleagues.
More relationships to sift through
Alexander, who is committed to playing Sif again if the filmmakers choose to bring the character back in the "Thor" sequel in 2013, said the groundwork is there for a Sif-Thor romance if Marvel Studios chooses to pursue it. That's because in the "Thor" comic book canon, even while Thor's relationship with Jane grows, there's a time in between where he and Sif fall in love with each other like years before.
Or, Alexander added, Sif could end up fancying someone else.
"Marvel's really smart and they like to keep the possibilities open between because there are so many different ways things could go," Alexander said. "If they brought Beta Ray Bill into the second movie that could be something -- there are just so many different avenues to go down with all the other realms we could explore. I'm really excited to see what they have planned."
Alexander said it was of major importance to her during the production that from the standpoint of Sif, the film had to appeal to comic book audiences, yet wasn't too inside baseball to alienate moviegoers new to the "Thor" experience.
"I think in the beginning we didn't have, actually, any moments between Thor and Sif, and eventually I talked it over with (co-producer) Craig Kyle and (producer) Kevin Feige. Kevin even had written in a scene that ended up being cut in half," Alexander said. "We definitely had conversations about the film appealing to those who didn't have any knowledge of Thor's history, the comic books and the mythology. But we also wanted to appeal to the fans that know every fiber. We tried to find a good middle ground with it."
Fit for battle
Equally as important as Sif's relationship with Thor were her warrior skills, especially since the character and The Warriors Three figure prominently into several pivotal scenes in the film.
Luckily for Alexander, 27, becoming physically fit for the role wasn't a complete shock to her body and psyche because she was a wrestler during her high school years in Texas. Alexander said she first wrestled on the boys' team until the other schools with girl wrestlers figured out a way to compete.
"There were 81 schools in Texas with girl wrestlers, but they only had about two to five girls per school," Alexander recalled. "So we ended up having competitions at tournament with other girls."
The benefits of being a wrestler, the actress said, went way beyond the mat.
"I thought it was great because a lot of these women learned self-defense and what it meant to have severe discipline while training hard for something," Alexander said. "It was definitely super-helpful for me when it came to training with the guys for 'Thor.' It was like déjà vu."
Better yet, playing a role like Sif mirrored Alexander's desire to project a strong female image. And there's nothing better to a performer when you're working on a project that can give you the best of both worlds (in the case of "Thor," the best of all realms).
"I'm a huge advocate for really putting a healthy female body out there since young women don't have too many female superheroes to look up to," Alexander said. "Even with the Sif's costume, I talked with Ken about being pretty covered during the movie. I don't show off my body, but I get to show that I'm very strong and feminine. I do have a certain amount of power and I think that's very important for young women to see these days that it's not about wearing a handkerchief for a skirt, doing drugs and drinking. There's much more to it than that."