During an press interview to promote the Arnold Schwarzeneggar film ‘The Last Stand’, she got to talk about the difference in action and physicality between that and ‘Thor: The Dark World’ as well as her role as Lady Sif, and filming internationally.
I wanted to get your take on doing action in The Last Stand versus action in Thor, from an actor’s and a character’s perspective.
Alexander: Obviously, both of those characters have weapons, they’re very different. The training I did for Thor was much more aggressive. With Thor, it’s a heightened sense of reality. It’s a huge fantasy film and with that, a lot of the movements are over-the-top and big and very much like a dream sequence, whereas with The Last Stand, I wanted to make sure that it was very realistic. I trained with an LAPD officer to make sure that the way I held my weapons and the way I went for my gun was standard protocol. I believe you have to make sure there is a bit of realism in a character like that because there are women who are those people out there, so I didn’t want to be disrespectful in that way. They’re very different characters, but the one thing they have in common is that they do stand up for the people that they love and want to protect the people that they love.
As for action sequences, I don’t fly in The Last Stand, I don’t take the bifrost anywhere. It’s hard to say, because I did find those characters somewhat similar. Lady Sif definitely follows protocol when it comes to battle and does what the king asks her to do. Sarah Torrance follows protocol, does things by the book; both characters eventually let their hair down and do what they want to do and do what’s necessary which isn’t usually in the book.
What are your reactions from working with Kenneth Branagh on Thor and working with Alan Taylor on Thor: The Dark World?
Alexander: Two very different people, but both have extraordinary visions for what the film should look like and what it is going to look like. Alan, I feel like the second installment of Thor is much darker, much more rooted in what’s going on in the soul, whereas Ken’s version definitely had that soulfulness but was also lighter and there’s an elegance to his film. They’re so different, it’s hard to explain because they’re both very different in a positive way. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into the second Thor, because he was such a leader for us. The man did so much and put so much of his life into that film. He worked…I don’t even think he actually slept. I don’t think I remember him ever saying he got a full night’s rest. I was nervous going into the second one. I meet Alan, he has great ideas, super open to what we want to do as well and knows that we were the character once upon a time. So we can do it again and he puts his spin on it. He’s got some incredible shots in that film. I really enjoyed him a lot. Luckily we got a director that was fantastic, because otherwise I think we would have all sat in our trailers and cried for Ken had that not happened [laughs].
The fans are definitely happy to hear that the experience has gone well; they’re also very happy to hear that you’ve recovered from your unfortunate injury.
Alexander: Yes! I am fantastic. I didn’t think I could recover that fast, but then I said, “You know what? Screw that. I’ll get back to it.” And I’m back!
People are also happy to hear that it didn’t impede your filming…
And they were wondering about Sif in the sequel. Do you have an expanded role? Do you have a little more screentime?
Alexander: I do, a little bit. You get to experience more of who she is on the inside. You get to see her in a more feminine way and we do explore the Thor/Sif relationship a little bit. That was fun.
Would you say you have more action-oriented scenes, more character-oriented scenes…
Alexander: Oh, I definitely have action. But there are scenes, we have a few scenes where we don’t have any action at all and it was actually a lot of fun to play that because you’re not hiding behind a sword or an explosion, it’s just here, in your face. It was nice to see who she really is and that sort of thing. It was fun.
For the filming of the sequel, the first one was filmed just in the U.S. This one was filmed in Iceland, London, other areas in England. Could you talk about the experience of filming on an international scale?
Alexander: So much of this film is the set and the locations that we were in, they’re almost like a character themselves. We filmed in an area called Bourne Wood outside of London and just some of the most beautiful rolling hills with green gorgeous trees. I do believe Robin Hood was filmed there and lots of things film there, but just to be on that ground where we had a battle sequence and just go, “Wow, a lot of people have been here.” That was what it was, the history in England and what has happened on those grounds and to be a Viking on those grounds. It added some sort of majestic feel to it that maybe wasn’t there 100% on the set inside a studio in California. Obviously when we went to New Mexico for the first one, that…New Mexico to me is just magic, that’s where we filmed The Last Stand, so I was very happy to be there again.