To quote Bob Dylan’s poetic lyrics, it seems that in Hollywood, ‘the times they are a changin’“. One of the actresses leading the charge for stronger and more complex female roles is Jaimie Alexander. Whether it is exploring female identity in the hit NBC series, Blindspot, or defending the galaxy as Lady Sif in Marvel’s Thor franchise, Alexander is proving that women are more than ready to take on the challenge.
A self-proclaimed people watcher and daydreamer, it seemed only apt that Alexander was chosen to portray the intriguing character of Jane Doe in Blindspot. Discovered in unusual circumstances, hidden in a duffle bag in Times Square, stripped of her memory and intricately covered in cryptic tattoos, the series follows her quest to uncover who she really is. Drawing on her own experiences and those around her, Alexander refused to be overwhelmed by a character with such a blank slate. “I find inspiration in everything and everyone. I’m very open to the life that is happening around me. I portray Jane by using my own empathy and compassion. For me, it’s about being relatable.”
This sense of relatability was what first attracted Alexander to the role. “I loved how show creator, Martin Gero, managed to take an extraordinary concept and ground it in reality,” she says. “It was completely different to anything I had been offered at the time.” And whilst there is no denying the show’s more sci-fi-esque qualities, it is her very tangible quest of self-discovery that we all experience that seems to resonate the most. “As people, we are extremely complex and complicated. We have many different layers to our personality. So at times, it can be difficult to identify who you really are deep down,” she says. “That said, we are constantly evolving. Our identity is always changing and being defined by what is happening at that moment.”
As Season Three hits our screens, the audience continues to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster. Yet, unlike previous seasons, the latest sees a marked change in tone, with more humorous elements adding an extra layer to the situations many of the characters face. As for Jane, Alexander is excited to see how the audience reacts to her character development. “Jane knows herself much more now than she did in the previous two seasons. That said, she doesn’t go with the flow as easily as she used to. I hope the audience enjoys where life takes each character as they move forward.”
Strong character development plays an important part in Alexander’s choice of roles. She muses, “I love that both Jane and Lady Sif have a sense of vulnerability whilst maintaining a deep inner and outer strength. I love playing a layered female – I love the realness.” Yet, Alexander is quick to emphasise that it’s not simply about playing strong female characters but rather “to remain a strong female whilst embodying these characters. I’ve always been a strong woman. I’ve always tried to do the right thing and to help others. It’s important I don’t lose sight of what really matters. I bring that into the characters I play – the sadness, the struggle, the vulnerability, the power, the realism.”
It is this emphasis on meaningful female empowerment that has stood her in good stead in an industry that is rife with sexism. Committed to revolutionising the roles traditionally afforded to women, Alexander is calling for greater mutual respect. She is adamant that “one way of combating this appalling abuse of power, rife in so many industries, is to raise awareness. The sad fact is that sexism exists. But there needs to be a greater recognition of the problem. We all need to educate ourselves. It’s about knowing your worth – learning to respect yourself and others so that we can stand up for what we believe in. That’s one way we can bring forth change.”
One way Alexander is breaking from traditional female expectations is by embracing roles that require a greater degree of physicality. She enthuses, “I love the physicality of both Lady Sif and Jane Doe. It’s hard work but I enjoy the challenge. I try to keep myself mentally and physically fit. Occasionally, I find myself having to turn off my adrenaline whilst performing a stunt in order to stay focused and calm.”
She’s also not afraid to take on a role that bears huge expectations. Whilst many actors would have crumbled under the pressure of embodying such an iconic character as Lady Sif from the revered Marvel comic franchise, Alexander has refused to let expectations weigh her down. “It’s ridiculous to place pressure on yourself to try and please millions of people who are all different from one another. I find most artists suffer because of that unattainable perfection. So, I just try to enjoy what I’m doing and have fun. You have to trust your instincts.”
Alexander is certainly not one to shy away from characters that reflect both female strength and vulnerability. Keen to embody the real and raw attributes that make up powerful female roles, she is adamant to explore the complexity of female identity and physicality. As both Jane Doe and Lady Sif continue to dominate our screens, Alexander is on a mission to prove that Hollywood really is a changin’.
Blindspot premieres Fridays on NBC in the US and Mondays on Sky TV in the UK.
A lot of familiar faces return for Thor: Ragnarok, the third solo outing for Chris Hemsworth‘s Asgardian Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One who is not is Lady Sif, even though she’s been a figure in Thor and its sequel, Thor: The Dark World. Jaimie Alexander recently revealed why and, as is typical with actors juggling multiple projects, it all comes down to timing.
“I was asked, but the timing of when they were going to shoot and when Blindspot was gonna shoot — it was pretty much the same time,” Alexander told Yahoo Movies. “So there was a conflict there. I was hoping for more of a notice from [the studio] so I could make it work, but it was a short notice thing. They called and said, ‘Hey, by the way, would you come do this?’ I said there is no way I can make that work that fast.”
She “tried,” the Blindspot star continued, but “it couldn’t happen. They were on a different continent.” She added, “So it was sad. I was bummed about it.”
When Marvel released the first image from Thor: Ragnarok — a piece of concept art highlighting Cate Blanchett’s Hela — fans were disappointed to see Alexander’s name missing from the cast list. She replied to one of them on Twitter, writing, “Don’t worry 😉 ….” Sadly, it wasn’t in the stars for this one.
Thor: Ragnarok gets its name from the end of days in Norse mythology. By impersonating his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), on the Asgard throne, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) inadvertently brings about the return of Hela, the Goddess of Death. She makes quick work of Thor, shattering his hammer and knocking him through space to the planet Sakaar, where he finds his “friend from work,” Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) fighting in a gladiatorial arena.
Also featured are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, once an elite warrior for Asgard; Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, who’s running the place on Sakaar; and Karl Urban as Skrull, a henchman of Hela.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige addressed Sif’s absence earlier in an interview with Collider. “If she had been on Asgard, she might not be alive, so that’s one of the advantages,” he said.
Alexander noted how she’d love to return as Sif if the occasion called for it. “I love Marvel. I’d be happy to do other projects with them at any time,” she said. “They’re a great company — I love all the guys and girls over there — they always are able to get a really fun cast for almost every project they have, which is often. And, of course, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?”
Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on Nov. 2.
With so much quality TV jostling for our attention, a perfectly worthwhile show can easily slip into obscurity nowadays. But for viewers who can bear to tear themselves away from Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Narcos a world of under-appreciated television awaits. We’ve trawled the nether reaches of Netflix, Amazon Prime etc to bring you the definitive countdown of below-the-radar telly worth a second glance.
A police procedural with a difference as an amnesiac women found naked in Times Square is revealed to have supernatural sleuthing powers. The tattoos covering her body contain contain clues to seemingly unsolvable crimes. But will the FBI team assigned to work with the mysterious Remi (Jaimie Alexander) accept her as one of their own?
Actress Jaimie Alexander has been tapped as one of the faces of Rag & Bone’s fall 17 campaign.
The Thor star appears in the fashion house’s latest photo project wearing pieces from its upcoming collection, including a white silk vest while her cropped dark hair is slicked back.
Photographed by Glen Luchford, the new set of images, which also feature musician and model Staz Lindes and fashion stars Lottie Moss and Selah Marley, are a follow-up to Rag & Bone’s ‘Portrait Series’ for fall 17, which the brand unveiled during its New York Fashion Week presentation in February (17).
Jaimie and her co-stars were chosen by co-founder, creative director and chief executive officer Marcus Wainwright for their contributions to and influence on the label.
“The project was really a labour of love; celebrating those who inspire us and allowing them to express their individuality through Rag & Bone clothing,” Marcus told WWD. “We didn’t dictate – but instead gave them the power to style themselves, and it was pretty amazing to see how it all came together. This kind of true collaboration is something inherent to the world of Rag & Bone; you never know what the result will be, but when we work with such incredible people, it is generally very rewarding.”
Jaimie and Lottie aren’t the only A-listers to pose for the campaign; The Americans actress Keri Russell also lends her looks to the project, as does Annie Lennox’s daughter Tali and supermodel Amber Valletta, whose photos were unveiled in February.
All those taking part in the campaign are regularly involved with Rag & Bone, with Keri and her partner Matthew Rhys previously wearing custom made pieces by the brand to the 2017 Met Gala. Matthew too was photographed as part of the ‘Portrait Series’ earlier this year.
2017: Campaign – Rag Bone
June 15 – An Evening of Unmasking Eating Disorders – recent additions
June 6 – CFDA Fashion Awards – recent additions
OK, first things first. The “F” in the The F Word with Gordon Ramsay, the new competitive-cooking show debuting on FOX on Wednesday, May 31, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, does not mean what you think.
“‘F’ stands for ‘food,’ ‘fun’ and ‘family,’” says Ramsay, who’s better known for tossing around a different kind of f-word, especially on one of his other popular FOX shows, MasterChef (Season 8 of also premieres on Wednesday).
But Ramsay’s new program, based on his popular British version, promises all three of those things (and likely an occasional bleeped-out f-bomb). Each live, hour-long episode will feature two teams of foodie family and friends duking it out to serve a dining room filled with discerning VIPs, including celebrity guests, from Andy Cohen and Kai Penn to Jaimie Alexander and Miranda Kerr.
The set features a large open kitchen, allowing the diners a front row seat for the drama that’s sure to unfold as the teams navigate the challenges of restaurant service. Sure, competitors are talented home cooks, but Ramsay predicts they’ll quickly discover that a restaurant kitchen is nothing like cooking at home.
Unlike MasterChef, in which contestants are mentored by Ramsay and other judges throughout the competition, these home cooks have just one night to demonstrate their culinary chops. Teams will arrive the day of their competition, learn the menu, prep the ingredients and then cook dishes to order in an hour-long service, just like in a real restaurant.
“For them to be dropped in the middle of a restaurant and go from that domestic platter to a professional plate is going to be the big challenge,” says Ramsay. He predicts consistency and timing will be their biggest hurdles.
“We can’t just serve one table, stop, and high five,” says Ramsay. “It’s 15 tables. As one leaves, as one takes flight on the hot table, the next one is two minutes away. And it becomes systematic like that. If it doesn’t, it’s going to break down.
“If someone throws a spanner in the works, we’re f-cked,” he notes. (There’s that f-bomb.)
Each episode’s winning team will be determined by one question asked of each diner: Would you pay for this meal?
“If the guest is happy to pay for it, the team wins a point,” says Ramsay. By the end of the season, the top two teams will compete for a cash prize in the finale.
“I love the energy of a live kitchen,” says Ramsay of the drama that’s sure to be cooked up. But the show also touches on something else that’s dear to him: family cooking. “We’ve never had a chance to focus on families,” says Ramsay, who scoured the country to find families that love to cook — and eat — together.
Most of all, he hopes The F Word inspires viewers to spend more time in the kitchen with their own families. As Ramsay was building his restaurant and television empire, he reserved weekends for his family and brought his own four children into the kitchen with him. Even if they have no ambition to cook professionally, he says, it’s a life skill everyone needs.
“Cooking together is crucial,” says Ramsay. “The kitchen is a great place to communicate.”
NBC is the first broadcast network to unveil its schedule for the 2017-18 TV season, and the big news on the returning-show front is the Peacock’s decision to shift breakout hit This Is Us from Tuesdays-at-9 to Thursdays-at-9. In its new slot, it will follow returning Must-See vet Will & Grace (at 8 pm) and the Tina Fey-produced sophomore comedy Great News (at 8:30 pm).
“Our hope is to create the return of Must-See TV on Thursday,” said NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt in a conference call with reporters on Sunday. “We really wanted to go after Thursday in a big way.” Greenblatt confirms that the actual Must-See branding will return this fall. And as previously reported, Will & Grace‘s episode count has been increased to 12. The exec also revealed that Fey will make several guest appearances on Great News this fall.
Former Thursday staple The Blacklist will move into the Wednesday lead-off position, while Superstore and The Good Place will head to Tuesdays.
lso of note: Blindspot will relocate to Fridays at 8 pm, where it will be paired with second-year drama Taken; and new military drama The Brave has scored the cushy post-Voice perch on Mondays.
Regarding the fate of remaining bubble series Chicago Justice and Trial & Error, Greenblatt said decisions on those will be made in the coming days and (possibly) weeks. Also the buzzy Casey Wilson-Busy Phillips comedy pilot The Sackett Sisters is not dead. Said Greenblatt: “We have’t definitively said no” to picking it up.
On tap for midseason or later: Returning series Chicago Med (airing Thursdays once L&O: True Crime‘s eight-episode run ends), Shades of Blue and Timeless, and the new scripted series RISE, A.P. BIO, GOOD GIRLS, CHAMPIONS and REVERIE.
All told, the NBC schedule looks like this:
8 pm The Voice
10 pm The Brave
8 pm The Voice
9 pm Superstore (new time slot)
9: 30 pm The Good Place (new time slot)
10 pm Chicago Fire
8 pm The Blacklist (new time slot)
9 pm Law & Order: SVU
10 pm Chicago P.D.
8 pm WILL & GRACE
8:30 Great News (new time slot)
9 pm This Is Us (new time slot)
10 pm LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS (WATCH TRAILER)
8 pm Blindspot (new time slot)
9 pm Taken (new time slot)
10 pm Dateline
8 pm Dateline Mysteries
10 pm Saturday Night Live (encores)
7 pm Football Night in America
8:20 pm NBC Sunday Night Football
NOT RETURNING NEXT SEASON: Aquarius, The Blacklist: Redemption, Grimm and Powerless
“Blindspot” has been renewed for Season 3 at NBC, Variety has learned.
The series follows a mysterious woman known only as Jane Doe who is found in Times Square with her memory erased and her body covered in a series of coded tattoos. But as she and the FBI team who discovered her work to decipher the complex treasure map of her body, an ever-widening web of conspiracy and corruption is revealed.
The drama from Greg Berlanti’s prolific shop at Warner Bros. TV was on the bubble after softening in its second season. NBC and producer Warner Bros. TV were understood to have had a tough negotiation on the license fee for the renewal. The renewal comes as NBC prepares to unveil its 2017-18 schedule to advertisers in New York on Monday.
The series stars Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ashley Johnson, Ukweli Roach, Luke Mitchell, Michelle Hurd and Archie Panjabi. Creator and writer Martin Gero serves as exec producer and showrunner. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jeff F. King are also exec producers.