‘Blindspot’: When Seeing Is Believing
In the middle of Times Square, a police officer notices a suspicious-looking duffel. Suddenly, the bag unzips from within and out steps a nude woman (Jaimie Alexander), her body covered with an intricate maze of tattoos. She has no memory of who she is, and scrawled across her back is the name Kurt Weller, one of the FBI’s top agents. That’s the can’t-look-away opening of Blindspot, the new NBC drama that’s earned the coveted time slot behind The Voice on Mondays this fall.
The concept for the show came to executive producer Martin Gero via his love of treasure maps. The Goonies was also a major influence. “I’m obsessed with treasure hunts and treasure maps, and I had been trying to do a show about that forever,” he says. “But it’s impossible to get real personal stakes—or 100 episodes—out of a treasure map.”
So Gero found a way to make a map series-friendly and hyper-personal: Put it on the hunter’s body. Each week, the procedural will follow Jane Doe (yes, Alexander will go by that, at least for the time being) and Weller (Strike Back’s Sullivan Stapleton) as they attempt to unravel the mystery of the tattoos, as well as Jane’s identity.“By the end of the pilot, a trust has been built up [between the two characters],” says exec producer Greg Berlanti. “They both could use each other.”
Alexander, known for kicking butt as Lady Sif in the Thor movies, is excited to stretch her dramatic-acting chops. She was drawn to the part because of just how far Gero has mapped out the show. “He had answers for everything about what could happen years from now,” she says. “Each of these tattoos means something, and there are hundreds of them on my body. It’s incredible.”
All those tattoos mean a lot of time in makeup. For days in which Alexander’s entire body is visible, three or four makeup artists spend seven and a half hours applying the designs. Because of the way skin stretches, Alexander must stand the entire time—a slog she endures by watching court shows or listening to music. “Any time we listen to the Beatles, the tattoos go on perfectly,” she says. “One day we tried to switch it up, and the glue wasn’t sticking. It was like, ‘OK, we’re going to have to listen to the Beatles for the rest of the year!’”
RELATED: Watch a Sneak Preview of Blindspot
Blindspot, Series premiere, Monday, September 21, 10/9c, NBC