Blindspot: Why Jaimie Alexander Is 'This Season's Biggest Badass'
On a working construction site, a man fires a round of bullets, shooting up a car. Out through the shattered front window climbs a severely tattooed woman. She jumps from the hood of the vehicle in pursuit of her attacker, and a fight erupts as she disarms him of his machine gun. He pulls out a handgun. She disarms that too. Finally, he whips out a knife. You can guess what happens next.
“As you uncover the layers of her abilities,” says Blindspot’s stunt coordinator, Stephen Pope, “[you find that] she’s not a superhero—she’s a highly trained weapon.”
Meet this season’s biggest badass, Jane Doe (embodied by Jaimie Alexander, who plays Lady Sif in the Thor movies). The show opens with the discovery of an unmarked duffel bag in the middle of Times Square containing a nude woman who has no idea who she is or how she got there. Her body’s covered in fresh ink, including one tattoo that reads Kurt Weller, the name of a local FBI agent (Sullivan Stapleton) who soon discovers that this Jane Doe is essentially a living, breathing map of crimes that have yet to be committed. If that weren’t puzzling enough, Jane also happens to be highly skilled in, well, just about everything. The result: action and stunts galore.
“TV shows and movies are slowly occupying the same space,” executive producer Martin Gero says. “So we’ve got to compete with those big-action set pieces that you see in blockbusters.”
Inspired by the in-your-face fight sequences of the 2013 Korean flick The Suspect and the Bourne films, Blindspot takes advantage of its New York City setting to deliver thrills that include hand-to-hand combat in the close quarters of Chinatown and a gun battle inside the Statue of Liberty. Thus far, Alexander has trained for the striking fight choreography by mastering elements of jujitsu, judo and krav maga. She took a two-day course in FBI tactics to learn how to assemble, hold and use weapons like a Glock and an assault rifle. Parkour-esque jumps and challenging underwater feats are also on the menu. You want explosions? There’s plenty of them, too.
Of course all these antics mean Alexander has to share her part with her longtime stunt double, Ky Furneaux. “She wants to do everything. You have to talk her down sometimes,” Furneaux says. “She’s like, ‘I wanted to jump off that building.’ And I’m always like, ‘Jaimie, I’m replaceable. You’re not.’”
Blindspot, premieres Monday, Sept. 21, 10/9c, NBC