The Last Stand's Jaimie Alexander Explains Why She Wants To Be Like Arnold Schwarzenegger
It sounds like you had a lot of input into your character, but I’m also curious about working with Jee-woon Kim on that front because not only is this his first English-language feature it’s not his natural tongue. How did you deal with that language barrier?
You know, for me I think it worked better because sometimes words get in the way. When somebody’s like, “Now I’d like you to do a little bit more of this, and then a little bit more of that” and it’s not simple when somebody tells you nine things to do. Just put it into one or two words! And for him it was more of a visual thing. Like Arnold, he’s super animated and that was his way of communicating a lot. You could just look at him and go, “Okay, yeah. I know exactly what you want me to do.” You just make eye contact, a few little things here or there. He would actually literally – especially for me because I spent most of my time jumping out of the car on the roof or rolling around in the dirt or whatever – he would get down and say, “This is how I want you to be” and lay down on the ground, one arm up…because for him on camera he can see if your head was above this car it’s going to get shot. So you need to make sure that you’re down low. So those were the types of things.
And when it came to emotional scenes I could just look at him and he would have almost the exact emotion on his face that my character would maybe experience in that scene, and it just made sense right away. Honestly, he’s so fantastic.
Were you familiar with his work before working with him?
Yes, and the thing about that…his shots…He has a couple shots in the movie that are continuous, that don’t cut, and nobody does that anymore. I mean, I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, that may be the last time I saw it. He’s not cutting to close-ups all the time! Let’s keep it going and show the realism of it!
You mentioned that you love doing action films and while I’m not quite sure of the timeline when you filmed the movies, but this one is coming out right in between Thor and Thor: The Dark World. Obviously they are two very different characters, but did prepping for one help with prepping for the other, just in terms of the training process?
It was really funny. I was really sick before I got this role and I hadn’t been able to really physically train in a couple of months, so when they said, “Yeah, you have nine days,” I was like, “Ha! That’s not going to happen!” But my thing is more about being healthy, not aesthetics wise, unless the character calls for that. But it’s more about I want to make sure that my back is strong so that I can do these things and do them realistically – not hunch over…So for me it was more about this woman is a deputy, there’s a certain way and a protocol that you follow when you’re handling weapon. And I can’t just raise my arm and shoot the gun. [miming what it’s like to fire a weapon] Whatever side my gun is on, my hand touches that and the other hand touches the middle of your stomach. You draw the gun up into your stomach and out forward – there’s a certain way of doing things. I trained with an LAPD officer who was one of the stunt coordinators on the film. That was most of the training I did, it was like a formality to make sure I did everything right. To make sure that I look like a cop!
And I can see why you wouldn’t want to overdo it also, as she is just a small-town cop.
Right! And for Sarah she would make sure that she did it right. That’s the thing. And it’s so funny because the main difference between me and that character is that in a way she’s very straight-laced and does things by the book, and I’m not. I don’t take a conventional approach [laughs]. So it was fun to play somebody who was a little uptight with those things and eventually lets her hair down…literally. That’s another reason the hair was down – figuratively she lets it go.
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