Arnold Schwarzenegger is nothing short of a movie legend. Movies like Predator, The Terminator, Conan The Barbarian, Commando, and True Lies are some of the best examples of the modern action genre and to many he’s nothing short of a big screen icon. But it’s not just his legacy that his The Last Stand co-star Jaimie Alexander wants to emulate as she develops as an actor.
With the brand new action flick in theaters this weekend I recently had the chance to sit down one-on-one with the actress, who plays Deputy Sarah Torrance in the movie, and in addition to talking about her admiration of Schwarzenegger we covered a number of other subjects in our chat, including her aspiration to become action star, playing strong women and adding to her character, and even a little bit about the hotly anticipated Thor: The Dark World. Check it out!
Obviously being a young actress in Hollywood is not an easy career path, but when you’re looking at scripts and looking for projects that you want to do what is it that you’re looking for? And what was it about The Last Stand specifically that made you want to be involved?
This project, I read the script and I was like, “Okay, I like action, action’s my thing,” I love it. I love doing it. When people are like, “What are you really dying to do?” I’m like, “More action!” Why fix it if it ain’t broke? But I look for strong female characters. I look for people that inspire. And I also look for good role models for young women. Those are things that attract me. Even if a character has vulnerabilities and weaknesses and things like that still there’s some sort of strength in that.
Just to overcome those vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
Yeah! And me, as a woman, I have weaknesses that I work with every day that are actually some of my strengths now. So I look for that. And also I love to take characters and make them relatable. So as a small example my character Lady Sif in Thor – she’s a goddess [laughs]. She’s not real, how can you make that relatable? But I try to also make her very much a woman. So I look for those kinds of things in scripts and I also love scripts that really tie together well and get your heart racing and this one did that. And then, of course, I heard Arnold was going to be Ray Owens and I was like, “Oh yeah!” [laughs] I was like, “Count me in!” It took a while for me to get this role, it was a couple months of things. I think they were just trying to figure out the cast as an ensemble – who would fit with who and that sort of thing. I said, “I’m Sarah Torrance, don’t you cast anyone else, alright!” [laughs] So this script was right up my alley.
And with Sarah specifically what was it about the character that you really keyed into when you were first approaching her and figuring out who she was?
I think she has a smartass quality that I really love and I kinda got to do in some of my other things, but I really got to do it in this film. Just a roll of the eyes…it’s how I am with my brothers. So I said, “I like this!” And for me I try to make sure that she wasn’t “the hot chick.” You know what I mean? I can’t stand that shit. They always cast somebody who has these impossibly large boobs and you look at them and you’re like, “You look like you couldn’t even beat up a fly.” So for me I like the fact that she’s a small town deputy. She wears brown slacks. She’s not that va-va-voom, you know? And I enjoy that about her because I told them, “Look: don’t put me in super tight pants, don’t do this, don’t do that…I want to make her realistic!” For me I don’t really care so much about what I look like in the film so long as I look like the character. So we did that with her and I wanted to make sure that she didn’t have a lot of make-up on, very natural – we collectively came up with a look for her and made sure that she was realistic and I had more weight on me at the time and I looked like I could actually hurt somebody. Or at least carry the gun properly and all that stuff [laughs]. So…I totally forgot you question [laughs]
You’re doing great! [laughs] I was asking about your first impressions of the character.
Sometimes I go off on a rant! I keyed into that quality of her being able to hold her own with anybody around her. And the fact that she wants to save people. And the thing about her is that she does it by the book, and then towards the end of the movie she’s like, “Screw the book! I need to do what I can to save these people.” And I like that she sort of breaks out of her shell a bit, you know?