The Marvel Universe is filled with strong men but there’s more than a fair share of women you’d want standing in front of you when the horrors emerge from the wormhole. Lady Sif of Asgard is one of them — not only a companion to Thor, but lending her sword to help out the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tonight, who don’t have the luxury of being an immortal.
To find out more we spoke to Jaimie Alexander, who embodies the best of what Lady Sif is all about.
Man Cave Daily: Lady Sif seems pretty aggressive — do you prefer to play really strong women like her?
Jaimie Alexander: You know, I do. This is something that I like — even when the character isn’t a superhero. When the character is a strong but vulnerable. that’s the type of person that is my favorite to play. I love a character who is strong physically but also embodies an inner strength, who can also be quite vulnerable to show that there are two sides to everything.
MCD: What makes for a strong female character while keeping her three-dimensional?
Jaimie Alexander: For me, whether it’s in TV or film, it’s where someone is compassionate and can see both sides of the story. Someone who can stand up for what they believe honestly in their heart, but also takes into account other people’s feelings and where they are coming from. I think that Sif does a great job at that; she’s very compassionate, always trying to help the underdog and stands up for what she believes is right.
In Thor: The Dark World, she defies Odin to help Thor, not because, deep inside, she loves Thor, but also because she believes that Thor is making the right decisions. So she helps him to escape Asgard. I think that’s what makes these characters so powerful, that they’re compassionate I think that compassion is at the root of it all.
MCD: Compared to a lot of movies, Sif’s battlesuit seems a lot more practical than what you’d usually see but it still does makes you look awfully good. Does Sif need to make a fashion statement when hauling away at the baddies or doesn’t it matter?
Jaimie Alexander: In Dark World we wanted for Sif to be wearing something that was feminine but also practical. A Viking warrior would have worn something like this — it’s protective gear, with a place where her shield can attach to the armor and where the sword can be sheathed. So if you wanted to call it an “outfit,” then definitely you could say it serves a practical purpose rather than “just looking good.” That’s something that I think Marvel does really well: they concentrate on the character before the physical appearance, which makes them more relatable and identifiable for those watching.
The outfit is actually one of the more comfortable costumes that I’ve worn. I loved the costume in the first Thor but the second time around you’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. This costume is modified so that it’s more maneuverable and easier to wear and work in. But the armor wasn’t just for show — I got hit in the chest a few times and I’m glad that the material it was made of was as hard as it was (laughs). I didn’t feel it.
MCD: Sif makes an appearance on Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. — does she just put up with them because of Thor or does she really care about them?
Jaimie Alexander: She absolutely cares. I think that is what she fights for — the protection of all beings across the nine realms. That is why she enlists the help of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., because she is in their world and, out of respect, looks to them for help because she doesn’t know as much about the world as they do (or at least the “modern” Earth). She trusts the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because Thor does and so she goes down there to get their help to find Lorelei — who is a threat to Sif’s world as much as Earth. She does care for the welfare of other realms — absolutely.
MCD: Sif digs Thor but she’s kind of laid-back about it. How about you — what’s your dating style like when you meet a guy that you like?
Jaimie Alexander: You know, I’m pretty out there — very much whether I have feeling for somebody or care about somebody, whether that’s dating or as a friend, I let them know. I think time is wasted when you keep it to yourself. But I also think that where Sif is trying to protect her universe — all of the realms — that personal feelings come secondary to her duties as a warrior. I think that’s why she doesn’t truly go after Thor, but it’s also because she can tell he is in love with someone else.
So for her, I think that Thor being happy is the most important thing. So if he’s happier with Jane Foster, then Sif has to “bite the bullet,” so to speak, and leave it be. Since that is what is most important for her, for Thor to be happy.
Tomorrow’s Jaimie’s birthday, and it’s Lady Sif’s 50th anniversary! Congratulate them both on Twitter @JaimieAlexander.