Jaimie Alexander: Clark Gregg. We bumped into each other at a party about two weeks before I got a phone call from Marvel. We were chatting and he said — very hypothetically — if I was approached to do an “Agents of SHIELD” episode or a crossover, would I be game for it? And I said, “Oh my god.” I said, “Yes, absolutely.” I absolutely adore Clark so, in passing, I was like, yeah I would love that.
We’ve seen Lady Sif gradually evolve as a character over the two “Thor” films, but will we see more of her personality here?
One of the things that we didn’t get to see quite a bit of in the films — and not to say that we didn’t film it, it just never made the cut for changes in storyline and things like that — is that she’s very compassionate. She’s very empathetic towards other people, and I think that just the fact that, when she does come to Earth, she is hunting Lorelei, and she enlists the help of the agents of SHIELD because it’s their world. She has such respect for other worlds that she says, “I’m going to ask for your help. This is your world.” Because, in all honesty, she is kind of a one-woman army when it comes to hunting someone. She doesn’t really need that much help, but out of respect she does ask for their help. I think that just says a lot of who she is.
This season has already featured a couple of “Thor: The Dark World” crossover episodes, but this feels like the biggest. Is there going to be any sense of this episode being an epilogue to that movie?
Definitely the main focus is Lady Sif’s journey on Earth. I think there will be a few Easter eggs here and there. But at the same time, I’ve been asked if I would want to come back and that sort of thing, and I’ve said if time allows and everybody’s game for it, I would absolutely go back.
I think these crossovers are such a great idea to keep this universe working like a well-oiled machine. I think that when we read comic books we get crossovers all the time, but it’s rare that you see it through film, to TV, and then into other films. I think Marvel’s doing that so well. It was definitely an easy answer when they asked me. I will say a lot of the interactions with Sif and Earthlings is quite comical and extremely awkward.
I hear that some of the interactions between Sif and Coulson are really funny.
Oh absolutely. We had so much fun on the first “Thor” film. There was always that kind of awkwardness [between the characters], and he’s sort of a fanboy himself. It’s just little-boy wonder across his face when he sees Sif, and it was just so much fun. I can’t tell you how many times we just cracked up laughing in the middle of a scene and we had to start over again. It was all in good fun, and they just have such a wonderful cast and crew over there. It’s so laid back and just so much fun. Every day was just such a blessing.
I feel like if there was any other character who would fangirl over Sif, it would be Melinda May. Based on the photos from this episode, it seems you two have at least one big scene. What was it like working with Ming-Na Wen?
She is definitely one of my favorite people I have ever met. She has so much energy and so much life to her. Everything makes her happy. She works incredibly hard; she does so many of her own stunts. I was watching her in awe. There would be times when I was shooting a scene and then she was shooting a scene at the same time, but on different parts of the stage, and so I would walk over and watch her do some stuff and she would walk over and watch me do some stuff. She’s just so much fun. And when everyone’s kind of tired at the end of the day, she bounces into set and just wakes everyone up. It was so much fun to work with her. Everyone on that show has a very hard and great work ethic.
The one thing that we haven’t had a payoff for in “Agents of SHIELD” or the Marvel movies is how major Marvel Cinematic Universe characters who thought Coulson was dead respond to discovering he’s alive. Will we see that with Sif?
I am not going to answer that one. The episode will answer that question. I can’t, or I will get in trouble. Let’s just say that Sif absolutely adores Agent Coulson, and also trusts him because of “Thor.” That you will definitely see.
Speaking of the Marvel movies, do you know when we’ll see a payoff for the post-credits tease at the end of “Thor: The Dark World”?
To be honest, I don’t know. A lot of times we’ll get the call about a week before they want us to shoot something, and we have no idea what it’s for. I think they don’t want us to know so that they don’t spill the beans with something. But, as with everything in Marvel, there will be a definite payoff, and I’m sorry I don’t have more information for you on that. Again, I might get shot by a Marvel sniper outside.
Forgiven! One last question: Are you open in general to having Lady Sif be a recurring character in the MCU?
Absolutely. She is one of my most favorite characters that I have ever played, and I think that there’s so much more left to her to explore that I would love to do that. One thing that I would also just love to see is a Lady Loki, so you never know.
“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.