'Thor' warrior Jaimie Alexander previews 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' guest role

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Image Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Asgard comes to earth in Tuesday night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode “Yes Men,” where the team will see their highest profile guest star yet in the form of Thor’s Jaimie Alexander.

Exactly why is Lady Sif tangling up with Coulson and co.? She’s come to earth to collect evil Asgardian seductress Lorelei (Elena Satine), who was seen making an appearance at the end of last week’s episode, looking to wreak havoc on the human world. Alexander spoke with EW about Lady Sif’s visit to earth (her first since Thor), what she loved about working with the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast, and what viewers can expect.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: As a huge fan of both Marvel and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m excited to talk to you! But I want to know how excited you were to come to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Jaimie Alexander: Very, very excited. I love playing Lady Sif, and just to be able to get to explore her even further was just such a treat for me.

And we’ve never really seen her explored in any of the Thor movies, aside from her relationships with Thor and Loki and the Warriors Three. Since she’s on her own here, do we get a little more insight into her?
Alexander: You definitely see a lot more of her and how she interacts with other people. Essentially, she comes to earth hunting Lorelei. She’s been sent on a mission to bring Lorelei back to Asgard. And so with that, she’s in someone else’s world, on their turf, and she enlists the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. out of respect. I think she’s definitely a one-woman army when it comes to doing things, but she’s also respectful of other territory and she knows she can trust S.H.I.E.L.D. because Thor [Chris Hemsworth] did. And that speaks very highly to her. So the crossover in general is such a great thing. It’s been awhile since she’s been on earth.

I was going to say, she hasn’t been on earth since the end of the first Thor movie.
Alexander: Right. That awkwardness is still there!

So then it must be interesting for her to be back. Does she feel out of place with all the cool gadgets and stuff?
Alexander: You know, honestly, I think she walks around and sees things that might be advanced technology for earth, but she looks at it like, “oh, well, yeah, this is nothing compared to what we have in Asgard.” But she definitely, again, just appreciates the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. And there’s obviously that humor because she doesn’t understand certain things, and certain things that one of the agents might say as a joke, she takes literally because she doesn’t know it’s supposed to be funny. So that awkwardness is still there and it was a lot of fun to play into, especially with Agent Coulson.

It seems like you had a pretty close rapport with the cast while filming – I saw your tweets with Ming-Na Wen. Does that mean we’re going to see some lady warrior ass kicking?
Alexander: You’ll definitely see quite a bit of interaction between Sif and Melinda May. And I have to say, on and off screen, she’s fantastic. She’s so much fun and she just has this zest for life. Towards the end of the day when we’re all tired, she would just come in and wake everybody up. She was just so much fun and so lively. Everybody on that set, both cast and crew, was such a blast to work with — they have such a good thing going on over there, and I was so happy to be a part of it.

They seem like a really good group. Based on what I’ve seen with other guest stars, it seems like they take everyone in and make them feel comfortable. But I think it helps that you also have people like Clark Gregg, who are used to the Marvel universe and know what it’s like to fit in with different casts.
Alexander: Oh, yeah. The first day I was at work, Clark kind of whispered at me, and he said “come here.” And I said, “what?!” And he gave me this folded up shirt that he shoved into my hand, and he was like, “this is for you.” And he walked away, and I looked at it, and it was an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tee-shirt. I think Clark himself and Agent Coulson are both slightly fanboy-ish, so it was so much fun to do these scenes with him and see his face. I mean, sometimes, I would say something to him, and he would be mouthing my lines kind of in boy wonder. It’s about the sweetest thing you’ll ever see. We cracked up so many times, all of us in all of the scenes would just start laughing at some point, and then we’d have to start over. But it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time working on something, and those people really are one of a kind.

Let’s say the situation was reversed and the agents came to Asgard. How do you think they would react to being out of their element in your world?
Alexander: I think Fitz and Simmons would probably be just in heaven. I think some of the other agents would be in awe, just as Sif is when she comes to earth kind of awkward and a bit enamored with certain things, but also frustrated with certain things. I think that would be really fun, because I think the only person we’ve had is Jane Foster that’s come to Asgard from earth.

Is there any potential for Sif to return? Or can you not say?
Alexander: I don’t know for certain, but I’m certainly game if Marvel’s game, especially if it’s with these awesome people that I worked with. And any chance I get to explore Sif a little further and give the fans what they’ve been asking for, I’m completely game.

Me, too! I wish we had gotten to see more of Sif in Thor: The Dark World.
Alexander: I think you still got that Sif cares for Thor, and the well-being of her people, and you definitely see that in this episode. She’s got a really big heart, and she wants to protect all those around her, especially when it comes to other warrior women.

Speaking of other warrior women, I saw the preview of your fight scene with Lorelei and it made me really excited.
Alexander: Yeah, that was fun. I got to work one morning and learned it the morning of and then fought the day of. I was like, “Wow, this is a lot faster than movies are!” [laughs] It was a lot of fun.

One thing I love about Marvel is that they showcase so many strong women. I love that this show has been making an effort to focus on its ladies and bring in characters like Sif.
Alexander: I think Marvel does a great job. And I’ve said this so many times, but they do such a great job at writing female characters. In my past experience with Marvel, it’s always been more about the personality and soul of the character, and the physicality is secondary. And I think that’s huge, you know? They’re so complex, and parts of them are damaged, and parts of them are soulful, and I’ve seen it in every single Marvel character. There’s always a vulnerability, there’s a strongness; they’re feminine but they’re tough at the same time. They’re mostly the kind of women we want our children to grow up to be. And I think that’s so important. Just also working with a lot of the females that are on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., each one of their characters — they’re smart, they’re compassionate, and again, it’s less about what they look like and more about what they are. And I think that’s awesome to see that it’s just been consistent in the Marvel universe.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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