Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

Blindspot's Jaimie Alexander the female Jason Bourne

The star of new hit conspiracy action-thriller Blindspot talks to Dominic Corry about what drew her to the role
Jaimie Alexander in Blindspot. Photo / Supplied
Jaimie Alexander in Blindspot. Photo / Supplied

To play the tattooed amnesiac mystery woman in hit series Blindspot, Jaimie Alexander sure has to turn up to work early. All that intricate ink takes time.

"Originally it was like, seven and a half hours to do the full body," Alexander tells TimeOut during an exclusive sit-down in Los Angeles.

"But the other day we got it down to five and a half hours so we're continually getting better at it. I'm always like 'Can I wear gloves and a scarf?' Because they're on my feet too! The only places that aren't covered - yet, that I know of, because who knows - are my face, the right side of my neck, the palms of my hands and the bottom of my feet. Everything else is covered. Everything."

Adopting the moniker Jane Doe, our heroine's tattoos are all she has to go on, and they include the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller, played by Aussie actor Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back).

The show is the latest conspiracy drama from NBC and isn't far from The Blacklist in style.

While attempting to establish her identity, they soon realise that not only does Jane have lethal skills, but that her tattoos may help the capture of some of the world's most dangerous criminals.

With an increased profile thanks to her sidekick role as Lady Warrior Sif in the Thor films, Alexander found herself in hot demand and had her pick of projects.

"I read through so many scripts and they all started good and then petered out. Then I got to Blindspot and I said 'Okay, girl with tattoos' - I have nine tattoos of my own.

"And when I read it, it was so great because it was such a strong, well-written female character. She was essentially like, the female Jason Bourne and that appealed to me because I thought 'This is going to challenge all my abilities' - I have a fight background. I love tattoos. It's extremely rough emotionally. She has no idea who she is, she doesn't know her mother's name. Or if she has a mother still."

Alexander picked right, as Blindspot has become of the biggest success stories of the season, and its star is TV's newest action hero.

An ability to convincingly kick ass on screen has been a thread running through her career going back to her breakout role on the sci-fi drama Kyle XY.

"These roles, they always come to me.

"I think people just get around me and they're like 'You look like you could beat the hell out of somebody' and I'm like 'Well, I dunno'.

Photo / AP
Photo / AP

When I was starting out in my career they were doing like, The O.C. and the blonde bombshell or the girl with the big boobs or whatever it was.

"I just never fit those characters, I was never a California girl.

"I looked like this little dainty whatever and I had this really low voice for what I looked like and so I was getting rejected a lot and then I sort of found my way into action and I go 'Oh, this is what I can do well that not a lot of other people can' and that just became my thing." It's a passion that has its roots in childhood.

"I was a wrestler on my high school team. I actually started the female wrestling team at my high school. I really just wanted to teach girls self-defence. I kinda grew up with the childhood that needed self-defence, so when I got into the sport I realised I was kinda fearless and that I really wanted to do it, it taught me discipline and perseverence. I've always been interested in fighting, I love UFC, I'm a huge fan of Ronda Rousey, I think she's a very talented fighter.

"Would I ever do something like that? Probably not. But I do miss grappling and stuff and so we've incorporated that a lot into the show.

"There's a very large human being that I actually throw, myself, you'll see."

As Blindspot revels in the dramatic potency of an entirely clean mental slate, TimeOut asks Alexander whether there's anything in her life she'd choose to forget.

"Somebody asked me recently if there's anything I would change about when I first came to LA that would've made it easier.

"And I said 'I don't think so, because the naivety is what helped me stay here'.

"If I knew what was coming I probably would've turned around and gone back to Texas.

"I think it's really special to go through life and experience it and have no regrets because everything makes you who you are - I don't think I'd wanna forget anything. I mean, there's some people I'd like to knock out, maybe make them forget some stuff."

Who: Jaimie Alexander
What: Blindspot
When and where: Sunday 8.30pm, TV2

- TimeOut

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