A girl wakes up inside a body bag in the middle of Times Square without clothes or memories, and a body full of fresh tattoos. Talk about a walk of shame, right?
In NBC’s new thriller, “Blindspot,” the amnesiac played by Jaimie Alexander probably wishes she just had a hangover and some bad romantic decisions to contend with. However, since one of the more prominent tattoos on her back is the name of an FBI agent (played by Sullivan Stapleton from “Strike Back“) things get very serious, very fast.
When the highly anticipated series premieres on Monday, the mystery around this woman begins and we’ll find that “Jane” has more skills and talents that surprise even her and only make the mystery richer.
But what if we also found out along the way that "Jane" is a part of the LGBT community? Could that be a part of "Blindspot?"
Since “Blindspot” co-creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti has several series on the air (“Arrow,” “The Flash” “Mysteries of Laura” to name a few), he explained his rule to me recently for having LGBT characters and stories in his work. “I still have the same personal standard, which is I only want to add any characters that feel organic to the thing, but at the same time I want the shows to reflect my own life and the life of people I see and am friends with,” the out writer/producer explained. “That means a real varied group of people. It is exciting that people are really open in genre TV and things like that, much more open to us having LGBT characters.”
As for Alexander, when I sat down with her recently to ask her about a possible LGBT-ness to her character, she revealed it was something she’d already thought about. Let’s see what she had to say on that and other topics about the new series, which is co-created by Martin Gero.
How much do you need to know going into the show? Do you need to know where it's going or is it OK that you don't know?
Jaime Alexander: It’s a little bit of both. I like to know where it’s going only for training purposes because I have to learn the fights and any languages that I might be speaking or machines I might be operating. But I do like not knowing who she is because it’s just less work for me.
So, say I'm on episode three, I won't read episode four [until] the last day of episode three and I'm very good at memorizing. So I can memorize dialogue the day I get to work. I'm lucky, but, yeah, I like the not knowing. There's something so freeing about that and just getting to actually create this character with the writers and the producers and my cast and crew. It's a cool collaborative effort on everyone's part.
What's that relationship going to be like with Sullivan's character when you move forward? Because there is a connection there even though they don't fully know what it is.
JA: He is helping Jane. The sky’s the limit with that because I know that they don’t want to go the typical cliche route, which is good because, again, we’re trying to show that, yes, a female can lead an action-driven series without being the love interest. Now, that said, everybody that’s seen the pilot said, “You guys have incredible chemistry.”
I don't think it was something [Sullivan] and I were aware of at all. We both saw the pilot and we're like, "Oh, great." That's just a bonus because it's less for us to do but it could go any which way. It could go that they were best friends. It could go that I could be related to him. You never know. Well, I'm just coming up with stuff. Anything could be a possibility, and I love that anything is a possibility because we don't want the audience to figure out stuff before we do.
What are we calling the character?
JA: Well, we don’t know yet. They’re just calling her Jane for now because I think what it is, is that they’re going to have to keep calling her Jane because she doesn’t have a name, but the more somebody calls someone something, the more they get used to it. Eventually when we do find out her identity, it’s going to be a very strange shift because is she still that person or not? But we’re still in the very early stages and, again, it’s a fast-paced show. There’s no filler episodes, I’ll tell you that. I got enough bruises to prove it.
But the story moves so fast, and you get answers right away. You get answers in the pilot. You get answers in episode two like crazy. Episode five is pretty awesome.
Since we don’t know so much about Jane, what if you find out she’s either bisexual or she’s gay?
JA: I pitched that! I pitched it! I was like, “Can we do something…” because our show is all about diversity and change with open arms. We have a very diverse cast. We deal with diversity issues. The whole premise right now is that this woman feels like an outcast and she’s lost and all she really wants for real is just human connection. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, black, blue, yellow, green, or pink. That’s a very common thing among all that. So that’s something, obviously, that we would love to put in at some point with some of the characters because the world itself is very diverse. It’s not just black and white.
Is it safe to say at this point you’re in the best shape of your life?
JA: You know what’s funny? I’m not. That’s the thing. I’m in decent shape but I could use a lot more muscle mass, and the thing is that my hours are so crazy that currently the only workout regimen I have is the fight rehearsals and the fight scenes. So I’ve tried to do push-ups, crunches, and some yoga in the morning when I wake up just to start my day to be flexible, but I can’t do too much because then I’ll be too sore to do the fight. So it’s finding a good happy medium there.
And I'm lucky because my stunt girl, who I've worked with for nine years…I found her on "Kyle XY:" Ky Furneaux. She's like a Bear Grylls. So she does a lot of outdoor survival stuff. I kind of brought her out of retirement from stunts to double me on the show and we actually room together in New York right now. So she makes really healthy food. She'll wake me up on a Sunday and be like, "OK, let's go. Let's go train," and I'll be like, "Oh, OK." She's a huge motivator in my life and she's like my sister, and we freakishly look exactly the same.
In the opening scene when you come out of the bag, I’m guessing that was probably 3 in the morning, and it was pretty cold outside.
JA: It was freezing and there were no visual effects in that scene at all. There were no people there. We had the NYPD and about 150 PAs that helped us keep everybody back and it was scary getting out and seeing such an iconic place vacant. It was like, apocalyptic, and then wind was blowing and then it started to lightly snow and I thought, “It’s just too quiet. It’s too quiet. This is creepy.”
“Blindspot” premieres September 21 at 10pm on NBC.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.