As “Jane Doe” in NBC’s “Blindspot,” Jaimie Alexander’s developed a cult following as a tattooed, butt-kicking badass. But on the red carpet at a recent Q&A, her stunning, low-cut, crimson Christian Siriano gown (“I like him because he makes beautiful clothes for curvy ladies”) — and of course, the missing skin art — made Alexander almost unrecognizable.
“[The tattoos] can take anywhere from 20 minutes to eight hours, depending on how much of my body is going to be showing,” the South Carolina native tells Screener. “I know exactly where they all go now. I’ll be like, ‘No, it should be a little to the left,’ and my makeup artist will be like, ‘No, you gained weight!'”
So how does one stay sane for eight hours cooped up in a trailer, getting fake tattoos painstakingly painted on every inch of their body? Thanks to ’90s pop music, Alexander says the process has become so enjoyable she often doesn’t want the tattoo session to end.
“We got a stereo system put into the trailer, and a coffee maker, so we’re on it,” she says, during our chat at SDCC 2016. “We actually don’t want to leave the trailer, so sometimes we take a little longer than we should, because we’re rocking out to Led Zeppelin or the Spice Girls. I love the Spice Girls. We have the best relationship, my makeup artist and I. We have a good a time with it.”
It’s hardly surprising Alexander needs some pre-filming fun before stepping into the dark and mysterious world of Jane, who woke up with no memory and spent the first season digging into her unknown identity and very dark past.
Despite channeling Jane’s confusion daily, Alexander struggles to imagine the horrifying feeling of not knowing who you are.
“I wouldn’t mind pressing the reset button a few times!” she laughs. “No, I’m kidding. It’s got to be such a scary thing. [Like] when you’re little and you lose your mom in the grocery store — that devastating, Oh god, oh god, oh god…”
“Being lost and not knowing what to do, where to go, or who to call, is a scary feeling — and this poor woman has that every single day! Nobody understands it, except [Kurt] Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), who sympathizes with her and has some empathy… But it’s a hard thing for anybody to grasp, unless it’s actually happened to them.”
While Kurt may be one of the few people Jane can confide in, it’s unclear whether the pair will rekindle their romance. Stapleton’s well aware fans are gunning for more action between the two — one of the many elements of the show he credits for helping build the series’ loyal fanbase.
“Everyone wants Kurt and Jane together,” says the Australian actor. “For this kind of audience, it’s also the twists and turns and the mysteries behind what’s going on, and all the action in between that… There’s something for everyone.”
That action has caused more than a few bumps and bruises for the cast. Stapleton nonchalantly shows off his latest scar, which involved getting his hand slammed against a wall covered in sandpaper. For Alexander, the physical side of the role has been just as grueling — but way more fun — in Season 2.
“I trained all summer in different martial arts, so that’s been easier. I learn the fights a lot faster now, which is great — but it’s still pretty taxing. I know what to do now, though, so it’s more fun. And now we’re putting in things that I wasn’t actually able to do last season, which is really exciting. It’s been awesome.”
As well as training to kick butt for fight scenes, Alexander’s favorite part of the role remains learning different languages.
“I’d love to be able to speak as many languages as her, because I love people — love to talk to everybody and have such a respect for culture. I just haven’t had enough time, given my work schedule, to learn a full language… Chinese was so hard! I have a couple of languages coming up that I’m learning which are very difficult to learn, but I’m so excited about. I can’t say what, because it’ll give away a location.”
What Alexander can say is that no matter what lies ahead, fans will remain on the edge of their seats: The Oct. 19 episode welcomes guest star PJ Byrne, from “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Legend of Korra,” and sends Jane on a Sandstorm mission with brother Roman, while we’ll dig into the aftermath of Tasha’s (Audrey Esparza) cliffhanger discovery of Edgar’s (Rob Brown) latest, uh, predicament.
As for the season moving forward, Alexander says, expect the unexpected: “I don’t like things that are predictable — and that’s what we’re really doing with this season, is making it so unpredictable that if you sit there and think of ideas, you’re still never going to guess it! That’s what we want to do — keep it super fresh, and super exciting, for everybody.”
“Blindspot” airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.