"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is getting a visitor from the Nine Realms.
So far, the Marvel Television series has spent much of its time dancing around the fringes of the catalogue of Marvel Comics characters, with only a few familiar faces having made an appearance on the show. In fact, aside from Samuel L. Jackson's brief cameo earlier this season, tonight's episode, titles "Yes Men," features what is easily its biggest MCU guest star to date when Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif arrives on Midgard for a brief mission.
Introduced in last episode's epilogue, the evil Lorelei (Elena Satine) is enjoying her time on Earth. In the comics, Lorelei has teamed with Loki to cause trouble for Thor, utilizing her ability to seduce men into obeying her every whim to help further her quest for power. It's safe to assume her television-debuting counterpart has a similar modus operandi, and when she crosses paths with Alexander's Sif, Lorelei is unlikely to go down without a fight.
Alexander spoke with Comic Book Resources about bringing Lady Sif to the small screen, her dynamic with the show's agents and her hopes for more Asgardian adventures as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand and grow in film and television.
CBR News: What were your initial thoughts on the Marvel film and television franchises colliding when you were first approached about bringing Sif to "S.H.I.E.L.D.?"
Jaimie Alexander: Clark Gregg came up to me at a party about two weeks before I got a phone call from Marvel and asked me, hypothetically, if I would be interested in doing an episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." or some sort of crossover. I was like, "Yeah, that's a definite yes." I adore Clark. I said to him that I would love to explore Agent Coulson and Lady Sif a little bit more because we had so much fun on "Thor." Then, I got a phone call two weeks later from Marvel asking, "Hey, would you be up for this?" I said, "Ah, I see. You sent Clark in to butter me up."
It was one of those things that, when I thought about it, I said, "Okay, if we're going to do this, I definitely want the costume to be the same, for everything to try to be the same for Lady Sif, and make sure there is a lot of authenticity from 'Thor: The Dark World' and 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'" They did a great job of that.
We know from the teasers that Lady Sif is on Earth hunting down Lorelei, but what brings her into contact with S.H.I.E.L.D.?
I would have to say Lady Sif does. I come down from Asgard and I pretty much enlist the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. to find Lorelei. That's how it gets started.
Lady Sif is a one-woman army when it comes to hunting someone down. It's rare that she needs help, but I think the reason she asks S.H.I.E.L.D. for help is because she respects Earth. She knows Thor does, too. She doesn't want to wreak havoc across Earth and possibly hurt other people, so she wants to enlist their help and say, "This is your world. Let's be collaborative in how we go about this."
Lady Sif is this Asgardian warrior trained for battle. How much of that side of Sif do we see in the episode?
You will see of a lot of that side of Sif. She's not one to just have a cup of tea with Coulson. She definitely has a purpose and uses her skills to track down her target. She's not somebody who always wants to fight or hurt. She'll give a verbal warning. She tries to keep the peace as much as possible, but when that's not possible, she goes back into warrior mode.
As you said earlier, Sif shares a history with Coulson, and respects him. What's her impression of the rest of the team? Do they hit it off?
She's such a serious warrior that, really, the dynamic between her and pretty much everyone on Earth is quite awkward and comical, which is fantastic and so much fun to play. She definitely respects Agent Coulson, and when she gets to know the other agents, she forms a respect for them as well. She thinks it's quite an honor to fight alongside them.
Were you familiar with the character of Lorelei before reading the episode's script? What makes her and Lady Sif such great rivals?
Personally, I was very aware of the character Lorelei. When I heard that was going to be part of my crossover, I thought it was great. She's a very strong character and there's quite a bit of history between her, Sif and Thor. It was a great thing to explore. Without getting into too much detail, you'll feel the history between them.
We have Lady Sif, Lorelei and the agents. Were you surprised how much they crammed into one episode?
Yeah, it was a lot, but rightly so. They story comes full circle and was done so well. A lot of the history from the comic books, between certain characters, exists in this episode. I believe they all did their homework, which is always a great feeling. Then we had some people that were new to this world with some of the cast and crew. It was so great to sit around and tell each other stories of, "This happened previously on our show," and I can say, "This happened in 'Thor: The Dark World,' so maybe we'd go about it this way." It was fun almost trading campfire stories with everybody, so that we all understood how the episode should play out in terms of what parts are humorous and what parts are serious.
I have to say, they are probably one of my favorite casts and crews that I have ever worked with. They have such a great thing going on over there and they are all very hard workers and very respectful of each other and all willing to help each other out. It was such a rad experience to be a part of their world for a short period of time.
Are there still aspects of Lady Sif you are aching to explore either on television or in film? Are you open to returning for more appearance on the show?
I'm game if they are game. I had such a great experience. If time allows, I would definitely return.
I would like to explore more of Lady Sif's relationships and go in deeper with the Warriors Three and her, Thor and her, and even Loki and her. I think it would be a really neat thing to see a little bit of history played out or a bit of background story. And, of course, most people agree it would be really epic to see a Lady Loki. It would be so much fun and the sky would be the limit with that.
In your opinion, how important is Lady Sif's appearance on "S.H.I.E.L.D." in growing the concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Marvel has done an excellent job of tying all these characters into each other, with film crossovers, and with this crossover into "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." It's so important for the fans to see that these worlds constantly intertwine. I was so happy to be a part of this because I love it myself. I love comic books. I love the Marvel Universe. I have since I was a kid. To see these things -- I can feel the excitement of people who are looking forward to the episode. Every day I went to work on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," I was so excited, myself. I thought, "I can't wait for people to find out this is going to happen." I think this should hopefully happen a lot more in the future with other characters. It just creates this world we so desperately want to see.