Creator Martin Gero (Stargate Atlantis, Bored to Death) also serves as Executive Producer for NBC’s new drama Blindspot.
The series spotlights a beautiful ‘Jane Doe’ (Jaimie Alexander, Thor, Love and Other Drugs) who is found naked in a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square, New York, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Covered in intricate tattoos, the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) is clearly inscribed across her back.
Weller and the rest of the FBI realize that every tattoo on her body is a crime to be solved, which leads them closer to discovering Jane’s true identity.
Martin Gero and Jaimie Alexander came to the TV Critics tour to talk about their unique new series, which premieres on September 21st.
This was an ambitious pilot. Where does the show go from here? With they be solving a case each week?
Martin Gero: There is an over-arching mythology to the show, week to week. And the great thing about this is even of the cases that do come out of the tattoos, there is incredible personal stakes for the main characters, unlike a regular procedural, in which they care about getting the bad guy.
Everything they investigate has to do directly with, why is Kurt Weller’s name on her back, and who is Jane, and who did this to her?
Did you create the role for Jaimie?
Martin: I didn’t create the role for her, but the second Jaimie walked into the room, we were all done. We had to play it cool because you have to negotiate after that.
Jaimie Alexander: You had to play it cool? I had to play it really cool. I think I actually tripped when I was leaving the office, and I was like, ‘Great. I just messed it up.’
Jaimie, you grew up in Texas and you were part of a wrestling team. Can you talk about that?
Jaimie: I started the female team at my school to create an opportunity to learn self-defense for young women in my grade and the grade below mine. I’ve always been an activist in pro-equality, and it was a skill set that I knew that I could advance in, so I wanted to start the team.
Having brothers and growing up in Texas definitely helped build the backbone I have today that definitely makes it possible for me to play characters like this.
Can you talk about filming the opening sequence? Were you actually filming in Times Square?
Martin: There is not a single visual effect in that entire opening sequence. We really closed down Times Square.
Was it cold that night?
Jaimie: It was a little chilly.
Martin: It was one of the coldest nights in New York.
Jaimie: The shaking was real. I didn’t have to try too hard for that.
That was one of the most epic things I’ve ever shot. Just to look around and see such an iconic space completely vacant was almost apocalyptic.
Here’s the obvious question about make up. Have you modified the tattoos so that not all your tattoos are shown in each episode?
Jaimie: I do wear the full body often. It takes about seven-and-a-half hours to apply. It can last a few days, but then again, you’ll see, that sometimes I’m in short sleeves or a hoodie, and I will just put on the tattoos that are showing, mostly to save time.
You knew what you were getting yourself into with this, are you normally a patient person?
Jaimie: I think reading the script, I definitely realized it was going to be quite a task. But if you come from a place of acceptance you just go for the flow. We have a great crew that helped supply these tattoos, and we listen to Beatles on Pandora. We have good coffee, good conversation and the hours fly by.
Do you actually have any personal tattoos?
Jaimie: I do. I have nine of my own that are strategically covered by Jane’s tattoos.
Does Jane have seven years’ worth of tattoos on her body?
Martin: Yes. She has nine or ten years’ worth of tattoos on her body. The writers and I have done a tremendous amount of work to make sure that those tattoos on her body are going to keep us hopefully in business for a long time.
The legs are just for the spinoff, so we’re saving those for much later!