The training for these action movies, have you picked up a lot of tricks for your own training?
In the first Thor, I did your basic superset training with weights and then I would jump rope in-between sets to spike my heart rate. There’s something to be said for just training old school. There’s a reason people still do it—because it works. Now, because I have that knowledge, I’ve experimented with Pilates, swimming, a little bit of yoga to make sure I’m flexible… In the first movie I was 20 pounds heavier. I needed to lose a little bit of weight to fit into all the costumes. I was pretty new to fitness. Even though I wrestled in high school, there was a good block of years in my 20s where I just sat around and didn’t do shit.
Where did you wrestle?
Grapevine, TX. It started out as a bet, but I stuck with it after I got the school board to approve it. I found out that a bunch of other schools in Texas had female wrestlers. And in other states it was big. So I thought it would be a cool way to learn self-defense. … There’s a discipline it teaches you and it builds your confidence. That’s why I think school sports are so important.
Did you wrestle only girls, or guys, too?
In the beginning I trained with the guys. We couldn’t really do hands-on training because it was frowned upon at my school. I thought that was bullshit. Girls are playing football; they’re not going to wait around for a whole female football team to show up. If they want to do something, let them do it. If a guy wants to join the dance team, then so be it. But I did wrestle some boys. It was frustrating because I would often have to wrestle up to someone 20 pounds heavier, or have someone wrestle up to me because I wrestled at 128 pounds and I was often forfeited against because there aren’t many people at that weight… I got a scholarship offer to Iowa State, but I wound up going off to become an actress instead.
Have you maintained the weight loss from the first Thor?
I think I’m kind of dense, muscle-wise. Because it didn’t change my size a whole lot. I was 150 pounds at 5’9”, and for me that’s really out of shape. As soon as I started doing stunt training, it started to come off. I didn’t change much with my diet. I wasn’t sitting around eating Oreos, but I didn’t deprive myself of stuff. I was filming for eight hours a day and training for two; I couldn’t keep the weight on. In the middle of the film, the director, Kenneth Branagh, came to me and said, “You’ve got to stop working out because you’re getting too thin.” My weight was fluctuating every week depending on water.
What would be your body-type preference in a guy? Schwarzenegger-sized? Thor-sized? Fitness-model sized?
You know, I like a man who’s taller than I am. I’m 5’9” so in heels I can be quite a giant. Mainly it’s for them because I find that men who are shorter than me get a complex because I’m quite confident in myself as well. I do want someone who looks after their health because it’s important, not so much aesthetically, but for your heart and well-being. I want them to be around for a long time. I’d say smaller than Arnold and Chris, muscle-wise, because that’s a hell of a lot of meat. Somebody that’s healthy for their body shape. That’s a wide range of people, I know.
What is the all-time dumbest thing a guy ever did to get your attention?
I had a guy spill a drink on me once. That was a real dick move, because if a girl’s going to go out and get dressed up—and I usually just wear ripped up jeans and stuff—but that particularly evening I said, “I can be a little girly tonight,” so I dressed up. So the guy spilled his drink on me and offered to pay for my dry cleaning. I guess he was thinking, “Oh, that way I can get her number and keep in contact with her.” I was like, “You’re a twat. I’ve got it. No problem.” He was so obvious. He totally chucked his drink on me. He’s lucky I didn’t punch him.
What superhero characteristics are you looking for in a man?
I love humor, and I love the funny superheroes. Also, trying to do the right thing—that sort of moral compass in a superhero, standing up for the underdog. That’s probably the biggest thing.
Anything else you want to share with the readers?
People always ask me, “What kind of inexpensive, portable thing can I use to take anywhere to work out with?” and I say the TRX is probably the best bet. I don’t have any kind of endorsement deal with them, but I’ve been using it a lot and it really helped me recover from injury. You can take it anywhere and just throw it on a tree branch. I get asked so much, and that’s the best thing. Get a TRX if you can.
The Last Stand hits theaters on Friday, January 18. Follow Jaimie on Twitter: @JaimieAlexander