Charlie Cox won over audiences last year starring as the blind lawyer/superhero in the almost universally acclaimed Netflix reboot of the Daredevil franchise. Season 2 debuts this week, and expectations are understandably higher going into this season compared to the first – but we can tell you the first seven episodes are great.
Netflix gave me the opportunity to speak with the talented British actor himself during a recent conference call with journalists and the excited, extremely friendly star of Marvel’s Daredevil filled us in on what to expect when The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) come to Hell’s Kitchen for Season 2. You can check out the highlights below.
What’s do you think the moral journey is for Matt Murdock in Season 2, when vigilantes spring up that don’t share his moral code?
Charlie Cox: I think when Matt Murdock initially meets Frank Castle, it’s very easy for him to pigeonhole him in the same way that he did Wilson Fisk from season one. I think what happens very quickly after that is he has to consider another possibility, which is that these two people are actually cut from the same cloth. They’re much more similar than they are different. Which, of course, is immensely painful for Matt. It’s an incredibly scary prospect.
And you know, as the season continues and he struggles with this idea that not only is he similar to the kind of man who’s causing these killings (people in the dozens), et cetera, he’s also got to consider the possibility if he himself is responsible for the emergence of people like Frank Castle. So that’s a pretty tough emotional journey that he has to go through.
Where do you think Matt Murdock would fall in Captain America: Civil War? Is he Team Iron Man or Team Cap?
Charlie Cox: You know what, I don’t really know the answer to that question. I did read Civil War, but it was awhile ago, and my memory tells me that in the comics Daredevil was on the side of Team Cap, but I can’t remember why I think that. And I may be wrong. So the answer I’ve been giving is Team Cap, but it’s hard for me to know without seeing the film.
How do you think Matt is different in this season?
Charlie Cox: Well, from the end of Season 1 to the beginning of Season 2, I think there’s been about a six-month period and basically, in that time Daredevil has been functioning at his best. I think that Matt and Daredevil have enjoyed a period of time where everything seems to be going brilliantly. Wilson Fisk is behind bars. The crime rate has plummeted because everyone is aware of Daredevil and his work and he’s been kind of keeping tabs on the city in a very efficient fashion.
And so, what that’s done to Matt’s character, I think is he’s grown and [become more] confident. He’s more self-assured and I also think there’s a swagger and an arrogance to him now. When I read the first episode of Season 2, at the end of the opening credit sequence it specifically said in the writing that there’s a smile on his face.
And I remember thinking, “Okay, so this is the Matt Murdock we’re meeting now.” We’re meeting a Matt Murdock who’s enjoying being Daredevil more than he ever has, and probably believes that he’s nailed it. He’s figured it out. He’s found found a happy medium. And things will only get better from here on out.
How excited were you to learn that Elektra would be a part of Season 2?
Charlie Cox: I was very excited. Obviously, it was hard for me to know what the storyline would actually be, but I knew it was going to throw a wrench in the works, in terms of Matt and Karen’s romance that has been in the cards from the very beginning of the show. I assumed there was going to be some sort of a love triangle. \
And I just think that that’s almost always very compelling to watch, as long as it’s handled sophisticatedly. You know, it’s always kind of interesting and it’s fun as an actor to play with those emotions, to feel pulled between two people and kind of feel very close to one person at one time, and then turn the corner and you feel very differently.
So I was very excited about that. I also assumed as well that it would change a lot of the fight sequences. It would mean that Matt would have some help in some of his Daredevil endeavors, and I think just in terms of what the show has to offer, we needed to throw something else into the mix in order to spice up the action sequences in Season 2.
On that note, you had the black outfit for most of Season 1, so this is your first full season with the heavier armor. How did that affect the fight choreography, and was it much more cumbersome to wear for an entire season?
Charlie Cox: You know, it actually wasn’t that bad. I mean you’re never going to be able to recreate the kind of loose, comfortable combat pants and the black Nike running top that we had in the first season. That’s kind of as good as it gets in terms of maneuverability, being able to feel free to do all the action stuff that you need to do.
But having said that, the suit is actually incredibly accommodating in that area. And obviously, modifications were made throughout to make sure that it was as accommodating as it needed to be. There were a couple of things that at the end of the first season weren’t quite working brilliantly well with the suit. The greaves that I have on my wrists and my forearms were kind of getting in the way, and they were kind of pinching a little bit and they were making it a little bit hard for me to do certain things. As well as Chris Brewster, my stunt double, he had similar kind of problems. And so we did away with them and you know as the season progresses, as you guys would have seen [press viewed episodes 1-7], there’s a kind of an upgrade of the suit which is predominantly noticeable with the helmet and the cowl.
But we also turned the bottom half of the suit into a more combat style, which is reminiscent of the combat pants from the previous season. But all in all, I actually found it very, very easy. And the nice thing about it is is that it is, in fact, more protective.There are kneepads that are built into it, it’s protecting certain joints and muscles and stuff like that so when I do have to take a fall, it actually protects me more than the other stuff did.
What do you think of the current R-rated resurgence, thanks to Deadpool? Do you think it might sway other superhero movies to push the envelope and maybe go too far?
Charlie Cox: It’s hard for me to know. The only thing I would say is it does feel to me like there are certain characters that lend themselves to an R rating better than others. I may be very wrong about this, and there are comic book fans out there who might feel very differently from me, but I don’t imagine Spider-Man would work so well in an R-rated film or TV show.
I think that part of his appeal is to a younger audience. He has a kind of a playfulness that other characters don’t. The reason that I think that Daredevil works so well as a kind of a PG-13 or an R-rated, whatever we like to call it, is because it suits the source material, especially the source material that is most beloved and talked [about] and remembered, [Frank] Miller’s The Man Without Fear, Born Again, obviously. All of that stuff definitely seems to be geared toward a slightly older audience in the comics and therefore translates better into a TV show, when the tone is maintained [and is] the same kind of tone as used in the TV show.
The other thing worth mentioning is the one thing that I seem to have learned in the past couple of years from meeting so many fans, is that you don’t cease to become a comic book fan when you get a certain age. I’ve met so many fans who grew up with Daredevil in the ’70s and the ’80s and who continue to be fans well into their 30s, 40s, and 50s. And so it’s nice to have a comic book adaptation that is geared toward the slightly older fans.
What other Marvel character would you personally like to see appear in a Netflix series?
Charlie Cox: Oh, wow. Yes, really good question. I’ve got in trouble in the past for speculating, so I preface it all by saying I have no idea what the Netflix and Marvel plans are. I have no idea if there’s going to be third season. If there was one, I have no idea what characters would be involved, all that kind of stuff. You guys get that.
But you know as I’ve gotten to know the show and these characters a little bit, I would love to see — and I know this is something that’s been speculated about, if it’s possible or not possible – having worked with Jon [Bernthal], I would love to see Punisher get his own show. I would love to see that happen. I just think that it’s such a rich character and Jon embodies him in such a spectacular way. I think the fans are going to be overwhelmed and pleased with what he brought to the character, so I’d love to see the Punisher get his own 13 episodes. And if he does, I’d love to be in it, I’d love to be able to make an appearance.
If we are fortunate enough to continue making this Daredevil series, I can’t imagine doing a run of Daredevil where Bullseye doesn’t show up at some point. It would be great to have him around at some point. Who would play that part, I have no idea, but I just think that there’s such an interesting rich character there, and also the history that Bullseye has with Karen Page is an interesting dynamic. And of course when you read the comics, it’s etched in a Daredevil fan’s memory, all that stuff.
Anyone else? Personally, if we continue to makethe Daredevil series, rather than have a new character every season, I’d love us to explore more of the Wilson Fisk stuff. It’d be great if at some point Vincent D’Onofrio would come back for a season – there’s so much left untold. As he kind of really came into his own, as Wilson Fisk turned into Kingpin at the end of the Season 1, I’d love to now see what that does to the Daredevil and Wilson Fisk dynamic going forward– if we were to do a Season 3 or 4.
Daredevil Season 2 will premiere all 13 episodes on Friday, March 18th, exclusively on Netflix.