Charlie Cox Thinks 'Daredevil' Is 'Quite the Player'
The street-level superhero "Daredevil" saw plenty of action in the debut season of Marvel's streaming series on Netflix. And now in Season Two, he's going to get a different kind of "action," with the introduction of not one, but two intense romances. Actor Charlie Cox admits he was stoked to discover a side of Matt Murdock comics fans have known for years: that the blind attorney-turned-enhanced-senses-superhero has cut a pretty serious romantic swath through the Marvel Universe.
Things get hot, heavy, and, in one case, hard-hitting on the series with two of Daredevil's more notorious and diametrically opposed paramours -- his sweet but secretive office assistant Karen Page and his wild, perhaps sociopathic college sweetheart Elektra, who in the comics ultimately becomes a deadly ninja assassin. Cox tells Moviefone about the "Daredevil" love triangle (with hopes, he admits, that Scarlett Johansson might also stop by), as well as his thoughts on being a Man Without Fear, both onscreen and off.
Moviefone: One thing that's very fresh in Season Two is how much Matt Murdock's romantic dramas play into it. What did it mean to you to explore his romantic life?
Charlie Cox: It was really great to kind of play with Matt's vulnerability from that point of view. It's a side to him that we haven't seen -- not really, anyway. It's a very complex dynamic. The relationship between Matt and Karen, and Matt and Elektra, is very, very confusing because Matt is, in many ways, able to be completely himself with both of those characters -- but different aspects of himself.
I think when Matt's with Karen, she brings out this side of him which is kind and honest and believes in justice and law and order -- and is calm and thoughtful and pensive and sensitive. All those sides to him, I think, is the Matt that really, really, deep down is longing to kind of come out.
Similarly with Elektra, she knows about Daredevil. She understands Matt in a way that Karen could never at this point. But at the same time, Elektra appeals to a side of Matt that he doesn't truly believe in. She kind of encourages the dark side of him. She crosses boundaries that Matt feels very uncomfortable with. It's very confusing for him, and it poses a really, really difficult situation.
The sparks that you strike with Elodie Yung in those scenes between Matt and Elektra are pretty spectacular. Tell me about finding that rhythm with your new costar.
First of all, Elodie -- she walked on to the set and she just completely embodied that character, you know what I mean? It was like she'd been there from day one. She's a great actor. It's a very bold character, and it's potentially a very hard character to play. It's very easy to make that kind of character into a caricature and lose all the nuance. She just embodied it with all the courage and muster that this show needs.
Those scenes with her are a huge amount of fun. They're thrilling to do because I think a lot of guys have had a relationship in their life with an Elektra of sorts, if you know what I mean. We've all been smitten with someone that represents that kind of unhinged danger, who doesn't really give a f--k about anything and seems to love you passionately. And then at the same time, in a heartbeat, is able to walk away and never see you again.
As you dug into the character's history from the comics, were you surprised at how rich a sex life Matt Murdock had enjoyed throughout the years?
I know! He's quite a player, huh?
More so than Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark, I think.
Yeah. God willing, if we get to do another season, maybe we can have the Black Widow show up!
Tell me how this job has changed your life.
I mean, that is a ten-fold question. It's changed my life in a very practical sense, in that I'm living in New York. I have a job that, for now, seems relatively consistent, which -- as an actor -- is like the most incredible feeling you've ever had in your life. The idea that I've finished work in December and even if I can't get hired for love nor money in the next few months, I know that we're going to do "The Defenders" at some point.
I guess if I think about your question in a more profound sense, I like to think and hope that this character has kind of influenced how I live my life a little bit. When I was first preparing for the role, one of the things that I was concerned about was that Daredevil is known as the Man Without Fear. I was a little bit worried about that because I think that, if you're playing a character on television for multiple episodes, for a long time, playing someone who is incapable of feeling fear is a little bit -- it could potentially be quite challenging and dangerous because there's the chance that it's not very interesting to watch.
So what I decided to do with Matt is rather than make him the Man Without Fear because he doesn't feel fear, I thought, "'Well, what if the Man Without Fear is a label that people give to Daredevil because they see what he does and they think, 'Wow, he must be fearless.'" In actual fact, what if Matt Murdock is deeply afraid? What if he's as afraid as everyone else is, but the difference is that he has great courage? He has great bravery. And despite his fear, he makes a decision on a daily basis to show up and do what he believes is right. I remember thinking, "That's probably more interesting, particularly if we do this show for three or four years."