Charlie Cox Talks ‘The Defenders’ and New Stunt Team

MCU EXCHANGE – About an hour ago, Netflix released the first teaser for the much awaited Defenders featuring our four favorite goobers in an elevator looking all beaten up and a CCTV timestamp that ended in 8.18.20.17., pretty much guaranteeing an August 18, 2017 release date for the show. Now we’ve got some news to follow that announcement up ranging from mildly interesting to “Okay, that’s pretty cool I guess.” Yesterday, Charlie Cox dropped by Boogaloo Radio in his homeland the UK to dish what’s been going on in his career and life lately. Much was talked about, from his career slumps to finding ways to pee and take a dump in his Daredevil costume to production secrets surrounding Daredevil and the upcoming Defenders.

With the Marvel/Netflix shows shooting pretty much back to back with very little breaks in between, fatigue is inevitable for the cast and crew that devote countless hours of their time to produce these shows. Charlie was asked about this hectic schedule and how it was for him filming the first and second seasons of Daredevil back to back and later the Defenders.

“Do you know what, when we filmed the first two seasons of Daredevil, it destroyed me. Defenders is slightly different because it has four of us. We can’t all be together all the time so there’s a lot more time off. The way it worked out is quite cool because since my character is the only one that has a mask, when we did action sequences they have to make sure they get the other three doing their bits because they could always use my stunt double.”

Two things about those comments. One, Charlie pretty much confirms that he’ll be the only ‘costumed’ and masked character on the team which is a bummer for fans like me who are expecting Danny to finally don his mask, which brings me to my second point. A lot of people have been attributed the lackluster fight scenes of Iron Fist and glaring use of stunt doubles to the absence of a mask. Charlie addresses the advantage of having his character’s face covered.

“When DD does do some flying 720 flip kick whatever you call it, you can pretty much – because of the speeds that its moving in – film that straight on with my double whos an amazing martial artist. And it cuts really nicely. If one of the other characters was to do that, you would still in those moments be able to see (the stunt double) probably.”

On the topic of martial arts choreography and stunt doubles, Charlie also confirmed that a brand new stunt team was brought on for this show specifically. It’s an exciting prospect as it could potentially give us a more unified sense of physicality for all four characters.

They brought in a whole new team for the Defenders. But our stunt doubles all remain the same.

Charlie also reveals in the interview just how long an 8-episode show such as the Defenders takes and how it relatively compares to his experience doing two seasons of Daredevil. He had this to say about how long the Defenders filmed.

“I think 5 months. Daredevil took 6 months because we had less time per episode. It’s quick man. It’s really quick. We get for DD – and bear in mind again that it’s an action show – when you film a TV show, 2-3 pages of dialogue takes a couple of hours. But half a page of action takes two days. The whole 2nd unit takes more time with it with lots of rehearsals. I regularly turn up and they’re like “right this is what we’re doing.” And we have an amazing stunt team, who obviously, they’ve been working tirelessly for the duration of the episode on it. But no I think we filmed DD…. we filmed 8 days on the 1st unit and 1 or 2 days on the 2nd unit.”

One of the things I’ve been wanting to happen for the longest time for these shows is the return of Drew Goddard. Like how Jon Favreau kicked off the MCU with Iron Man, it was Drew Goddard’s pitch for Daredevil that got it greenlit. Originally hired to be the showrunner for the show, Drew ended up just writing the first two episodes of the first season due to his commitment to the then-happening Sinister Six movie for Sony and we all know how that turned out. Because of that and other projects, Drew’s involvement with the show was minimized. So you can imagine my excitement when Charlie confirmed his return in the Defenders.

“He was kind of a consultant on the whole thing. And he wrote 1 or 2 episodes which is pretty cool but I can’t remember exactly which ones.”

When the topic of working with talented directors on the show came up, Charlie revealed that just like their characters, the best of the best directors from all 4 shows would be uniting to work on the Defenders, referring to them as the A-Team.

“Yeah so they’ve done four series of 13 episodes, so the directors are essentially – from what I can work out – the A-team from those 4 thirteen hours. They got the best ones.”

He was also quizzed on how the episodes turned out and whether he has seen any.

“I haven’t seen anything. When I was just leaving, some of my bosses said SJ Clarkson, who did the first 2 episodes of Jessica Jones, she’s doing the first 2 episodes of Defenders and I was hearing very good things about that.”

It doesn’t take a smart man to realize how uncomfortable superhero suits look in real life. No matter the technological advancements that go into tailoring them, these suits still end up being tight, uncomfortable and very physically limiting. The Daredevil suit in particular looks like something you would have difficulty breathing in, let alone peeing in so if you’re wondering how it all works, Charlie reveals the suit’s secret.

“I have three zippers. The suit has three zippers. Effectively, the zippers have to hide because on camera if you see DD’s zippers, it kind of takes away from the moment. So what happens is when I put the suit on, the first zipper goes right on top so that zips it up. The second zip goes halfway and is hidden by an extra panel piece and then the third zipper joins that. So then when you need to pee, you just unzip the bottom zipper. So you don’t have to unzip the whole thing. What it doesn’t allow you to do is the number two.”

As with any interview involving a Marvel TV actor, the dreadful “Will you be in the Avengers movie?” question is always asked. But despite the tedium being asked this question a thousand times, Charlie still manages to answer it generously, elaborating his notions reading the Civil War comic prior to the film’s release and how his Daredevil could have fit in it.

“Marvel TV and Marvel Studios are run by completely different people. But then again, Clark Gregg is in the Avengers so why not? Just for interest, I went back and read Civil War before the movie came out. Because a lot of people had asked me if I thought that based on tone and genre the DD show is in, could that co-exist in one of the Avenger movies. And I went back and had a look to see how the comics approached it and you know, DD can’t compete with those guys. He’s a street hero and he doesn’t have superpowers in the same way but his role as a device within Civil War is really effective and he maintains his character. So I think he could have worked so who knows. Maybe one day.”

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