COLLIDER – After they’ve each tried to pave their own way as heroes, Daredevil, aka Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist (Finn Jones), finally crossed paths and had to work together in Marvel’s The Defenders, in order to save New York City. Having been burdened with their own personal challenges and a desire to keep their loved ones safe, they reluctantly realized that they might actually be stronger fighting evil together.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Charlie Cox talked about what it’s meant to him to be a part of the Marvel universe, especially when all of his friends were already playing superheroes, looking at the other three heroes through the lens of Matt Murdock, how tricky it was to shoot big fight scenes together, how much he enjoyed the experience of working with Sigourney Weaver, his favorite fight scene, what he’d still like to see from Daredevil, and the incredible opportunity and responsibility of playing a character that so many people look up to.
Collider: What has it meant to you to be a part of the Marvel universe, playing Daredevil? Do you still have pinch me moments?
CHARLIE COX: You know, I really do. Part of the reason for that is, when I was in my 20s and I was an actor in London, I’d come out to Los Angeles and try to get work. Some of my dear friends, who were all trying to look for jobs, ended up being superheroes. I was mates with Andrew Garfield, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, and a ton of these guys who all ended up becoming these superheroes. When I hit 30, I thought, “Well, that ship has sailed, and I won’t get that opportunity.” And so, it was a wonderful surprise to learn that there was a character who they were interested in me for.
Did getting to be a part of The Defenders and seeing the other actors bringing their characters to life change your perspective on your character or on your place in the larger Marvel world?
COX: You know what? Only in so far as I would find myself wondering what Matt would think of these people. Would he admire them? Would he respect them? What would his opinion be of them, when he meets them for the first time? And then, maybe to some degree, would he learn anything from them? Would there be something that he would take away from working with them and getting to know them? But that was really done for me, in the writing of the show. What’s interesting about the four shows is that tonally, they’re all very different. It’s fun to find a way for all those four tones to come together in one show.
WARNING SPOILERS. Do not read the following interview if you haven’t watched ‘The Defenders’.
NYTIMES – Maybe you know them as Iron Fist and Daredevil. But now Finn Jones and Charlie Cox, who star as these Marvel superheroes on the Netflix series “Iron Fist” and “Daredevil,” have joined forces with Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”) and Krysten Ritter (“Jessica Jones”) for a much-awaited miniseries hybrid.
“The Defenders,” which finds this Fab Four uniting to fight a fearsome conspiracy mounted against New York City, is now available on Netflix .
Jones continues as Danny Rand, co-CEO of Rand Enterprises who, now a Buddhist monk and martial arts master, has the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist as his alter ego. The first season of “Iron First” was released earlier this year on Netflix. Cox is Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer whose remaining senses are dramatically enhanced and who, for two seasons of his Netflix series, has wrestled with his lawless dark side, the vigilante Daredevil. Both series are continuing.
But this week Jones and Cox joined forces to talk about “The Defenders” and being part of this eight-episode joint venture.
COX: “I’m not sure this has been done before, where you’ve got four individual series, four characters who have their own shows, teaming up for a miniseries. It’s a process we had known about for a long time, so it felt like a celebration. We were ready for it and excited to see how it would turn out.”
JONES: “When we started to play off each other it really felt natural, because all the prep work had been in place for a number of years. All of us had a background in having to lead one of these shows by ourself, so there was a level of support. We were like soldiers in the trenches, which was cool.”
The two actors were asked if a grounding in the four “solo” series is a prerequisite for viewers to sign on for “The Defenders.”
INDEPENDENT – Before Daredevil, Charlie Cox was known for many projects. Stardust, Boadwalk Empire, and The Theory of Everything were all solid roles that gained the actor attention, but there was nothing particularly career defining.
Now, almost three years later, Cox has almost become a household name, taking top billing on The Defenders — the upcoming superhero mash-up — above Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, and sci-fi legend Sigourney Weaver.
Sitting down with The Independent mid-July after a day of roundtables and interviews at a London hotel, the 34-year-old spoke candidly about fame, interacting with fans, and the luxury of being able to choose which projects to pursue.
Coming into The Defenders, did you feel like the de facto leader of the group?
I did until I read the script. Someone made a passing comment when we were shooting Daredevil 2 — before Luke Cage and Iron Fist — saying how ‘Matt Murdock’s the Captain America of that group’. But then, when I read the scripts, and rightly so, it was very clear that was not the dynamic they were setting up. These were four people with equally strong opinions who are forced together against their will to work together. That was the most interesting idea. Whether one person emerges as a leader from that group is yet to be seen. It was more interesting that it was an ensemble, and it was about each of them recognising what the others bring to the table and the group.
From an outsiders perspective, you can imagine four leading actors coming together being a battle of egos. Was that a concern beforehand?
Yeah. I always feel that way about any project. If you have ‘stars’ involved — film stars, movie stars, TV stars — you’re always concerned with what that will do to the dynamic of the project. Maybe this doesn’t change, but I don’t feel like a star, I just happen to lead a TV show. Everyone was just up for having a good time. It felt like no-one was there to prove anything. When the show started filming, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones were already out. We had had our successes and enjoyed those. I didn’t feel like any of us were there to prove ourselves, it felt like a celebration. It comes with a bit of a pressure, but it was a lovely group of people and I honestly really enjoyed it.
Do you ever wonder what it would take to feel like a film star?
THE NEW YORK TIMES – This is the story of two piles of rubble.
One, constructed on a soundstage in Bethpage, N.Y., was the setting for a giant pit, home to an ancient, evil force that will eventually unite the Marvel heroes of “The Defenders,” in a new Netflix series being released on Friday, Aug. 18.
The other, built on the streets of Brooklyn near McCarren Park, was a scene of destruction resulting from a climactic confrontation between a nefarious villain and the costumed champions of “The Tick,” an Amazon series making its debut on Aug. 25.
Both of these shows, adapted from comic books, represent the fruition of yearslong efforts to bring them to the screen, and are the beneficiaries of a seemingly insatiable appetite for superhero stories — in movies, on network and cable television and on streaming services.
But beneath the similarities, the two shows possess very different ambitions. “The Defenders,” which brings together the main characters of four previous Netflix series in a single super team, is trying to inject some levity into a Marvel formula that has become increasingly serious and overly familiar.
“This show is a bit more lighthearted,” said Charlie Cox, the star of “Daredevil.” “When these guys come together, there is obviously a lot of fun. But at the same time, we want to maintain high stakes that are necessary to keep driving the story.”
Meanwhile, “The Tick” is fundamentally a satire, one that pokes fun at the conventions of comic-book narratives and the many media spinoffs they’ve spawned.
But in its latest incarnation, “The Tick” — which is coming to TV for the third time — is also trying to see how much of the gravity in modern comic-book adaptations it can incorporate without losing its sense of humor.
“To do a superhero comedy now and make it worth its salt, it had to matter to itself,” said Ben Edlund, the creator of “The Tick.”
“That’s what we’re doing,” he added. “We’re aggressively mattering to ourselves, and I recommend it.”
VANITY FAIR – Charlie Cox is best known as the titular star of Netflix’s Daredevil—but you may be surprised to learn that his most passionate fans aren’t necessarily Marvel die-hards. “I was in the gym the other day. This big, very muscular guy was staring at me with that look, trying to figure out where he knew me from,” Cox recalls. “Eventually, he wandered over to me and I thought, ‘Okay, here we go, he’s going to mention Daredevil.’
“Then, in this very thick Russian accent, he goes, ‘I know you! I couldn’t figure it out for a while but I know now. You’re Tristan!’”—naming Cox’s character in Stardust, a 2007 Neil Gaiman adaptation that certainly has a smaller reach than the Marvel machine.
Released 10 years ago this Thursday, Stardust opened to a measly $9 million, and barely made its way toward recouping its $70 million budget, with an eventual global gross of $96.9 million. But it’s not just that Russian bodybuilder who still fondly remembers what once was written off as a summer box office curiosity. Part The Princess Bride, part A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stardust brought together big-name stars including Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Claire Danes—as well as newcomer Cox as the dreamy, romantic Tristan, who falls for Danes’s falling-star character, Yvaine—for a seamless blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. It’s a gentle, endlessly likable film that caters to audiences of all ages and demographics—and that’s not accidental.
“I remember talking to [director Matthew Vaughn] about the movie he wanted to make, and he kept on saying that he’d recently had two young children, and he was tired of watching movies with them that they loved but he hated,” Cox, who will play Daredevil next in Marvel’s The Defenders (out August 18), recalls. “The way that he described it was, ‘I want to make a kids’ film for adults [and] an adult film for kids’—and I think that’s one of the things he achieved really well with Stardust.”
While fans of Gaiman’s work, which effortlessly combines the weird and the fantastic, were likely drawn to the adaptation based purely on the source material, much of Stardust’s big-screen success had little to do with Gaiman himself—especially given that the movie isn’t particularly beholden to the novel. Screenwriters Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn fine-tuned the plot to cut out extraneous detail, focusing in on what they felt was at its heart. Cox, admittedly very new to the business when he was cast, fondly remembers bringing their script to life.
Charlie was in Japan to promote ‘The Defenders’ with Finn Jones on August 7, 2017. He attended a special screening and a press conference. Several photos have been added to the gallery!
Public Appearances > 2017 > ‘The Defenders’ Tokyo Screening
MCU EXCHANGE – In two seasons of Daredevil, we have seen Matt Murdock move through many women. Claire Temple steamed up his apartment (though how far the couple went, in their very brief relationship, is left to the imagination of the viewers), he gave Karen goosebumps in the rain before their one and only date, and he was willing to throw everything in his life away for Elektra. It seems that the only woman in New York that was immune to the Murdock charm was Elena Cardenas, who adored Señor Foggy.
But there is one relationship from the comics that we haven’t yet seen, and Charlie Cox would like to make it happen. When asked what Marvel character he would like to see in his show, he didn’t have to think before giving his answer: Black Widow.
“Matt Murdock, in the Marvel Universe, dated Black Widow, so I think we need to get Scarlett Johansson on board.”
While Karen Page is the love of Matt Murdock’s life in the comics, he also had a long relationship with Natasha Romanoff. The couple lived together in San Francisco, making quite the team in their ass kicking until the impropriety of the situation led Marvel to a juncture where the couple either needed to be married or split up. The two would cross paths in their later years, during Daredevil’s public outing and the Kevin Smith-written Guardian Devil, only for them to realize how better off they’d be away from each other once more. Matt Murdock never gets the happy ending, particularly when it comes to relationships.
The chances of Johansson’s Black Widow showing up in the Netflix world are incredibly low, but this is an encounter that I have had on my personal Daredevil wish list for a while. Maybe, at some point, Odin will look down on us kindly and at least let Charlie Cox have a small role in a Marvel film, so that we can see this power couple come together, if only for a moment.
As for Cox’s co-star in The Defenders, Finn Jones was less prepared for this question, and decided that he would like to see The Hulk in his world. Proving that he’s had more time to both prepare for questions and study the Marvel world, Cox was quick to ask him which of the three on-screen Hulks he was referring to. Of course, Jones was referring to the current Hulk, Mark Ruffalo.