This article contains some Daredevil Season 2 spoilers.
Charlie Cox is back as Matt Murdock for Daredevil Season 2. Just when he thought he’d cleaned up Hell’s Kitchen from The Kingpin, two new figures threaten the city. Matt is joined (or opposed) by Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) is who we all know as The Punisher. Elektra (Elodie Yung) comes from Matt’s past, just when things are starting to get romantic with Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).
For a man with so much drama on his plate, Cox seemed comfortable with all the prospects facing him this season. We got to speak with Cox by phone about the new season.
Den of Geek: Were you excited that season two brought Matt and Karen together romantically like the comics?
Charlie Cox: Yeah, that relationship, if you know the comics, even from the first episode of season one, it was hinted at. I love that they took the time with it and it wasn’t something that was a foregone conclusion within the first few episodes of the first season. As the scripts were coming in last year, it kept us on our toes and I remember thinking, “I wonder if this is going to happen. I wonder how they’re going to do this and at what point, blah blah blah.”
So at the beginning of season two, it was really fun to start exploring that side of Matt, the vulnerable, romantic side of him that he really hadn’t had a chance to explore in the first season because he was so busy. At this point, whenever there’s an element of the show in the writing and the filming of it that’s kind of an homage in some way to the comics, it’s always a thrill now. You can’t help but just think, “I wonder what the fans are going to think at this moment.” It was really fun.
Do you think about the fans a lot in every scene you do?
I don’t think I make decisions as an actor based on what I think the fans will or will not want at this point. Now I have an understanding of who Matt is on this show, driven by the story, what his attitude towards things are, to other people, himself, Daredevil, et cetera, et cetera. So I focus on that but when we’re filming the show, I’m often aware of a little Easter egg here or there or a little nod to something that happened last season or something that happened on one of the other shows or one of the films or one of the comics.
I always enjoy those moments. I’m always excited for fans to see those moments.
Now that you have the full red costume, does that allow you to trade off more easily with a stunt double, or is it still a lot of you in the fight scenes?
The same if not more, really. Other than the scenes last year where I didn’t have a mask at all on. There was a scene with Stick in episode seven for example where I was fighting as Matt. So I had to do a significant more of that fight than the other fights. For the most part, even last year, the black bandana mask was covering as much of my face as the red mask this season.
The way that we tend to do it is I learn as much of the fight as I possibly can and I film all of that. Then Chris, my stunt double, he obviously knows the whole fight very, very well since he’s been rehearsing it for the days leading up to the scene when I’ve been filming other scenes. So he does the whole fight as well, and I guess when they get in the edit, they see what bits they can use of me and what bits they can’t.
I love that aspect of it so obviously I put my back into it as much as I can. I love to be involved as much as I can with that stuff. Then there are certain things that physically my body cannot do that Chris’s can. Oftentimes, watching the first season, both Chris and I can’t tell who it is. It’s quite fun trying to figure that out.
How complicated was it to film the stairwell fight?
That was great. That was really, really a thrill for me. Obviously there was a number of Easter eggs in that episode and it was early on in the filming process. It was also, in many ways, an homage to the fight scene at the end of episode two of season one.
It was a long two days of filming but we also used a new kind of camera. I don’t know what it’s called. I’m not very technologically savvy so I don’t know what the name of it was but we used a new camera, some sort of rig we had to use going down the stairwell. It was basically so that we could film the fight from the shaft of the stairwell as we were going down, so the camera was being lowered as the action was going down. It was very, very cool.
It’s a long fight as well. It just doesn’t end. It keeps on going. It was great. I loved it. I loved the whole thing. The only problem, the only thing I find tricky with the suit sometimes is it gets very, very hot. You’re sweating under there like nobody’s business.
Now that you’re fighting alongside Elektra, does that change things so the fights become more of a team-up?
Yeah, they do and I think it happens quite naturally really. Again, it’s wonderfully choreographed by Phil Silvera, the stunt coordinator. But it does.
I think hopefully what we learn as those team-ups happen more often is, Matt Murdock in this show is someone who struggles to relinquish any control. Initially he struggles to want or need anyone’s help. He doesn’t want to have to take on that kind of responsibility. He’d just prefer to do it himself, even if it means he’s vastly outnumbered and the odds are stacked against him. He’s a lone warrior. He’s a lone wolf. He’s doing it by himself and he doesn’t want anyone’s help, maybe doesn’t even think he needs anyone’s help.
Then of course, as the show progresses, the odds get so ridiculous that he absolutely has to have some form of help. By that stage, Elektra has proven herself to him once again, as she had done when they first met, that she is a capable warrior. Again, as the show progresses, not only does Matt learn to trust her and trust in her abilities. He also begins to rely on her even and enjoy partnership.
Was your first scene with Jon Bernthal that shadowy introduction in the first episode?
The first time Jon and I worked together was in a very tough fight scene at the end of episode one. That’s the first time in the show we come into contact and the first time we did literally meet. It was great. It’s one way to meet someone that you’re going to be working with for the next six, seven months.
I knew this about Jon just because I’ve seen his work. He’s a true pro and also incredibly committed, so I knew that those action sequences, those fight sequences, we weren’t going to be, excuse the pun, pulling any punches. It was going to be full on, and it was. I think we both got a couple of bruises here and there that prove how committed to the cause we were.
Dramatically, when Jon brings that Frank Castle intensity, do you have to rise up to match it?
I think so, maybe. I think we’re both trying to be true to our characters and true to the characters in the particular moment. The Matt Murdock/Frank Castle relationship is very, very different from the Matt Murdock/Wilson Fisk relationship.
With Frank, I think it starts off, Matt assumes he’s going to be another Wilson Fisk, another clear bad guy that he needs to bring to justice. What he’s forced to recognize very, very quickly is that it’s not that black and white. The lines are more blurry than that and actually, what Frank represents is something much closer to home than Matt would care to acknowledge.
It depends where Matt is emotionally in the story, but initially he’s doing everything in his power to convince himself and probably Frank and others that they are very different people, that they have very different ideals. The more he tries to convince everyone and himself, the less he finds himself being able to do so.
Foggy is not the source of playful banter this season that he used to be. Does that change Matt and Foggy’s relationship significantly?
It’s a good question. As the season progresses, we’ll see. I think what’s really smart, one of the things the writers did which was really smart, they didn’t just allow the Foggy/Matt relationship to just be patched up overnight just because it’s Matt and Foggy and they’ll always be best friends. I think that relationship, as much as they’ve found some sort of a peace with everything that’s happened, I think it’s more fractured than even they realize.
At the beginning of the show, when everything’s hunky dory and Hell’s Kitchen seems to be operating really well and Wilson Fisk’s behind bars and the criminal activity has significantly decreased, with Daredevil running around bringing people to justice, the relationship between Matt and Foggy is able to just flourish. There’s not too much concern over what’s going on. But when Frank Castle shows up and everything’s thrown into disarray all over again and things start to get very frightening and scary, I think Matt and Foggy realize their relationship is not what it once was and it still needs a lot of work.
There’s still a lot of trust that’s been betrayed. So Foggy, as you say, is not his high banter, fun loving self that he used to be. I think he’s weighed heavy by everything that’s happened and happening. It’s going to take some time to nurture that relationship back to health.
Daredevil Season 2 is now available on Netflix.