MARVEL’S ‘THE DEFENDERS’, the Netflix equivalent of ‘THE AVENGERS’, is coming out this Frida. The Knockturnal had the chance to sit down with the four stars and members of the titular team. We first sat down with Charlie Cox (Daredevil) and Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones). We then talked with Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Iron Fist). Here are the highlights from our conversations!
CHARLIE COX & KRYSTEN RITTER
THE KNOCKTURNAL: You have both led your own series, so what was the most exciting part about being able to come together with all the other Marvel solo heroes for ‘THE DEFENDERS’?
KRYSTEN RITTER: I think the most exciting thing was all of us being together, working with other actors who have been through the exact same situation of carrying your own show, and the press tour, and everything that comes with that. We were all like in the exact same situation. So, we felt like a real comradery and connection because of that.
Is there anything new you guys learned about your characters and the team setting that you might’ve not in your individual seasons?
CHARLIE COX: I think that Matt learns that he likes people more than he thinks. And that he actually enjoys working in a team, a little bit, and sees the benefit of that.
KRYSTEN RITTER: I don’t think that JJ enjoys being part of a team, but I think she makes a friend – spoiler alert – this one [Cox]. So, that’s cool. I like that for Jessica, because she’s someone who’s very lonely, and very isolated in her world. So, the fact that she makes a friend, is rad. I want that for her.
How much of the season is dedicated to the four of you guys arguing over who’s better friends with Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson)?
RITTER: (laughs) Zero. But she’s awesome in real life. We love Rosario.
COX: Yeah, she’s great. There was a scene where we’re all in it together, and she’s there, and it was one of those conversations where we’re like, “So, hang on, when was the last time I saw you? When was the last time you saw her?”
You’re these gritty city heroes in a large world that has characters like ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’. What do you think is the importance of having these kind of super heroes that are shown, that are city-based? Do you think that’s like a big major part that kind of informs the team in regards to like larger context of like crazy gods and green monsters?
RITTER: I think that ‘THE DEFENDERS’ is a little bit bigger, but our shows are very grounded, and so keeping it to the city, or the neighborhood – or for Jessica, keeping it to her apartment, and her one friend, and her booze – that’s relatable. We can relate to these people even though they have abilities because they’re dealing with issues that all of us understand. So, I think that’s what makes the dark corner of the Marvel Universe that we live in, you’re already on street level, and it sets us apart. We’re not ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’, we’re not ‘THE AVENGERS’; this is a very different thing.
MIKE COLTER & FINN JONES
THE KNOCKTURNAL: ‘IRON FIST’ ends kind of on a big cliffhanger, of like being cut off from that mystical world. Is that something that you get to explore a little bit in ‘THE DEFENDERS’?
FINN JONES: Yeah, the events that take place at the end of ‘IRON FIST’ definitely have repercussions in ‘THE DEFENDERS’. The kind of biggest repercussion is that Danny is feeling incredibly guilty. Because his head was elsewhere, he lost an entire city, and his home, and he’s feeling very guilty because of that. His guilt is driving him in a way that we’ve not seen before. So, when we see him at the beginning of ‘DEFENDERS,’ he is driven and he is on the hunt to take down The Hand in a way that we’ve never seen before.
Mike, at the end of ‘LUKE CAGE,’ you’re going to jail. How is that a layer that’s added on, since people may see you also as a convict on top of a super hero?
MIKE COLTER: Well, it’s one of those things where I don’t over analyze everything, because I know that everyone has their own take on something. We all can watch something, and you get something completely different out of it than I would get out of it, just because of our life experiences. With that, in retrospect, if you look at ‘LUKE CAGE,’ it’s sort of a call to the judicial system in some sense… I think people were compelled to the edge of their seats when they were watching ‘MAKING A MURDERER’, because we didn’t know what to think. And,we also felt like, in some way, shape, or form, the judicial system is not perfect… People relate to that, so when Cage has the thing that happened to him, first thing you think of, black guy, convict – it’s a topic that’s sort of not something –
JONES: It’s America.
COLTER: Yeah, but we’re going through it. So, when I look at it, I don’t think of him as a convict. But I do think of him as a person who has had all these things done to him, dealt a bad hand here. But, like he said – “always forward, forward always.” He’s not looking back, he’s not feeling sorry for himself, he’s just figured out how to go forward, and that’s what I think is the main thing people have to take from it. He’s not ever really throwing himself a pity party, he’s just trying to rebuild, reset and go forward. I think after ‘DEFENDERS’, he gets a chance to clear his name and sort of move forward, and we see a new Cage starting to peak out in ‘DEFENDERS, but then moving to second season a completely different Cage trying to find himself and sort of understand what it is to be like, out front and center, and having these responsibilities for a community. So, it’ll be interesting, I love the way it’s going so far for our season.
THE DEFENDERS airs on Netflix August 18th. You can also catch each hero’s solo series on Netflix now!