Krysten Ritter Talks Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’

Premiering on Friday November 20, Marvel’s Jessica Jones had it’s “Purple” Carpet premiere in New York City at Regal E-Walk. 

Following in the footsteps of Daredevil, it appears that Marvel is going to have another massive hit with their next Netflix show, Jessica Jones. Jessica is a former superhero who, after her life of fighting crime, opens up her own detective agency. Starring Krysten Ritter in the titular role, Jessica Jones is a dark, complex look at a Marvel superhero that we’ve never been exposed to before. Taking on topics such as assault, rape, PTSD, and alcoholism to name a few, fans of the Marvel brand are in for a bit of a shock.

Last night, The Knockturnal had a chance to be at the “Purple” Carpet for the premiere of the show and had the chance to speak to star Krysten Ritter, co-star Mike Colter, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, composer Sean Callery, and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada.

Krysten Ritter

Q: What is your favorite part about playing Jessica?

Ritter: Just her complexity and the fact that I get to do drama and comedy and action sequences and kick people’s ass. And also she’s very sassy and funny and I love her outfit. It’s a great part.

Q: What do you think viewers will relate to the most about Jessica?

Ritter: I think because Jessica’s struggle are so personal and so intimate…she’s not out trying to save the universe…her shits all really real and personal. I think that’s all relatable because it’s all grounded in reality.

Q: If you had Jessica’s super strength, what would be the first thing you would do?

Ritter: I don’t know but I wish I did, you know? It’d be so much easier to walk around the city at night in dark alleys without any fear of anything sketchy happening.

Q: What’s the best thing about playing a female superhero?

Ritter: Well I wouldn’t know how to play any other kind of superhero. Cause I’m a girl.

Q: When reading the script, what really jumped out about the show?

Ritter: Oh God, when I first read the script I was just devouring it. I loved how all the scenes were really dynamic and there was really great subtext at play. Like the scenes especially with Luke Cage, they’re saying one thing but there’s really something else going on entirely and it’s always really fun to dig in and play. I love that she was such a badass, walking around looking cool. Yeah, a lot of it stuck out because the part is so good.

Mike Colter (Luke Cage)

Q: What is it like working with Krysten Ritter?

Colter: Krysten’s a complete professional, she works hard. She brings her A game every time she comes in. She just does all the thing that a lead actress should do in her own series and hats off to her for her phenomenal show that everyone seems to be responding well too.

Melissa Rosenberg (Showrunner)

Q: What’s going to make Jessica Jones the next great Marvel character?

Rosenberg: There’s so much damage in her, there’s so many complex layers and there’s a story to tell from her. And she’s a character that makes you want to find out more, what is she gonna do next.

Q: What makes Krysten Ritter the perfect Jessica Jones?

Rosenberg: Her comedic chops. No one can deliver a dry, biting line like her. It’s so good. And then beyond that, she’s just got tremendous range. She’s so authentic.

Q: When she does something it feels real, you feel with her with whatever she’s doing.

Rosenberg: She’s so good. A look with her means so much.

Sean Callery (Composer)

Q: What was it about Jessica Jones that made you feel like you had to do this project?

Callery: Melissa Rosenberg gave me a call, she’d seen what I did with Homeland, and she said, “I think you may bring an interesting sound to this series.” And she just talked about kind of…I never heard of a superhero that wanted to be out of sight, that’s kind of damaged, that’s had some trauma in her past. These are things that aren’t common. And so that right there, I’m intrigued.

Q: When watching the pilot episode at Comic Con, it really did feel like there was a sort of old school noir vibe from the score. Can we be expecting more of that throughout the series?

Callery: It appears and it doesn’t. As the story progresses it gets a little more darker. And so it’s not in every episode, there are some episodes that are really dark and so it’s not even melodic really, it’s just really ambient.

Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer)

Q: As the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, what are some of the things that you do behind the scenes that help out the brand?

Quesada: I do everything from reading scripts, story suggestions, reading outlines, pitches for shows, doing design work on shows, working with designers, working with performers. And in a lot of ways my job is, as a caretaker, to make sure that each of our divisions are portraying these characters accurately and within the same spirit that was always intended when these characters were created and this universe was created.

Q: You’re doing a great job with that then.

Quesada: It’s not just me though, it’s a humongous team of people. We have the best team in the world.

Q: I absolutely agree. So, first you’ve had Daredevil and that was a hit. Now you have Jessica Jones which, I was at New York Comic Con and I got to see the pilot episode, and I kind of liked it more than Daredevil. It’s gonna be just as big of a hit. What do you think makes these two characters so appealing for audiences?

Quesada: It’s always the humanity. When we work on these shows, my philosophies always…let’s take Daredevil, we have to get Matt Murdock. Sure, we can make sure the costume looks good but if we don’t get Matt Murdock right, now one’s gonna follow. It’s as simple as that. And it’s the same thing with Jessica, we have to get Jessica right. And that accounts for casting the right person, and the right person who can perform these roles. It’s less about them looking exactly like the character and it’s more about the performances and getting quality actors who really understand the craft. And even if they don’t know our characters right away, they can immerse themselves and embrace the characters.

Q: Are there any Marvel stories that you would really love to see on television or in the movies that may not have been done yet?

Quesada: There are a lot of Marvel stories and I hate to plead the 5th on this but I’ve learned my lesson. If I say, “Yeah I’d love to see Forbush Man,” the internet tomorrow will be, “Marvel is working on a Forbush Man with Netflix.” So I avoid answering those questions.

Q: I understand. After Jessica Jones, there’s Luke Cage, Iron Fist, what else can we expect in the future from Marvel television?

Quesada: Right now, we have a lot on our plate. We do have Luke Cage coming up on deck, and that again is very much…as you commented on the first episode of Jessica Jones, it lives within the same world but it’s a very, very different show. Especially with Iron Fist. The Defenders is going to be unlike anything we’ve attempted with television, our television, it’s going to be a mammoth undertaking. We don’t have anything on paper yet, we’re still planning story concepts, but I can assure you we’re going to put the same love and care into all these shows.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones is run by Melissa Rosenberg and stars Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville, Erin Moriarty, Wil Traval, and David Tennant. Jessica Jones will be streaming on Netflix on November 20, 2015.

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