With less than two months away from Daredevil season two’s premiere date, more information about the much awaited crime saga has been slowly coming to light. In the recently held TCA’s, cast members Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson spoke to Collider in a roundtable discussion about their roles in the show.
Question: Deborah, what do you most enjoy about playing Karen Page?
DEBORAH ANN WOLL: The things that Karen wants to do and will do willingly are things a little outside my own comfort zone. Even just pestering people with questions, and being nosey and pushy and getting her way, are things I think many young women grow up struggling with, to assert themselves. I love how assertive she is, even sometimes to a fault. I like that the role asks me to do that, even when I wouldn’t ever do it in my life.
Season 1 of Daredevil ends with only a handful of people knowing Matt Murdock’s secret, excluding Karen Page. In the comics, one of the most significant aspects of Matt’s relationship with Foggy and Karen is their knowledge and awareness of who Murdock really is. It’s an element that has been the focal point of the most iconic of Daredevil stories, particularly Born Again. When asked about the possibility of Karen finding out who Matt really is and how Foggy’s relationship is with Matt, Woll and Henson had this to say:
WOLL: For a lot of different reasons, I have a policy that I don’t actually watch the work that I do. There are all kinds of reasons to do that, but one really interesting side effect that has come about from that is that I have no imagery of the show that isn’t from first-person, through Karen’s eyes. So, I haven’t actually seen Daredevil more than twice, in my life. As her, I’ve only seen him twice. There’s something kind of wonderful in that. What that means is that every time I encounter Daredevil, as Karen, or think about him or anything, he’s like a ghost. He’s this exceptional being that I have no concrete sense of, and I like that. I like that the fictional side of it doesn’t get in the way of being able to experience that. So, it was fun, in those first few episodes, as I start to challenge Matt for these weird things.
I believe that Karen wouldn’t connect the two yet. She knows something is up with Matt, but I believe that she wouldn’t connect them because I’m actually experiencing this and there’s not enough evidence yet for me to connect them. It’s fun. She’s smart. She’s a smart cookie, especially in that first episode. She says, “Okay, well, maybe you’re a drinker, maybe not, but I kinda think you’re not. I think something else is going on here.” He can tell Karen all he wants that that’s what’s happening, but she’s smarter than that.
HENSON: It is changing, but it’s also much of the same. Matt and Foggy have a brotherly kind of relationship. Ultimately, Foggy just really cares about his well-being, no matter what he’s doing. He just wants him to be safe and he wants to protect this thing that they’ve built together. And now that Karen has entered their lives, he just really wants to keep everything the same. He gets a little bit stressed out with change.
With the impending arrival of the cold blooded assassin Elektra (Elodie Yung) and the merciless Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) in Hell’s Kitchen, not only will the lives of Foggy and Karen be forever changed by these two violent entities, but also the tone and feel of the show. This is what the two members had to say about the inclusion of Daredevil’s most violent frenemies when asked about their debuts this season:
HENSON: This is just from a personal standpoint, but the energy and excitement that people bring, being new on the show, gets us all super pumped. When we heard Jon was going to play The Punisher, I know I was like, “That’s perfect casting!” He’s like an exposed nerve. He’s just really, really intense. I was excited. We just have such a great group of people on our show, with cast and crew and everyone, so any time we can get more people at the party, it’s always good.
WOLL: And I don’t know if this speaks to things being different – it might actually speak to things being the same – but something really interesting is that, even though the villain in the first season was Kingpin, and this year we have The Punisher, I actually find that I call them Wilson Fisk and Frank Castle more often than I call them by their villain names. I think that that speaks to what our show is trying to do, and that all of these people are people first, and then they are the superhero or supervillain. What you saw with Vincent, and what you will see with what Elodie [Young] and Jon bring to it, is that these are human beings first, and they are complex people who take on these personas to help them get done what they have to do.
The first season of Daredevil was commonly labeled by the creators as a “crime sage first and a superhero story second.” While it’s a no-brainer that this description will be applicable to the second season, the inclusion of wild cards such as The Punisher and what they bring to the table opens a lot of questions about the show’s take on crime. Deborah Ann Woll had this to say about season 2’s crime angle:
WOLL: What The Punisher and Elektra bring is the more extreme side of Daredevil. Daredevil has this code of he won’t kill people, and he has boundaries that he has decided make him right and anyone who crosses them wrong. But, who’s to say that his boundaries are right? I think the questions that we’re asking throughout this season are, who decides who is a hero and who is not? Why does one way work better than the other? Does that even matter? I think Foggy and Karen certainly get caught up in that discussion. I think that’s about all we can say.
Discussion soon turned to Daredevil’s equally acclaimed sister show, Jessica Jones.
WOLL: When I first heard about this whole thing that they were going to do, I was really worried that audiences would want to pit the shows against each other. But I just remember with Jessica Jones going, “This is so good, stand-alone.” It all feels like it’s of one world, but at the same time, they have their own legs and I don’t have to worry about people comparing us, in an unfavorable way. It’s cool.
HENSON: I really liked Jessica Jones. I thought it was great. I was really impressed. I don’t have a background in comics. This whole world is very new to me. So, watching their show or our show, or any of the Marvel shows, is exciting, as a fan. I go in blind, which is always the best way for me to see things, to know as little as possible.
It’s a testament to how smart the people at Marvel and Netflix are. They’ve created this world, but each one of these shows really has its own feel to it, and that’s really hard to do. Somehow, they’re pulling it off. I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s pretty cool. I’m really excited for Luke Cage, too. I’m hearing really, really amazing things about it.
The second season of Daredevil will hit Netflix on March 18th. Until then, you can stream the entire first season, as well as the first season of Jessica Jones, on the streaming service now. As always, for all things Daredevil be sure to follow along here.