With Daredevil season two having come and gone, fans have been eagerly looking ahead, awaiting confirmation from Netflix and Marvel that there will indeed be a third season, as well as some sort of news regarding that Punisher spin-off. However, while most of us have devoured the show by now, the cast is just now coming off of the press tour for the second season, and they’re still taking in the response from fans and critics alike. And while the reviews have been a bit mixed in season two, series newcomers Jon Bernthal and Elodie Yung, who joined the cast as The Punisher and Elektra, respectively, have both been praised for their portrayals this season. Both Bernthal and Yung managed to leave their marks on the series, stealing nearly every scene they were in, and matching Charlie Cox, who once again does a fantastic job as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, with such ease, you almost forget they hadn’t been on the show back during season one.
Entertainment Weekly was able to sit down for a talk with Yung, who was just coming off her end of the press tour, and discuss the response from her portrayal of Elektra, as well as what she can tease for the character’s future. She also tackles the comments about the portrayal of Asians on Daredevil, which has been a heated topic, especially as we get ready to lead into Iron Fist, the fourth of the planned Marvel shows for Netflix.
For Yung, while she’s still relatively new to dealing with fan response from both Twitter and Instagram, the actress has found it to be a bit of a reward – although she does note that she doesn’t really set out to read the reviews.
Now that the series has been out for a few weeks, have you been following critic or fan reactions at all?
A little. I don’t really read the reviews and be too judgmental, you know what I mean?
It’s done now, so that doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m new on [dealing with] Twitter and Instagram, and this [fan reaction] was all new to me. It’s a reward when you have these direct messages from the people. I’m enjoying the ride so far.
In the past, Yung had briefly discussed the audition process she went through to nab the role revealing that, at the time, she wasn’t aware it was for the role of Elektra. But even then, not realizing just what she was auditioning for, Yung was glad to come across a “meaty” role like that of Elektra.
Going back to your audition, you’ve said before that you didn’t feel any pressure because you didn’t even know you were auditioning for Elektra. What was your impression of the role at the time?
I was like “Ooooh, that’s ;a juicy one!” [Laughs] It’s good to have jobs, so once you get one, you’re like, “Yes! Someone said yes to me! I am happy! Here’s my present.” And then I open the present, and it’s even better. I was like, “Wow. This is a cool toy to play with.” So it was a surprise and a pleasure for me to work on a show I liked. When I got to discover Elektra and know her and read the comics, it was like, “Where do I start?” I [read the comics] to understand what [comic book writer] Frank Miller wanted to say and wanted for her. She’s a complex woman to embody. I was very lucky, I think.
While Yung’s portrayal of Elektra is bringing more interest to the character, she isn’t the first actress to take on the role of the assassin. The 2003 Daredevil film, which is seen by fans and critics alike to be a poor adaption, also introduced Jennifer Garner‘s Elektra. Unlike the research Yung did by reading the comics to try and better understand the character, she didn’t make it a point to seek out Garner’s portrayal; Yung hadn’t seen Garner’s take on the character prior to her casting, and didn’t want to compare herself to that version of the character.
Was it important to you to have a different take on Elektra from the way she was portrayed by Jennifer Garner?
No. I hadn’t seen what was done before, so I couldn’t compare myself, and in any case, even if I had seen what had been done before, I wouldn’t think this way, of trying to be different, you know?… Because she’s a very, umm, she’s an archetypical, what’s the word?
Oh yes, thank you. I’m always like, “Oh no, people will think I’m stupid.” But I know this word in French. So yes, it’s an archetypal part in the comics. She’s a strong female, you know? And so I wanted to give dimension a bit more for the show, because I’m not a drawing, I’m a woman with blood and flesh and I wanted to imbue feelings and imbue emotion into this character. So [my process was] going from the comics to actually trying to give her some truth and layers.
Of course, given the recent rate debate over not only the Iron Fist casting, but also the way Asians are portrayed in Daredevil, Entertainment Weekly wanted to get Yung’s take on the matter. While Yung feels that Marvel is staying truthful to the characters, she does hope to see more diversity in general.
Something else that’s raised flags in the fan community is the way the show portrays Asian culture. Some bloggers and writers have talked about how the drama stereotypes the Asian community. For you, as a half-Cambodian actress who was a major part of this season’s storyline that involved the Japanese yakuza, what’s your take on the way Asian culture is portrayed on the show?
Hmm, well, I think the producers and Marvel wanted to be truthful and stay as close as possible to the comics for the show… I don’t know, you know, it is important that there is more and more diversity.
As far as the future of Elektra, Yung isn’t keeping secrets as she would have to know something in order to keep a secret.
We see that she died in the finale, but will very likely be resurrected. No, I can’t really say anything. I auditioned not knowing it was Elektra. Marvel’s very secretive, and I’m not hiding anything, I’m not lying, it’s just the way they are. I can’t tell you anything because I don’t know anything.
So when you ask Marvel execs and Daredevil producers, they just refuse to say anything?
Oh, I’m not even trying [to ask] anymore! I just gave up. [Laughs]
Whatever comes next, we hope there is far more Elektra in the MCU!
Source: Entertainment Weekly.