We are just over a week from seeing the entirety of the first season of Iron Fist on Netflix. While the star of the show will be Finn Jones as Danny Rand, we will also get our first look at Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing. Wing, as a martial arts expert, has a prominent role in the show, and it’s possible that we’ve seen more previews of her fighting ability than that of Rand.
Henwick was interviewed by AOL Build a few days, where she shared that even a year into the filming process with Marvel, every time she hears the music for the Iron Fist trailer, it still gets to her. Henwick came to New York on a one-year contract, and with Iron Fist leading directly into The Defenders, that is a long time to be consistently on one project. She will be finished with her portrayal of Wing (for now) this coming Friday the 17th, her last day on The Defenders. And as always with every actor involved in the The Defenders, it was requested that she dish anything she can could about the show.
It’s really cool. Luke Cage and Iron Fist meet each other and that scene made me jump for joy.
So much of the conversations that went down in the interview were mostly about her experiences working with roles that require so much physicality. According to her, Colleen’s true fighting prowess is displayed in the third episode, with a cage fight scene different from the one that was released. When she was offered the role, she thought she was aware of the physical nature, sending Brett Chan, the stunt coordinator, a text with a fist emoji, saying that she is ready. But when it came time to film her first big fight, the true physicality of the role was more than she imagined. Even though she endured injuries, she hid them from the production staff in order to continue with the role. She was asked about the skills she had to learn for the character of Colleen, and unsurprising to anyone who knows the daughter of the dragon in the comics, Henwick had to learn how to use the katana.
For the show, I mainly learned Japanese martial arts. I’ve since discovered my love of Chinese martial arts. So I’m starting to learn straight sword which is so polar opposite to katana but I do love doing the katana. And I have to say, I was very tempted after finishing the year off to disappear for a month and just go to Japan. I just thought, ‘You know what? I just want to live in the mountains in Japan and learn to use the katana properly.’
She also dished on whether it was harder to learn martial arts than to wield the Japanese blade.
Katana was easier to pick up but harder to get to a decent level. It’s easy to look like you’re swinging a baseball bat. Whereas the other martial arts I was doing, I learned aikido and a little bit of karate, a bit of Krav Maga. It was easy in that we got to pick and choose different moves from martial arts, specialties. Our stunt coordinator Brett made a style for Colleen. So I didn’t have to dive too deeply into those things. But the katana, I mean this is meant to be her ancestral sword. It’s a big deal. She had to be phenomenal. I definitely think that as the series goes, you can see that I improve. I have a katana fight that I think is amazing in episode 8.
The katana fight she mentions is likely from that incredible moment in the trailer where an unnamed fighter (likely Ramon Rodriguez) and Colleen fight to the death in the middle of a storm. And on the topic of memorable moments, Jessica was also asked about her most unforgettable filming experiences outside of Star Wars and Game of Thrones, she said that a particular scene in The Defenders was one she won’t forget.
In Defenders. Can’t really say much but it’s a helicopter scene and I’ve never been in a helicopter before and it terrified me because of the heights thing. But getting to fly over New York, you just kind of go ‘Wow. The opportunities that my job gives me..’
It wasn’t all bruises and martial arts for Henwick in the role. Part of the character required her to delve deep into the nuances and ticks of Colleen’s personality. To get herself ready for that, Jessica looked to the comic books for inspiration.
When Finn got cast, I hadn’t got a callback yet. But I happened to be at a convention and went hunting for Colleen’s first appearances in the comic books. So I bought that and still have that at home. I read a little bit more into her storylines. There’s real depth to this character that I’d love to see moving forward. I also researched Japanese customs and hierarchy and things that she would know. Dojo etiquette, those kinds of things.
Iron Fist is currently getting bashed by the huge number of negative critical reviews but so far, one of the few praised things about the show is Colleen Wing. It’s evident that all of Jessica Henwick‘s efforts in bringing this role are paying off. We’ve always been excited to see her in the role and this interview just takes it to the next level.
Iron Fist comes out this coming Friday on Netflix at 12am PST and 3am EST.
Source: AOL Build Series