With less than two days to go until Daredevil is unleashed worldwide via Netflix, Marvel is doing what they do best and promoting the crap out of their newest inclusion into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From multiple TV spots and interviews to unique street art all around the world, it’s safe to say that if you’ve been near a computer or television in the past few days, you are aware that The Man Without Fear is coming Friday morning (12 AM PDT to be specific).
While the core cast has been announced for a while now, many of the others had remained a mystery up until last month. Earlier in March, thanks to a set visit from the Brazilian website Omelete, we learned that Melvin Potter, also known as The Gladiator to comic fans, would be playing a role in the Netflix series. A couple weeks later when Marvel and Netflix kickstarted their big promotional run for the show, they officially released the names and actors associated with some yet unidentified characters and Matt Gerald was attached to the newly (officially) announced Melvin Potter.
I had a chance to exchange a few emails with Matt Gerald and he was nice enough to allow me to ask him a some questions about Daredevil. While we couldn’t go too in depth into his characters involvement in the show or any aspects of the plot, I was able to get his take on the show and talk to him a bit about his preparation for the role. It sounds like Marvel and Netflix have something really special on their hands and all the actors involved seem to reflect that sentiment. I think we’re in for a treat come Friday morning.
Check out the interview below.
Tell us a little bit about your character Melvin Potter
I’ll quote Marvel on this one… Melvin Potter is a ‘machinist caught between a rock and a hard place’. In the comics he was a costume designer that was enlisted to make Daredevil his suit before making a suit of his own and battling Daredevil, among others. Without getting too deep into the saga(s), which you and your readers probably know every bit as well as I do if not better, Melvin becomes the Gladiator. More importantly, and what makes this character so compelling, is that he is a deeply convicted soul torn between multiple allegiances and thrust into a cataclysm of circumstances which compel him to act in ways that may not always be in his nature. I find him to be a deeply tormented, sensitive, fascinating creature and I’m profoundly honored to be given the opportunity to bring him to life. I hope I do him the justice he deserves.
This isn’t your first time stepping into the world of Marvel, you had previously played a character called ‘White Power Dave’ in the One-Shot titled All Hail The King. I’m assuming there is no connection between that character in Seagate Prison and the character Melvin Potter which you are playing in Daredevil, is that correct?
At this point in time I’m unaware of any connection between ‘White Power Dave’ in the One-Shot titled All Hail The King and ‘Melvin Potter’ in Daredevil. As I’m sure you’re aware Marvel keeps things pretty close to the hip and I wouldn’t want to speculate on any connection between these characters, past, present, or future.
Where you familiar with Daredevil and/or Melvin Potter (aka The Gladiator) before taking on the part?
Other than what I had seen in the 2003 Daredevil movie with Ben Affleck and Colin Farrell I didn’t really know too much about Daredevil or Melvin Potter when I was offered the role. I didn’t grow up with comic books so it clearly wasn’t on my radar but I gotta say, I feel like… you know when you know someone who hasn’t seen Breaking Bad or The Wire or Sopranos and you’re kind of excited for them because you know how great those shows are and that they’re in for a great ride and you’re a little bit jealous because you wanna be a newbie experiencing it all over again? Well, I’m that newbie and I’m well aware of it and I understand your jealousy.
What kind of research did you do to prepare?
When I first got the role a friend of mine, who’s a huge comic book enthusiast and general lover of any story involving special powers and/or sandals & swords(hope he reads this) went out and bought me the Daredevil Vol. 1, No. 18, July 1966 issue where Potter makes his first appearance. I was immediately hooked. Then I went down to a local comic book store and bought these (see below). I’ve been buried in them ever since.
You’ve been on a lot of different TV shows in the past, how does the format and schedule of Netflix differ from shooting something like Dexter or The Unit
The format and shooting schedule of Daredevil is basically the same as any television show. I would imagine it may feel different from the production side but as an actor it felt like I could have been working on any other show, network or cable, with the only distinction that there seemed to be a general sense among both cast and crew that they were all working on something special. I got that feeling the minute I walked on set. Not that that didn’t exist to some degree on other shows. The enthusiasm just seem to be a little more unfettered here. I think it’s a function of both the newness of the show and the audacity of it’s creators. It’s hard not to get excited when you see all the wonderful work being performed by such immensely talented people all around you. It reminded me a little of Avatar in that regard.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I saw the first two episodes at the premiere on Thursday and was blown away. These guys have done an unbelievable job crafting an entirely unique, dangerous, gripping, introspective and yet thrilling ride into the Marvel Universe. I think fans are gonna be stoked.
Daredevil premiers Friday morning worldwide at 3 AM PDT on Netflix. For all you need to know about the upcoming show, head on over to this link to check out our complete coverage of the first Defender.