As we near closer to Friday’s premiere of the second season of Daredevil on Netflix, it’s safe to assume more information will begin making its way out, mostly via interviews with the cast. Just yesterday, we posted an interview with series star Charlie Cox, where he talked about the second season and the introduction of two fan-favorite characters, Elektra (Elodie Yung) and The Punisher (Jon Bernthal). Over the past few months, those lucky enough to either watch the show as it filmed, or catch a few early review episodes, have sung the praises of both Bernthal and Yung. And there’s even been talk of a spin-off series for The Punisher, although Netflix hasn’t officially commented on that matter publicly. So, what was it like for these two new comers to join a hit series like Daredevil and to help bring these iconic characters to life within the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Rolling Stone had a chance to speak with both Bernthal and Yung, and got them to discuss how they went about preparing for their respective roles, and what we can expect from their characters.
Bernthal has been very open with his turn as Frank Castle/The Punisher over recent months, not only citing his role as both a husband and a father as vital to his portrayal of the character, but continually showing that he understands the importance of this character when it comes to the fans. While speaking to Rolling Stone, he explained that while he wasn’t entirely familiar with Castle beforehand, Bernthal made it a point to do his research. He visited multiple comic shops, getting his hands on whatever material he could, and along the way came to find a huge appreciation for Garth Ennis‘ series.
“When I’m acting, I tend to drive to to wherever the location is,” he says. “So I’m hopping in my truck and driving across the U.S. quite a bit. And whenever I’d stop in a new town on my way somewhere, I’d hit every comic book store and clean them out of whatever Punisher books they had.” He’s a huge fan now, citing Garth Ennis’ brutal Punisher MAX series as a major inspiration for his take. “If you went to your local comic store over the last year and couldn’t find any of those ‘Max comics: I’m really sorry.”
Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle has received praise from just about every reviewer thus far, calling him one of the high points of season two. However, given Bernthal’s comments on how he went about getting into the right mindset, all while making sure to give it his all while doing so, that isn’t entirely too surprising. He displays a clear understanding of the character and how important it is to maintain a balance, while also not being afraid to take someone like Castle all the way.
“The worst thing you could do with Frank was to do things in half-measures,” he says. “‘Well, I don’t want to make him too bad, I may lose the audience.’ No. You have to take him all the way, and because Netflix is essentially treating this as a 13-hour movie, you have the chance to risk having viewers think, I don’t know if I can get behind what this guy is doing. And then maybe a few hours later, you can slowly win them back.
“But I mean, was there a toll to get to that place?” Bernthal continues. “Yeah. Look, I’m just an actor; at the end of the day, I put on makeup and say lines for a living. But I don’t think I could have played this role if I weren’t a husband and a father, and couldn’t imagine what I might be pushed to do if these people that I love so much were taken away from me.” There’s a sigh on the other end of the phone line. “Maybe if I was a better actor, I could hit up nightclubs all night, eat Chinese food and be on my iPad and then just show up on set as Frank Castle. But that ain’t me. I had to be in it 24-7. And you don’t want to be around me when I’m like that.”
Along with Bernthal’s Frank Castle, Hell’s Kitchen will also be getting a visit from Elektra (Yung). Much like has been the case with The Punisher, many have been eager to see the character make her MCU debut for some time, and come this Friday, they’ll finally see their wish granted as Yung helps bring her to life on the small screen.
In recent interviews, Yung has hinted at Elektra being a bit of a sociopath, or at least showcasing sociopathic tendencies from time to time. While speaking to Rolling Stone, Yung went on to describe Elektra as the “little devil” on Matt Murdock’s shoulder, bringing out a much darker side to him than we’ve seen yet.
“Elektra is the little devil sitting on Matt’s shoulder,” she says. “I kept picturing her whispering into his ear: ‘Come on, let’s break into this house, let’s steal this car, let’s have some fun!’ I don’t know how much I can say in these interviews, but when she suddenly comes back into his life, she clearly rubs off on him.
“She brings out the evil side in him a bit,” the 35-year-old actress continues. “And you know, maybe Elektra misses having someone good around her, to balance her out. Because they really do complete each other.”
Of course, while Elektra will only make her MCU debut tomorrow, she was already referenced back in season one during a flashback between Foggy and Matt. While we’re not entirely sure what happened between the two characters back then just yet, a flashback scene that Yung teases below seems set to offer a hint of their tumultuous relationship.
She points to an early flashback sequence in which Elektra and a pre-Daredevil Murdock tussle with each other in a boxing ring, both of them teasing out the others’ limits; it feels more like a sex scene that the actual sex scene that follows it. “You’re not the first person to say that,” Yung says, cracking up. “That was the first thing we filmed together, Charlie and I, and after that I thought, ‘Okay, this will work.’ That’s where you see their relationship. It’s intimate and it’s violent. It’s ‘I love you, but I will kick you in the face.’ It’s complicated, as you guys say.”
The second season of Daredevil hits Netflix tomorrow! You can catch-up on all things Daredevil by heading over here. Need a refresher before kicking off your binge tomorrow? Check out our remix trailer below!
Source: Rolling Stone.