Charlie Cox on Daredevil, Boardwalk Empire & new vampire film Eat Local
This is part two of Diane Cooney’s interview with actor Charlie Cox.
To read part one, click here!
Diane Cooney: With your roles of Matt Murdock and Owen Sleater (Boardwalk Empire), there’s such a dichotomy between brutality and tenderness with respect to the how they approach their jobs and their love lives:
Charlie Cox: You know, that was really a choice I made for Owen….or that was written and I kind of went down that route. I imagine these guys going back to their families and having, you know, what we consider really normal lives, and their day work was this crazy life. I didn’t want Owen to feel duplicitous, necessarily. I think he’s coming from a hurt world.
When it comes to Daredevil, I got the job because of Owen Sleater. There’s a temptation as an actor to go, right, how do I do something completely different with this character? And I had to keep remembering….that’s not necessarily my job in this moment.
Because Joe Quesada told me he watched Boardwalk Empire and was like, “that guy’s great for Matt Murdock.” So I was trying to find how this is character different, and also how is he the same, and let’s not be afraid to be the same.
I think you’ve picked up on one of the similarities. The major difference – which is something that’s explored in the show, which I love that was being explored - is that I don’t think Owen Sleater goes home and sits with the feelings and feels the guilt and shame in the same way, because it was a different time period. It was a different world. Matt Murdock, he goes out and does what he does and he goes home and he struggles with his feelings, he struggles with that he’s doing and…I think God plays a larger part in it.
DC: You also show a very sensitive side to Daredevil:
CC: One of the things that interests me so much about Matt Murdock in the comics, is that he’s kind of a ladies man, but he’s kind of a ladies man. This is partly because Karen Page is the love of his life, or at least I think she is. Deep down, Matt Murdock is a simple man, and Karen Page brings out that side of him. A side he truly truly wants to be and is. That kind of became non-negotiable to me. So when I read what happened with Claire, I loved it, because it was like, a curve ball. Because you know, you meet Karen Page in the first episode and you say, “ok, so they’re going to get together.”
My boss, the head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, did a Daredevil run called Daredevil Yellow. It’s literally a love letter to Karen Page. I mean, it’s written in the form of a letter to Karen Page from Matt Murdock after she’s dead, and it’s just so moving. I read that and thought it was extraordinary. Everything really, in terms of Matt’s love life, is for me - and I have no idea what they’re writing – I have no idea if we’re doing another season. His journey is all about him to a place where he’s capable with Karen, both emotionally, and spiritually and all those things.
So with Claire, although I think… he opened up to someone, and it was so great for him to get close to someone who knew who he was and all those things. I think in that period of his life, he wasn’t able to be vulnerable with someone else. He’s just obsessed with Wilson Fisk. In a different set of circumstances, there could have been a more of a romance there. He just wasn’t available.
DC: What’s your typical workout when you’re not Daredevil?
CC: Well, I never had a gym membership before this job, so I’m kind of figuring that out now. I do yoga, I like doing yoga, I think it’s good for actors. It’s always nice to feel limber and all those kinds of things. And ever since I got this job, I’ve continued to work with the trainer they set me up with. So, I do it year round. I just came right from there. I don’t do it nearly as hard as when we’re shooting the show. It’s been a whole new discovery for me, to enjoy…. feeling strong, I guess. I never naturally gravitated towards that. I’ve always just kind of liked to go running or do yoga or stuff that. But now I’m lifting weights, and it’s kind of fun. I don’t think I’ll do it my whole life, but certainly whilst I’m still Daredevil, I’ll try and keep it up. I also don’t want to have to start from scratch (laughs). I know we’re going to do Defenders at the end of the year.
CC: He’s an old friend of mine. He called me up. I owe him a huge favor. A few years ago, I put on a pantomime for charity in London. And I called him up, and was like, “I have a favor”…and he said “I can’t talk right now, but whatever it is, yes.” He called me back later that day, and was like, “So what’s this favor?” 'Dude, remember you said yes. You need to play the Wicked Stepmother in a play. For free.' And he did it, so I owed him this huge favor. I was honored to be asked. It’s a really good cast. It’s a very low budget British thing, but Jason was great, so hopefully he’ll have a quirky little film on his hands.
For part one of our interview with Charlie Cox, click here.
Charlie Cox can be seen in Incognito at the Manhattan Theatre Club. It is currently in previews and officially opens May 24.
You can purchase tickets here.