The actor admits he hasn't loved a character this much 'in a long time
Daredevil is one of Marvel's classic New York heroes. You're a native New Yorker.
I'm guessing you didn't encounter any costumed crime-fighters growing up, but do you have a Hell's Kitchen story? Did you travel up to the neighborhood?
Who was throwing bottles at you?I don't know, you wouldn't know who was throwing the bottles, but there were bottles being winged at us. I mean, imaginiung that happening today is crazy. But, you know, all those shadows… New York City used to full of shaded, shadowy areas. They're all lit up, now. They're all different; they're all blue sky now. So it's such a different city.
Villains can be one note. "Destroy the world because X." Your character Wilson Fisk is introverted and a bit of a softy. He also runs New York's biggest crime ring. Where did you find that nuance? The source material or your own thoughts on the character?The artwork from a couple of the different series: the [Brian Michael] Bendis series and the Frank Miller series and some of Jeff Loeb's stuff. I knew a lot of the storylines and I reread some of the big graphic novels, like Man Without Fear. [Fisk's] origin stuff is all very interesting. But it's the artwork. There are certain periods of artwork that showed him vulnerable as well as tough and crazy. There are always reasons why somebody is in the shadow, an extrovert, kind of antisocial even if they would prefer not to be, and there has to be emotional reasons why that's happening. I tried to bring a lot of those to Fisk.
The first five episodes give us a taste of Fisk. Do we see how this troubled character got to where he is today?There's a lot more coming. There's a lot more emotional life coming between him and Vanessa, [his love interest played by Ayelet Zurer]. There's a lot more of him exposing himself. His dark side is super explored, his love life is super explored, and these kind of emotional quirks you're talking about become more relevant.
Plus you get to beat the living crap out of people every once in a while.Every once in a while.
You were recently in The Judge as a low-key, affable guy. What's more difficult: playing nice or playing diabolical?Both things are as interesting to play, I loved playing Fisk. I mean, I haven't loved playing a character in a long time. I really enjoyed playing Wilson Fisk. I think that's because of what Steven DeKnight did with the writing. He made him so multi-leveled. The way that I was using Steven DeKnight's ideas, the way that I was able to bring the character was, I mean, he could be a child or a monster within one or two sentences.
In the past, you've talked about turning down a part on The Sopranos (and not regretting it). Does playing a mobster on Daredevil make you recall what could have been? Do you see similarities?No, the Wilson Fisk stuff is so iconic in the Marvel universe that it really can't be compared to anything, I don't think. And as far as me approaching it as an actor, I never really got that far with the whole Sopranos thing. I'm not even sure I remember what part it was, it was a long time ago. And so, in my mind, they don't connect at all.
Joining the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" can be a multi-series or -movie commitment. Did you need to know where this character would go in the years to come before taking the part? Did you want that chance to pop up elsewhere?I guess when everybody started to say that, I hadn't thought about it previous to that, but people talk about that kind of thing a lot, and it would be super, super exciting to play Fisk in another format if that ever happened. I don't know if it will or not, but we've never talked about that stuff, I've never talked about that stuff with Marvel. I knew who Wilson Fisk was when he was mentioned to me, and so that made me excited. Once Jeff Loeb and DeKnight, once we had our conversations and they told me where they wanted to go, the kind of show Daredevil was going to be, I just got super excited. And to have that happen when there's this whole Marvel universe going on is an exciting thing. It's a great company and I was hoping when they went into it that they would be great to work for and they were just amazing. Marvel's an amazing company to work for.
I think I was introduced to Fisk actually through Spider-Man.Yeah, that's how I was introduced too. Spider-Man was one of my comics when I was a kid.
Now that Spider-Man is back in the Marvel fold is there an opportunity for you to meet him?I don't know!
You wear an amazing suit in Daredevil. It's the most stylish body armor ever made, based on some attacks you ward off.It's a suit that was made by Michael Andrews. He's an incredible suitmaker. He mad made this suit [I'm wearing now]. I met him in the Marvel show. He's an amazing tailor and he builds these incredible suits. He has a shop in New York called Michael Andrews Bespoke, and he's an incredible maker. That particular suit that you're talking about was supposedly made of Kevlar underneath, a super thin Kevlar that one of the characters knows how to tailor. I don't know if I can talk about who that character is because that's past the fifth episode.
No spoilers.Yeah, now you're never gonna know.
via Esquire Magazine, 4.3.15
by Matt Patches
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