How Luke Cage and ‘The Defenders’ Challenge Iron Fist’s Privilege

INVERSE – The sleeper fan favorite character of The Defenders might surprise you: It’s ya boi Danny Rand (Finn Jones).

After an origin story in Iron Fist Season 1 that was met with fan backlash and critically mixed reviews, some felt that he’d be a plot device that brings the fight against The Hand to the other Defenders but not much else. But surprisingly, Danny ends up being the glue that holds the team together, plying them with Chinese food, when Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra threatens the entirety of New York City. With the help of Matt Murdock’s Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Danny managed to evolve and becomes the man — not the weapon — he was always meant to be.

Danny Rand and Iron Fist actor Finn Jones spoke with Inverse about The DefendersIron Fist Season 2, and what Danny’s privilege really means moving forward.

How do you think Danny’s interactions with the other Defenders will change him for Iron Fist Season 2?

I think throughout Iron Fist [Season 1], Danny doesn’t even know what a superhero is. So, in Defenders, this is the first time he is meeting other people with abilities, and they all have their problems. They’re able to go about their lives and use their abilities responsibly and with purpose, and I think this is the first time that Danny is really seeing that. It definitely helps sharpen his focus and sharpen his senses and inspires him.

It’s almost like Danny’s meeting some long-lost brothers and sisters for the first time. They’re just equipped to tease him and punch him into walls.

At the end of the day, they’re there to help mentor him and help him grow into a responsible adult that he knows he can be. Essentially, Danny has got a good heart — his motives are all in the right places, but he’s young. He’s a had a tough upbringing. He’s got a big weight on his shoulders, and he’s never really had influential figures in his life to lead him down the right path, and so he’s always been a bit of a mess, very hot-headed. So, what we’re seeing in The Defenders is these three people who he’s come into contact with are really helping put him on the straight and narrow.

It’s an intense interaction right off the bat; Luke certainly wants to put him on the straight and narrow. The scene in Episode 3 where he calls Danny out for his privilege was probably the first time Danny had ever considered that — how did you prepare for the scene in Episode 3 where Luke calls Danny out on his privilege?

I loved it — this is a very iconic relationship between two superheroes, and they’re known for being BFFs. What I love that Marvel is done is that it’s not just gone straight for the, oh, let’s hang out and be best friends to begin with. They come in with conflicts of interest, and they made it relevant again. It’s interesting to watch. I definitely think it’s the first time that Danny has actually thought about his condition.

His condition being that he’s inherited all this money and a multi-billion-dollar company?

I think Danny is very misunderstood in the fact that a lot of people see that he comes from money and automatically think that he’s privileged. Well, actually, Danny lost his parents when he was 10 years old. He grew up in a world where he was alienated to his former life. He had a very rough upbringing for 15 years.

So, he hasn’t grown up with privilege. He’s come back to New York and suddenly he’s got this responsibility of being the Iron Fist and owning this company and having all of this money. It’s a lot for him to take; he’s like a kid in the candy shop, you know? He’s just trying the best he can.

He doesn’t really understand the other side of the argument.

That’s what I love about this interaction with Luke. It’s the first time he realizes that maybe just one exchange with hitting the enemy or throwing money at the face of adversity isn’t the right way to go about it. He doesn’t know any better.

So, by meeting Luke for the first time, he’s like ‘Oh, shit.’ And then, he learns there’s a different way to do this. Maybe I shouldn’t just go around beating people up. Up until now, he’s only seen things as black and white. He’s seen the problem and he’s seen the solution. He’s very young and he’s very reckless, and usually he just either punches it or he throws money at it because he knows no better. It’s a really wonderful thing when he starts to see a different side of the argument. Danny is really compassionate by nature and he’s very quick to understand Luke’s point of view, and he’s really quick to make amends.

And how would you define Danny’s relationship with Luke and the other two Defenders, Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock’s Daredevil?

So, one of the first conversations I had with Marco [Ramirez, *The Defenders* showrunner,] was about when Danny meets these other three individuals, what does he learn from them, and what do they learn from him? That was the most important thing to me about The Defenders, and we got that across. They really helped him understand himself so much better and really give him more perspective on who he is in the world.

I guess Luke is almost like Danny’s coach. He’s like his counselor, kind of helps wind him down in times when he’s just being a little bit out of control and pretty understanding in situations from a different perspective.

Daredevil is like Danny’s older brother. He’s someone that Danny looks up to. He starts to take a great deal of inspiration from him. I think he admires Daredevil. He admires — even though he’s seen adversity in his life, as Danny has — that he’s not letting that overwhelm him and he’s not letting that get him down, and he’s actually using his abilities for good and doing it in a responsible way. He really takes a lot of inspiration from that.

Jessica is like the cooler, annoying older sister who is always picking on her little brother. Even though she’s always picking on him, she does it out of kindness because, essentially, Danny is the eternal optimistic while Jessica is the down-and-out pessimist. I think it’s really wonderful that Danny meets Jessica, because she kind of brings it down a notch. Jessica is able to take the kids out there and try Danny and make him realize that maybe he shouldn’t take himself so seriously.

How else did Danny level up in Defenders? I’ve noticed a lot people saying his fight style is much cooler and more confident. Did you get any more fight training in between Iron Fist and The Defenders?

None. I went from Iron Fist straight into Defenders. I had a week to turn around and that was all pretty much costume fittings, script read-throughs, and sleeping. In terms of training, really, it has been in the first season and in both of the shows. It’s been on the job.

I’ve seen Iron Fist and Defenders as the first phase of Danny’s journey. I don’t really differentiate between the two, which has been a great thing for me because I’ve been able to play this arc of a character over a long period of time and it’s allowed me to be very nuanced and slow-burning, which I’ve really enjoyed. We’ve been taking our time getting Danny into top form.

Obviously, by the time Defenders came, I’d been working on [*Iron Fist*] and performing the choreography for nearly six or seven months, so I’d gotten a lot more used to it. Also, we had a new choreography team [for *Defenders*] and we had a different cameraman. So, the way it was constructed and the way that it was directed and put together was very different, which I think also helped the show’s choreography.

Now, just gonna let you know, moving into Season 2 of Iron Fist, I’m actually starting my training next week. We’re at least four or five months away from shooting, so this time around, I’m being given a lot more preparation leading up to Season 2, which I think is really gonna have a huge improvement on the quality of the fight scenes in Season 2 of Iron Fist.

Finn Jones discusses starring in Marvel shows, attending Comic Con, and why he loves living in New York

GOTHAM MAGAZINE – After starring in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, Finn Jones was cast in not one, but two Marvel-Netflix series, which both premiered on the hit streaming service this year. In Iron Fist and The Defenders, Jones plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist, a superhero skilled in martial arts and protecting New York City.

Here, he talks to us about his grueling filming schedule and his favorite spots to eat around the city.

Tell me a little more about what attracted you to the project.
Finn Jones: I think the first thing that got me excited about playing Danny Rand was that there are so many layers to Danny. On one side, he’s this very centered, spiritual, considerate, capable warrior. And on the other side he’s this hothead mess, very reckless, has a lot of trauma in his life, very naive. He’s in the middle of those two opposing forces and trying to find his way. And I love his optimism. I love the fact that at the center of it all, he is deeply compassionate, cares, and wants to do the right thing. But, because he’s young and reckless, he constantly finds himself messing up. And I love that struggle. It’s brilliant.

What kind of physical training did you have to do?
FJ: It’s kind of been an ongoing process. There’s been a lot of physical training. I was cast in March last year and then we started filming in April. So it was a very short amount of time before I had to be camera-ready. But, now that I’m not shooting and in the lead up to season two of Iron Fist, I may want to train in a more cohesive and economical way. Really, the training is just a part of my life now. It’s a lifestyle that I’ve had to pick up. Lots of yoga, tai chi, martial arts, and very little alcohol and burgers.

Did you do these things before getting cast?
FJ: I’ve always done yoga and I’ve always been into meditation, long before I got this role. Martial arts is definitely a new thing for me. But meditation, the spiritual side of things, that’s been with me for a long time.

Was there any moment during shooting that was particularly harrowing for you?
FJ: It was all pretty relentless, to be honest. You’d work 14 hours a day, five days a week. You’d go from days into nights, nights into days. On top of that you had to train, you had to learn choreography, it was a very physically demanding show. There’s something really rewarding about pushing yourself that hard and I think you get a really raw and different performance from working at that pace and intensity.

What was it like working with such a great cast?
FJ: It was awesome. We all had a very, very good dynamic from day one, both as actors and as characters. I think it really shows in the show; the chemistry between all of us is just fantastic. And that starts from us as actors.

You’re in the middle of Comic Con traveling.
FJ: They’re great spaces for fans to come and share their love and be themselves. It’s a place for people to come and be weird. It’s a really supportive and friendly space of no judgment. I really admire that there’s a space for that all around the world.

Did you see Iron Fists?
FJ: Yes. And I dressed up myself. I went around for a little bit. I love seeing the cosplays. There’s some really fantastic ones, really creative. There were a couple of kids this weekend that came dressed up as Iron Fist. That is probably the best feeling in the world, when you’re at these Comic Cons and you have a kid who’s maybe eight, and they’re just completed enraptured by the character. To be on the other side of that and give that energy back, it’s a really amazing thing. I think one of my most favorite things about being a superhero.

What’s the biggest difference between your Game of Thrones and Marvel fans?
FJ: You know what? They cross over. Usually the fans that come and meet me, they’re fans of both shows and they’re pretty indistinguishable. It’s not like one tribe for one and one tribe for the other.

Are you still watching Game of Thrones?
FJ: I actually haven’t had any time to catch up on it this season because I’ve been so busy. I think I’m going to wait until it’s all finished. I like to watch it at my own pace, but it’s very difficult to avoid spoilers, especially when your friends are in the show. You say, “Oh dude, are you going to be in the next season as well?” And they say no, and you say, “Oh, that must mean you’re dead.” I gave up on trying to avoid spoilers a long time ago. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

You shot in the New York. What was it like to be living in the city?
FJ: It’s amazing. I still live here now. I actually moved here a year and a half ago and I love it so much. I live in Brooklyn, and we film in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Jersey. It’s such a rich, diverse, amazing city to both film and live in. I feel blessed to be able to work on a show in this city. It’s incredible.

Favorite places to eat?
FJ: There are a lot of really good restaurants in Brooklyn. There’s actually this one place on Berry St. in Williamsburg called Juniper. It’s a little rundown, family-style restaurant. From the outside, it looks like a beat-up restaurant, but go inside and it has the best, best food. It’s super low key; bring-your-own-booze kind of vibe. Very authentic and very relaxed.

Are you taking a bit of a break right now?
FJ: Oh, there is no break. Straight off The Defenders I went on a world tour for Iron Fist. And I just completed that and now I’m on a press tour for The Defenders. And straight after that, I go into Iron Fist. I’m just on this train. Which is a fun train, but it’s a big lifestyle change. It’s fun, but it’s hard.

What Finn Jones has learned from ‘The Defenders,’ ‘Game of Thrones’

INQUIRER — “I have had a lot of practice dealing with the pressures of being in a high-profile show,” Finn Jones told us when we visited the set of “Marvel’s The Defenders” in New York early this year.

The eagerly anticipated series, which sees Iron Fist (Jones) forging a four-way partnership with Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to defeat a formidable foe, began streaming on Netflix last Friday and opened to enthusiastic reviews.

Jones knows whereof he speaks. After all, before his stint with the newest superhero group in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he had learned valuable lessons on proving naysayers wrong, taking brickbats with a grain of salt, and exceeding expectations when he was cast as Loras Tyrell in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Danny Rand in Netflix’s “Iron Fist.”

“I didn’t have enough time to feel the pressure because I had to dive into ‘The Defenders’ immediately after wrapping up the first season of ‘Iron Fist.’ So, I just read the script and brought the character to life as best as I could,” he said. “Look, I was in ‘Game of Thrones’ for six years. Working on a show that has had a lot of hype surrounding it, I’ve learned that it’s separate from my work as an actor. It’s great to have a huge fan base, but you need to ignore that when you’re working. I don’t get lost in all the bullsh*t.”

The change of pace allows Jones to see how Danny evolves as he embarks on a new journey. “As you can see, I look different in ‘The Defenders’ compared to how I was in ‘Iron Fist.’ So, Danny gets to grow up as he pursues his purpose throughout ‘The Defenders,’” he added.

Iron Fist is the last character introduced in the quartet’s shared story, but he’s no pushover, said Jones: “He may be the youngest of the group, but Danny’s participation is key to the narrative of ‘The Defenders.’

“He brings naïveté, recklessness and optimism to the group, which the others admire and despise in equal measure.

“They aren’t used to dealing with Iron Fist’s mystical persona. They’re quick to brush it off, but they soon realize its importance as they deal with the grave threat they’re facing.”

Our chat with Jones:

Talk about Iron Fist’s “bromance” with Luke Cage, and how that comes into play with the other members of The Defenders. Do you get along with one another? Everything went very well. Obviously, when you have relationships that are so iconic, you worry that you might oversell them. It might look like you’re trying too hard to create chemistry. With Mike and me, the chemistry feels effortless and natural. To be honest, my scenes with him are my favorite.

Our characters complement each other, but we don’t become buddies straightaway.

There’s friction between us, as there would be between people of diverse backgrounds. But, within those differences, we’re able to see eye-to-eye on a few things. What draws Danny to Luke and vice versa is the fact that they see each other’s vulnerable side.

The Defenders are brought together by a threat that necessitates Matt, Luke, Danny and Jessica to join forces.

It’s not a Power Rangers kind of collaboration, where we go, “Hey, let’s fight crime and kick ass!” But, it’s also in their differences where the alliances of the four street-level superheroes start to emerge.

I must say that I’d love to take part in a “Heroes for Hire” series, where Iron Fist and Luke Cage get to collaborate with the Daughters of the Dragon, who should include Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and even Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). It’ll be fascinating to see the five of us as a team.

What kind of training did you go through for your role? I had to learn a different kind of fight choreography almost every week since March of last year. That’s a lot of f**king fights (laughs)! Before I did the show, I had a month and half to learn different forms of martial arts, which take a lifetime for most people to learn.

It was like learning dance choreography—I’d study the steps, learn to make them look right, then on the day of the shoot, I’d carry out the steps, act through them and improve on the job.

Recently, I had to learn a very long and complicated fight scene. When I first did “Iron Fist,” that routine would have taken me a week to learn.

But last week, I learned it under an hour! So, you improve with constant practice. It’s a lot to undergo, apart from enduring 15-hour shoots.

Which styles of martial arts did you focus on? We touched a lot on wushu, kung fu and taichi, because that’s the way Danny harnesses his mystical power.

Incorporated into those were a fusion of styles—monkey, tiger, crane and drunken styles …

Hasn’t there been a competition among the four shows? There was none. And there was no bloated ego on the set. We’re team players who want only the best for each other. We support each other’s shows.

Did you read the comic books before you got the role? This question takes me back to “Game of Thrones.”

Before I started filming my scenes as Loras Tyrell, I read all the books. But, when filming began, I realized it wasn’t all that helpful to rely on the source material.

What you’re dealing with is essentially an adaptation, so you have to focus on the world as imagined by the script.

I’ve read “The Immortal Iron Fist” and “The Living Weapon” series, and I’ve skimmed through a lot of the ’70s comics to get an idea of the tone of that world. Danny changes in a lot in those incarnations. For me, knowing that is liberating, because I don’t want to emulate something that’s already been done. The show has to stand on its own.

What I love so much about Danny Rand are the massive contradictions within the character. He isn’t perfect, so there’s room for him to progress.

For any actor, it’s a thrill to play a character who’s relatable and real. It’s exciting to imagine what and where he’ll be in three years’ time!

‘Iron Fist’ star Finn Jones talks DJing, ‘Defenders’ and Donald Trump

METRO Playing a superhero on TV can be a rough gig at times. Just ask “Iron Fist” star Finn Jones.

The 29-year-old actor is back as the kung fu-kicking billionaire Danny Rand in Marvel’s “The Defenders,” which debuted on Netflix over the weekend. While it’s been a fun role for the “Game of Thrones” alum, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t earned a few bumps and bruises along the way.

“The easiest way to describe it is I dislocated my hip,” Jones tells Metro of his nasty leg injury prior to filming the miniseries. “Also, I tore like a really deep muscle in my aductor. Because my hip was out of place, it wasn’t healing correctly. That happened in ‘Iron Fist’ and I pretty much had that ongoing injury throughout ‘The Defenders.'”

Luckily, he was able to power through the pain in order to pull off his awesome martial arts moves on the show. Ahead, Jones talks more about his “Defenders” experience, his secret musical side and his thoughts on the role of heroes in the Donald Trump era.

You’ve been spending a lot of time in New York filming “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders.” How’s the Big Apple treating you?

I live in Brooklyn and I f—king love this city, man. There’s a reason why they call it the greatest city in the world. The thing I love about it the most is how much diversity there is here. There’s such a mix of different cultures, peoples and walks of life, but everyone is united under this sense of being a New Yorker.

Society has plenty of villains at the moment, but there doesn’t seem to be many heroes. Does the real world need a superhero right now?

I think what the world desperately needs right now is better understanding. There’s a lot of confusion, anger, emotion and ignorance. I think ignorance is the biggest problem. Moving forward, we really need to start listening to each other and we need to start reaching out our hands to help and understand rather than to fight. All of this conflict is just going to push us further and further down the road to destruction and chaos. It’s not a good way to be.

We need to be compassionate. It can be really f—king difficult to be compassionate when we don’t understand the other side of the argument. But we need to do that, because f—k me, the president isn’t compassionate. If we haven’t got that guy being compassionate, then we need to do it ourselves. We need to stop getting caught up in the little things of the world. We need to start seeing the bigger picture. If we don’t, it’s going to be too late.

When you’re not kicking butt on TV, you also make music. Should we expect DJ Iron Fist to bring the beats stateside anytime soon?

To be honest, I keep my music quite modest. I like to play alone, you know what I mean? Music is such a personal thing for me. It’s not something I really like to merge with my acting world. But it’s a huge passion of mine. Music means a lot to me.

Are Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons on “Game of Thrones” more intimidating than the Dragon of K’un-Lun on “Iron Fist?”

Well, we haven’t seen the Dragon of K’un-Lun yet, so it’s difficult to call it on that. But the “Game of Thrones” dragons are pretty awesome. It’s hard to draw a comparison to the “Game of Thrones” dragons, but I’m going to have to say Khaleesi’s dragons, hands down.

Since you’re a fight fan, who has the better chest tattoo: Iron Fist or Conor McGregor?

Oh McGregor, for sure. That [gorilla] is f—king awesome. It’s way cooler.

Marvel’s ‘The Defenders’ Episode Screencaptures

‘The Defenders’ is finally here! Hope everyone had all their expectations filled with it and thought it was just as amazing as I thought it was. We have already added high quality screencaps of Finn in all the episodes of the show, and you can check them out in our gallery (be careful: spoiler alert if you haven’t finished everything, obviously!)

FJCDEFEND101-0034.jpg FJCDEFEND102-0057.jpg FJCDEFEND103-0064.jpg FJCDEFEND104-0314.jpg

FJCDEFEND105-0057.jpg FJCDEFEND106-0107.jpg FJCDEFEND107-0009.jpg FJCDEFEND108-0114.jpg

Gallery Links:

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.01 – “THE H WORD”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.02 – “MEAN RIGHT HOOK”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.03 – “WORST BEHAVIOR”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.04 – “ROYAL DRAGON”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.05 – “TAKE SHELTER”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.06 – “ASHES, ASHES”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.07 – “FISH IN THE JAILHOUSE”

MARVEL’S THE DEFENDERS (2017) > EPISODES SCREENCAPTURES > 1.08 – “THE DEFENDERS”

Marvel’s The Defenders stars Finn Jones as Daniel Rand/The Iron Fist; Mike Colter as Luke Cage; Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones; Charlie Cox as Matthew Murdock/Daredevil; Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra; Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios. Now available on Netflix. 

Marvel’s The Defenders: Showrunner Answers Burning Questions

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) finally united to defend their city from the shadow organization that threatened to tear it apart. But the War for New York wasn’t an easy one to fight, and if you haven’t watched all eight episodes of Marvel’s The Defenders, you should stop reading before proceeding further. The post below is chock full of spoilers, so for those who don’t want to know what happened, this is the time to look away. Going once…

Going twice…

And that’s as much warning as we can give.

The team-up series ended with several tantalizing developments: The titular quartet managed to thwart the Hand’s plans to harvest the life-preserving substance in the dragon bones buried beneath New York, but when Elektra (Elodie Yung) refused to back down, Matt sacrificed himself to fight her and wound up crushed under the rubble of Midland Circle. Meanwhile, Jessica and Luke managed to emerge unscathed and even had a brief heart-to-heart — with a mention of grabbing coffee — before heading back to their respective neighborhoods. And Danny finally donned a version of the green and yellow tracksuit fans had been hoping to see him in since the start of his own series.

Oh, and it turned out Matt actually survived the chaos — and has been in the care of nuns, including one who cries out for a sister named “Maggie.” Fans of the comics know Maggie as Maggie Murdock, Matt’s elusive mother, so what does this mean for the previously announced Daredevil season 3? EW hopped on the phone to ask Defenders showrunner Marco Ramirez — one half of the showrunning team behind Daredevil season 2 — that very question, along with a slew of other questions we had after binging the team-up series.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It’s Aug. 18, and The Defenders is finally out. How are you feeling? No more keeping secrets!
MARCO RAMIREZ: No more secrets! It’s been out for a few hours now so if people get mad reading spoilers, I guess we’ve already put it all out. It feels like I can finally go on Instagram and share my on-set photos and [laughs] it’s like there’s no more secrecy around it, it’s out and it’s done.

Let’s start not at the beginning, where Jessica likes to begin her interrogations, but at the ending. Is this the definitive end to the Hand? What can you tell me about the status of everybody in the organization who didn’t get decapitated? That includes Gao, Murakami, and Elektra.
Well, in the Marvel world — and as Jeph Loeb, the Marvel TV head, would say — in the comic-book world, you can always find a way. The story finds a way, so who knows? But we definitely felt like we wanted this to be the end of this specific show, so while I don’t know if it’s the end of the Hand forever — who knows what will happen in the future — it just felt like it’s the end of this story in the lore. Particularly for Iron Fist, we wanted to close that chapter [of the Hand’s story]. I don’t know what the future holds. That’s a Jeph Loeb question [laughs] but for me and for the writers’ room, it felt right to end the story here.

That dragon skeleton — that wasn’t Shou-Lao the Undying’s, is it? It’s just a pile of bones implying that there had been dragons all over the world and one wound up buried under New York?
Yeah, it’s the second one. The idea of that was that there had always been this kind of mystery that the Hand can bring people back from the dead, but we never knew exactly how, and it made sense to connect the life-force idea of the chi in the Iron Fist to the idea of the life force [the Hand members] use for various purposes, so we’re just saying it’s dragon bone that they use, that that’s the substance. That felt like the cleanest way to tie everything in.

And it’s been set up since Daredevil season 1; Gao operates in the background of New York with drugs made from that ground into powder. It felt like we could make back alley drug deals in New York and dragon mythology all part of the same story, so that was my way of trying to tie them all in.

But then, do we know where the city of K’un-Lun went? A part of me thought that was Shou-Lao only because K’un-Lun disappeared, and New York did have a conveniently huge hole in the middle of it.
That’s a question for the Iron Fist showrunner, not me. Honestly, I don’t know where they’re going with that.

That’s for Iron Fist season 2. Your goal, on the other hand, was to make sure whatever was in that hole had to connect to Gao and the Hand in New York.
It’s like, we knew in season 1 of Daredevil that Nobu wanted a specific building in New York City, and that was why it was important for the Hand to get their hands on this one building, and then in season 2, we revealed that they weren’t building up, they were building down. What they were digging toward we didn’t know, so when we started on Defenders, we knew it would be Defenders versus the Hand, and we didn’t know what they were digging for, and we could come up with anything, you know? It’s kind of a fun thing that TV writers do. Like on Lost, the whole season is about the Hatch, but what’s in the Hatch? We’ll figure that out next season! That’s how these things happen.

So what you’re saying is that that dragon skeleton is your Desmond.
[Laughs] Sure.

I’m running with it. Moving on to Matt’s near-death, why did he find it so important to stay behind to fight Elektra, knowing that he would probably not make it out alive?
To me, Matt and Elektra always felt like Edward Norton’s character and Tyler Durden in Fight Club except with a more overt sexual dynamic. [Laughs] And so, in the end, it felt more like the end of Fight Club…  Emotionally, Matt knows and has to embrace the fact that she’s his burden to deal with, and though he’s fought for three episodes alongside Luke, Jessica, and Danny, Elektra is hisproblem, his cross to bear. That’s very Matt Murdock to say “Don’t worry about it, I’ll do this. I’m going to die for this.”

How exactly did he make it out alive in the end? Can you tell me?
I can’t. I can’t say anything.

You’re back to keeping secrets!
I know, I know.

Well, can you confirm for me that the Maggie mentioned at the end of the series is Matt’s mom?
[Laughs] I can’t confirm anything! I can say that visually that shot at the end of Daredevil’s story was definitely an homage, as were a couple of other scenes, to the comics. That’s one of my favorite Daredevil images, so regardless of who any of the characters are, I went to the production meeting saying this is the image we’re going for, we’re going to feel like this, and that came from that image that I purposely borrowed from the comics.

With that in mind, what can you tell me right now about where you are with breaking the story for Daredevil season 3?
I can say nothing. We’re getting into the stuff I can’t talk about. [Laughs]

Fine. Let’s go back to The Defenders. Before the Midland Circle showdown, Elektra brutally murdered Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra, literally stabbing her in the back with her preferred sai. Why did you kill off who we thought was the Big Bad of the entire series at the end of episode 6?
Well, part of it was just about giving the audience a little something unexpected. Audiences I think sometimes expect that a major storyline or major character is going to end in the ultimate or penultimate episode so they go, “Oh all right, something’s going to happen here at the end of the story,” so it just felt like a jolt, and it was exciting to write. The second part was really in a way we introduced Sigourney’s character a little bit to highlight Elektra’s story. I like to think that we wrote a really fun cool character for Sigourney but really it was also a way for us to say this is the journey that Elektra is going on.

When did you know Elektra would take such a prominent role in this series bringing all the Defenders together? Like, when you were casting for Elektra, did you know she would eventually be the Bigger Bad, or did the idea come about as you were working on season 2 of Daredevil and saw that she could become a standout character?
I think it’s half one and half the other. I definitely think Jeph Loeb really wanted the idea of an Elektra resurrection storyline to be a part of her story, and I think that once we got to where we got organically by the end of season 2 of Daredevil, the idea was pretty clear that she’s coming back.

When Jeph and I made the phone call to Elodie before the [script for the season 2 finale] came to her because she was getting killed, she was made aware [that Elektra would die in the finale]. We were like, “Hey, we’re really sorry you get killed. Also, though, you come back from the dead.” [Laughs] She was kind of like, “So why are we having this phone call?” [Laughs] Which was funny, but I would say half of [why we made her so important] was because it felt like that’sthe story to tell, and she’s a major figure in the comics, she’s really beloved by the audience, and her resurrection storyline is very iconic.

Did you have any other ideas for how you would kill off Sigourney Weaver?
Honestly, it felt like of the four Defenders, none of them are particularly—

Murderous?
Right, none of them would get to the place where they’re taking a life. They would really have to be pushed there… [Having Elektra kill Alexandra] felt more in terms with this conceptual mother-daughter dynamic that we wanted to explore thoroughly. We wanted to build that so we could subvert it and have [Elektra] say “I’m taking over.” We wanted to show Sigourney as a regal maternal figure and a master, and for Elektra to basically say, “I have no master.” To me, it’s organic in the writing of Elektra, because Elektra has been told by many people in her life what she is, whether it was Stick or Matt, it had been them telling her who she is…. So when she kills Alexandra, it’s really her saying, “People need to stop telling me who I am. This is who I am.” And I think there’s something particularly interesting about that idea.

You mentioned Stick (Scott Glenn). The thinking behind that kill was similar to why she killed Alexandra, right?
Absolutely. And he’s the one who had always been saying, “The war for New York is coming, the war for New York is coming,” so really, if there are going to be any casualties in the war for New York, it’s going to be the guy talking about it.
But yeah, that was very much a part of Elektra’s rejection of him as her paternal figure, and then her rejection of her maternal figure in her life, and then the rejection of the romantic figure in her life as well [when she fights Matt]. She’s really saying, “I am making my own destiny,” and so Elektra’s ending to me is a bittersweet one, but I feel like at the end of episode 8 there is truth in what she’s saying, which is, “I’m leaving, I’m finally, completely free. Matt, you’re not going to try to tether me to anything, this is who I was born to be.”
I feel like maybe the same goes for Danny and for Luke and for Matt and for Jessica Jones, you know? The idea of rejecting the identity that the world is trying to put upon you, and having to embrace the identity you want, of “This is who I am.”

On that note, the four Defenders were always fun to watch when they got to interact and banter. I noticed they tended to pick on Danny — was that at all a meta reaction to the reaction to Iron Fist?
We were shooting the finale of The Defenders when Iron Fist season 1 was premiering, so by the nature of it, we couldn’t have reacted to it. Any interaction they have to Danny is all based on just the dynamics we wanted to build. It felt like, if somebody came in and said, “My fist glows with chi and I punched a dragon and turned into this,” there’s no way around the fact that Jessica Jones is going to say, “Bullsh–, you sound like a crazy person.” Even if the dragon were in the room with them, Jessica is going to be like, “I don’t believe that, what the f— are we talking about?”
So that’s the natural dynamic of what we wanted to build, because Matt and Luke and Jessica had already been introduced, and for comic-book shows, they’re all so grounded and so gritty, but like if a guy walks in to these rooms with a glowing fist saying, “My chi is expanding,” all of them will say “I don’t buy it.” That’s the natural thing for them to do.

Were there any pairings you wanted to explore but didn’t have the time for?
Of course. Because of the nature of it, we built a Matt-and-Jessica story and a Danny-and-Luke one, and there are certainly versions of the opposite pairings that I would have loved to see. I would love to see Matt and Luke, and Jessica and Danny interact because we’ve now established these two sets of relationships. But we weren’t going to do it just for the sake of it.

Back when the series was still filming, Jeph Loeb had said this series could end with these characters telling each other they never want to see each other again. So to you, at the end of this season, what would you call the Defenders? Are they teammates? Friends? Acquaintances?
I think of them mostly as like people who were on the same bus when it got in an accident, and then they all filled out paperwork together, and they all went to the hospital together, and now they’re going home. And it’s kind of like, “This was a great adventure to have with you, I’d be okay with seeing you again, I’d also be okay with never seeing you again.” It’s more like a bond that happens in a crisis. People are intimate now, but it’s not like you’ll be inviting them over for dinner every Tuesday. [Laughs] We designed it so they could go back to their individual worlds, but it’s not like they’re apart permanently in any way.

You did also spend some time giving a lot of fans what they really wanted out of secondary characters. I’ve never been happier to see an amputation happen than when Misty’s (Simone Missick) arm got cut off — now she can get that bionic one! — but there were some moments that didn’t make it, like a scene between Claire and Matt. And more importantly, why didn’t Luke get to say “sweet Christmas”?
Well, “sweet Christmas” is something that I have to leave for Cheo [Hodari Coker, the showrunner of Luke Cage]. That’s something Cheo did in season 1 of Luke and I don’t want to take his greatest hits, you know? For other things, well, all of the writers were like, “Oh, this interaction didn’t happen, and this interaction didn’t happen,” but at the end of the day, we had limited real estate and we couldn’t slow down the forward-moving train of the story. Some of those interactions [we really wanted] made it in. One of the scenes I’m most proud of is the stuff we got between Jessica and Luke outside of the Chinese restaurant, and those scenes between Misty and Colleen, and Foggy and Karen, that’s what we know fans want. Because there are so many combinations, there’s always going to be some stuff we didn’t’ get to do. There are many more episodes of these stories you can tell.

Speaking of which, will there be more episodes? Will The Defenders return for a season 2?
That’s another Jeph Loeb question. [Laughs]

Guess I’ll have to grill him soon for all these answers.
Please do! And then tell me what he says.

Charlie Cox and Finn Jones on 2 Marvel-ous ‘Defenders’ roles

WASHINGTON POST — Maybe you know them as Iron Fist and Daredevil. But now Finn Jones and Charlie Cox, who star as these Marvel superheroes on the Netflix series “Iron Fist” and “Daredevil,” have joined forces with Mike Colter (”Luke Cage”) and Krysten Ritter (”Jessica Jones”) for a much-awaited miniseries hybrid.

“The Defenders,” which finds this Fab Four uniting to fight a fearsome conspiracy mounted against New York City, is now available on Netflix .

Jones continues as Danny Rand, co-CEO of Rand Enterprises who, now a Buddhist monk and martial arts master, has the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist as his alter ego. The first season of “Iron First” was released earlier this year on Netflix. Cox is Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer whose remaining senses are dramatically enhanced and who, for two seasons of his Netflix series, has wrestled with his lawless dark side, the vigilante Daredevil. Both series are continuing.

But this week Jones and Cox joined forces to talk about “The Defenders” and being part of this eight-episode joint venture.

COX: “I’m not sure this has been done before, where you’ve got four individual series, four characters who have their own shows, teaming up for a miniseries. It’s a process we had known about for a long time, so it felt like a celebration. We were ready for it and excited to see how it would turn out.”

JONES: “When we started to play off each other it really felt natural, because all the prep work had been in place for a number of years. All of us had a background in having to lead one of these shows by ourself, so there was a level of support. We were like soldiers in the trenches, which was cool.”

The two actors were asked if a grounding in the four “solo” series is a prerequisite for viewers to sign on for “The Defenders.”

COX: “I do think it’s made primarily for the fans of the other shows. A lot of the enjoyment is going to be had by a fan base that appreciates the other shows and gets to enjoy what it’s like to witness the characters’ dynamics and relationships. But hopefully it can be enjoyed by anyone.”

As for newcomers who want to sample the “Defenders’” predecessors, be advised: Each of the four has its own distinct personality.

COX: “Marvel has a variety of shows which all have the superhero element. But they’re all completely different genres. ‘Jessica Jones’ is a psychological thriller. ‘Daredevil’ is a crime drama. The superhero element is something sprinkled on top as kind of a garnish.”

Asked their level of involvement with the comic book world and the Marvel Cinematic Universe before stepping into their respective Netflix series, both stars replied in unison:

COX: “Zero.”

JONES: “Zero.”

COX: “When you come to this having not had any real experience with these characters or these comics, you have to look at it from a slightly different angle: Maybe bringing fresh eyes to it will be beneficial. I felt a little bit detached from the history of it, and I could look at the comics and the scripts and find a character that was specific rather than trying to please everyone.”

JONES: “First and foremost, they’re human beings, and second to that, they’re people with powers. When I took on this character, I wasn’t like, ‘What’s his powers?’ I was like, ‘What are his struggles? What are his vulnerabilities?’ That’s what makes the character.”

COX: “But these characters have been read and beloved for years, and it’s important to a lot of people that we get it right. So I feel a great level of responsibility. When it does work out, and when the fan base appreciates the work, that’s a gratifying experience.”

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PHOTO SESSIONS > 2017 > SESSION 14: THE WASHINGTON POST

Finn Jones Pitches His ‘Defenders’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ Characters Against Each Other

Finn Jones (Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist) caught up with TheWrap ahead of the release of Netflix’s latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Defenders,” to talk about being part of two of TV’s hottest shows.

Jones is probably best known for his role as Loras Tyrell, brother to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” But since Loras and his sister (spoiler!) died at the end of Season 6, Jones has been keeping himself plenty busy as a young New York superhero.

Jones opened up about how his “Defenders” character, Danny, will fit in with more seasoned heroes Daredevil a.k.a. Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter). “It’s like he’s just met a bunch of older brothers and sisters for the first time,” Jones said of the relationship with the other heroes.

“This is one of the first times that he’s run into people that also have abilities. And these people seem to be jaded as well, but have kind of got their s— together a little bit more than Danny,” the actor went on to say. “They’re a little bit older and a little bit wiser. And I think Danny is kind of inspired by that, it’s like he’s found brothers and sisters. And I think that’s deeply what Danny has always needed throughout his life, ever since he lost his parents he needs … that friendship.”

We’ll also see Danny grow up in “The Defenders,” completing the character arc set into motion in Season 1 of “Iron Fist.”

“Definitely in ‘The Defenders’ we’re seeing Danny becoming more self-aware, knowing how to deal with his emotions, deal with his responsibility a lot better, and in the process, yes, that means him kind of growing up,” Jones said. But that doesn’t mean Danny will lose his characteristic optimism. “One of the great things about the hero is he really has got this very pure optimism, but I think his level of naivety is certainly going to become more grounded.”

And that growing up is helped along by the brother/sister figures of Matt, Jessica and Luke. “We all know what older brothers and sisters do, they kick you in the balls and they tease you, but ultimately it’s to help you grow into a better adult,” he said. “And I think that’s what Danny is experiencing in the Defenders.”

Danny’s optimism certainly shows when the four street-level heroes meet for the first time. “He needs help,” Jones explained, saying that Danny is less hesitant than the others to join forces (though you will see Danny have some clashing of personalities, at least at the beginning). “He’s been trying to track down members of the hand for a while now and he keeps not making any progress … I think on an emotional level and a much deeper level, he’s longed for friendship, longed for allies, and he’s longed for a connection to people that understand him.”

As for his relationship with friend/sidekick/martial arts badass Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Jones said it’s strained at the beginning of “The Defenders.”

“Definitely tensions are starting to fray with them. Just because Danny — he can be very hot-headed, buried in his own head at times because he has so much on his plate and he doesn’t really know how to handle it.” By the end of Season 1 of “The Defenders,” however, “Danny is kind of in more of a position to give more to the relationship, to be more present in the relationship. And I think that will help steady them going in to Season 2.”

Jones is confident in Danny’s superpowers, too — so much so that he believes the superhero would beat his flowery counterpart from Westeros.

“Loras is always a showman, he was a jouster, a knight of the summer, as it was explained in the book,” Jones said. “He never knew what it felt like to be on the battlefield, to be actually in sort of fight or flight combat. Whereas Danny has got more experience hand to hand. And, he also has the Iron Fist. So that kind of trumps Loras just from the get-go. But if Danny didn’t have the Iron Fist I still think [he] would take Loras down in hand to hand combat.”

Finn Jones Talks the Redemption of Iron Fist and Danny Rand in The Defenders; and He Would Be Down For a ‘Heroes for Hire’ Series

DEN OF GEEK – Danny Rand took a bit of a beating in the wake of the first season of Iron Fist. But you wouldn’t know it to talk to Finn Jones, who was nothing but upbeat, cheerful, and chatty when we spoke with him by phone in May. The actor had a lot to feel good about. The Defendershad wrapped production, and he was waiting for word (now confirmed) that Marvel and Netflix would greenlight Iron Fist Season 2.

Mr. Jones told us about the mental and physical challenges of playing Danny Rand on his own show and in The Defenders, what he would like to see in  Season 2, and much more.

Were you prepared for the reaction that you got at New York Comic Con last year when The Defenders were united on stage for the first time? Because I’ve never seen anything like that at New York Comic Con.

Finn Jones: So this is the situation. I think I was running on about three hours of sleep. We just wrapped season 1 of Iron Fist at, like, I think 9 AM that morning after six months of intense, intense shoot. And so, we’ve been working I think two solid weeks of night shoot solid leading up to it, and then on the last day, we wrapped it at like 8 PM, and then I had like three hours of sleep before I had to come in to do New York Comic Con.

I remember just being thrown on the stage… I was watching footage back from the show—You know, I’ve never seen footage back from the show before, and suddenly I’m in front of thousands of screaming people, watching the footage back for the first time, getting this reaction for the first time, then also meeting the other Defenders for the first time. And it was just like… [Laughs] It was very overwhelming and super intense. It was fun, but, you know when some just completely pound your senses, like sense overload? I was kind of numb to it all because I was just so tired by that point.

So, you couldn’t have had a lot of time between when Iron Fistwrapped and when you had to go right into The Defenders, right?

Maybe it was like a week and a half? A week and a half, two weeks? But then—you know, you’ve got two weeks—but then you’re in prep for The Defenders anyway. I planned to go away and have a holiday. I kind of planned to do that in my head, and then after six months of intense shooting for Iron Fist, my body just shut down afterwards. So I needed a week to kind of recover and get back to normal. And then, by week two of my time off, I was already planning to go into costume fittings, table read-throughs, all that kind of stuff. So I pretty much went straight from Iron Fist into The Defenders. It wasn’t really a break. Even though it was, it didn’t feel like it.

Since you’re sharing this one with three other leads, was The Defenders a little less grueling?

Well, I think everybody benefitted from that schedule, working on a schedule which is an ensemble piece because we have time to let the work breathe. We have time to prep the scene with more care, especially with the fight scenes. I had more time to rehearse because there were days in my schedule where I didn’t have to be on set filming. On a regular show, you’re working everyday, five days, sometimes six days a week. On this show, especially in the beginning, we kind of worked maybe three to four days a week? And obviously when we’re all teamed up, then we’re all together all of time, so it went back to a normal shooting schedule.

But for sure, especially for me, going from such an intense six months shoot to then go into The Defenders, which is a bit more spread out, it was definitely needed and it was definitely necessary. I think the work is just allowed to breathe a little bit more, especially since we shoot on such a tight time frame. We shoot one episode of television in around eight to nine days, which is really not a lot of time when you’re trying to create the content that we are. So to be able to spread that out and breathe, I think, only helps the performances.

I remember reading somewhere that you said you didn’t have a lot of time to prep physically for those fight scenes in season 1 of Iron Fist. Can you tell me a little bit how that changed this time? What kind of martial arts styles are you working in? 

So here’s a kind of run down on how it works out. I got the role around end of February 2016, and then I was shooting at the end of March 2016. So I had a month from getting the role to actually being on camera. And within that time, I also had to go back to London, pack up all my stuff, say goodbye to everyone, move cities, get a visa. You know, do all of that admin and family stuff as well as going into training across two countries.

So I trained for about two weeks in Los Angeles, and that was just basic. It wasn’t really any style, it was just kind of getting my body used to moving in that way, just being flexible and learn how to move properly. But really, two weeks there, and then I had a week in London where I was also scanning all my papers for my visa, before I moved to New York. Once I moved to New York, I spent a little bit more time in the studio preparing. We did a lot more like Tai Chi, and Wushu and more kung fu up until the show started. And that was great, you know, all that training was really cool. I just wish that that level of training could have continued while we started shooting. But once we started shooting my schedule was so jam packed. I was working 14 hours a day, every day and there was no room for anything other than shooting and resting and learning lines.

And so when it came to stunt choreography and any kind of training, I was really doing that during off hours, and when your body has been put through a 14 hour grueling day Monday to Friday, and sometimes Saturday, and then working nights, your body is no real place to actually take on new information, especially learning a martial art. Like, people have spent years dedicating their lives to that, and in strict conditions. And yet here I am, trying to pop out a television show while also trying to become a master at martial arts. So everything was just very tightly squeezed.

But, saying that, we just got in to choreography whenever we could. That was in between filming takes, or my lunch breaks, or the weekends. I’d be in the gym, I’d be in the dojo, trying to pick up this stunt choreography. That was a bit more forgiving. We were kind of making it work up until like episode four. But from episode seven onwards, it was just, because the time was so, so crunched, I was learning on the day of shooting. I was kind of rolled out of bed in the morning. I’d have maybe fifteen minutes with the entire crew. The stunt crew’s already choreographed. They’ve choreographed with all the stunt doubles and all the extras and everyone else. And they’d come on set, and  just kind of plunk me in and tell me what I needed to do, and then I’d just get on set and do it. That was the kind of reality of the Iron Fist situation because, you know, it’s just the nature of the beast.

But with Defenders, in terms of choreography, I had more time because I had those days off, and I had room on my schedule to actually go into the dojo for a good day or half a day, and actually really take my time learning the choreography. The great thing is now that I’ve got some time—I’ve got maybe six months before we start shooting again—is now I have time to really go and put myself into a proper program, something I didn’t have the fortune of doing before. So I just feel moving forward to Iron Fist season 2, I’m going to feel a lot more better about the martial arts. I’ll be a lot more trained and practiced. I’ve just got time on my side just to kind of jump into it.

What was your most challenging moment shooting Defenders compared to the early challenges of Iron Fist?

Well, for one, it’s always difficult doing night shoots and having to do these huge fight scenes at like 4 in the morning after working at it all week. That’s always a challenge. But actually, I kind of think the biggest challenge for all four of us is just staying focused. We had such a great time on set, and we were always joking around and having great fun when we were together ’cause we got on so well. It was actually a really enjoyable shoot.

I suffered from a leg injury early in Defenders. I’m still trying to work out what it is. I’ve kind of done something to my thigh or groin ,which really hurts. And kind of working on that and trying to work through that is a bit of a challenge, especially when you don’t know what the diagnosis is when you do something to yourself. I’ve had physios, I went to an MRI scan, and done all this stuff. So trying to do the choreography with an ongoing injury when you don’t know what it is, that’s always different and challenge, but, you know, you get through it. It’s part of the job. You’ve got to look after your body, ’cause otherwise, it’s going to fall apart on you.

Danny is kind of is the central figure of The Defenders, in a way, because it’s kind of his quest to take down the Hand now that is going to bring everybody getting together. Were you aware that that was the way this was going when you first took the role? When you were first cast as Iron Fist, did they also say, “And these are the stories elements of The Defenders?”

They didn’t tell me anything past the first two episodes of Iron Fist, and that’s what Marvel is like! They’re very secretive, so I just took it on good faith that the showrunners and Marvel were going to do me right. Reading through The Defenders, Danny’s journey is awesome. From the beginning, where we see Danny in Iron Fist to where he ends up in Defenders, he has made that complete origin arc. He has shed his immature self, and so the idea is in The Defenders, he has become the Iron Fist.

There’s a quote in Iron Fist 1. I think it was like, “Cast off the childish needs” or something like that. I mean, Lei-Kung said that to him, and he really has done that by the end of Defenders. He’s got his shit together. He’s grown up, and he now understands the responsibility of the Iron Fist. Like, before, he didn’t know what to do with it. He didn’t really respect it because he has his own issues that he had to deal with. He had to deal with losing his parents, coming back into society after a fifteen years, dealing with owning a corporation, dealing with getting his identity back, like all these issues that he had to deal with before he could actually understand what the responsibility of the Iron Fist meant. And, you know, that allowed him to make very bad decisions over the time because he wasn’t thinking clearly. He wasn’t being responsible.

But now, at the end of Defenders, with the help of the other Defenders because I think they teach him a lot. Luke is like the coach figure to Danny. Daredevil is like the older brother. And Jessica Jones is like that real street smart sister that always kind of like… You know when you’re being too up your own ass, Jessica Jones would bring you down to earth and ground you a little bit. And throughout all of these three different perspectives coming into his life is also the fact that they’re superheroes. At the end of Iron Fist, Danny doesn’t even know what a superhero is. So then to suddenly be interacting with these three  superheroes, it gives him a deeper sense of what he can do with this power that he has, so really just make him kind of wise up and come to term with responsibilities a lot more.

By the end of The Defenders we really see the full formation of Danny into the Iron Fist as a superhero and not just a kid running around with his awesome power and responsibilities because he doesn’t know what to do.

Fans are definitely eager to see how he relates to Luke Cage in particular because there’s this comic book history between them. Is there anything you can say about that? 

Well, for one, I love Mike [Colter]. He’s a great guy. We get on really well together as actors, but also as the characters, there’s some really good chemistry there. I think we’re kind of blessed that we get on with each other so well.

But it’s not like they meet each other and from the first moment they’re best friends, you know? There’s friction there at the beginning, and it’s pretty obvious because we come from two different worlds. Luke Cage is from the streets. He’s from Harlem, he’s from a rough area, and he’s trying to do good. He cares about community, he cares about lifting the bottom up, whereas Danny comes from a world of privilege, and he comes from a completely different side of New York, one of privilege, one of power, one of money. And so when they come together, they definitely have a clash of ideals which throughout The Defenders, they are coming to grips with.

I think what holds them together, despite their huge differences, is that on a base level, they are just two men who are outsiders. They have kind of got these powers and these responsibilities but they are lost. And through that lost-ness, and that vulnerability, I think they see a real kindred friendship within one another. I think the way that Marvel has written the beginning of this friendship, it feels very real. It feels like it comes from a very genuine place. I’m really excited to see where that friendship develops after Defenders because I think it lays the groundwork for some really interesting story developments over time.

Is there any talk yet of giving you a mask?

I’m sorry. [Laughs] I’m just an actor. All these costumes are kind of up to the Marvel execs cause they run the comic book side of things. They’re the ones with the designs or the costumes. I don’t really get involved in those conversation. But, I would love a mask. You know that yellow plastic mask with the two ribbons blowing in the wind? Sure, I’d love to see that on Danny in that in season 2. He’d have to have it.

That’s cool because a lot of actors are kind of shy about that. And it’s cool that Defenders keeps things street level this way, but…

The thing with all of these shows is not that we’re shy to bring the costumes. It’s not that we’re afraid of them, it’s more that we want them to feel authentic when it does happen. Like for Danny’s character, I know there’s a lot of conversations like, “Oh, why isn’t Danny in a costume yet?” Well, it’s because Danny’s on this journey to becoming, understanding what this responsibility is. Throughout all of season one, he was in no state of mind to put a suit on. That would’ve been ridiculous because number one, he was not fully accomplished as the Iron Fist yet. Number two, he certainly doesn’t have the right or the responsibility to be putting on a superhero costume. He needs to work his shit out.

So it’s not so much that we’re scared to put on a costume, it’s just that we want it to feel right. And certainly by the end of Defenders, it will feel right. And moving into Iron Fist Season 2, I would love to see Danny certainly get a mask. Especially the classic yellow mask with the ribbons in the back. In terms of costume, it will have to be practical as well as looking pretty badass. I guess that will be up to the costume designers to work out what the costume would look like, but I think it will have to be practical. I would have to be able to move in it, but also look incredibly badass and modern, you know. I’m excited. I think they’ll do a good job, whatever it is.

You have any funny stuff that’s happened to you since you’re shooting in the streets of New York at odd hours? You’re bound to see some stuff.

Oh yeah. Totally. We were filming in Times Square, and we were doing like a walk and talk, so we were just walking down the street. It was me and Jessica Stroup, who plays Joy Meachum. And I think it was like a Friday night, Times Square, and it was about 3 AM, and so we were just walking down, doing the scene, and then suddenly we just hear this, “Cut! Cut!” And we stopped, and we’re like… “What do we do? What’s going on?” And the crew’s like, “Don’t worry about it. Keep it going. There was a mistake.” And we were like, “Oh okay, all right.” We reset ourselves, we did it again. Doing the scene again, and then we heard, “Cut, cut, cut!” And we were like…” What the fuck is going on?” And then we looked over the road, and there was a bunch of drunk guys having a night out, and they saw us filming decided to play director. It was pretty funny.

But New York is a great city to work in. There’s always all sorts of interesting quirks. It’s totally iconic. Like, for instance, the other day, Jessica Jones was shooting on my doorstep. Literally on my doorstep. On the crossroads of my street. And I went out—it was probably about 7 PM—and I went out to get some dinner. And as I was walking down the street, I suddenly just walked into a Jessica Jones scene. And everyone—and it was all the same crew from Iron Fist and The Defenders—and everyone was just like… “Finn? What the fuck are you doing here?” And I was like, “What the hell are you doing here? This is my neighborhood. Why are you shooting on my street?” And they stopped the whole production, and I said hello to everyone. It was really nice.

So I take it there’s no chance that you have a cameo in Jessica Jones, is there?

Well, you never know. It’s possible. Now that all the Defenders are together, now that we’ve aligned, it’s a lot more freeform for the characters, I think, to visit other people’s individual series, because we’ve made that connection now. It would just be more epic.

Yeah, it would make a lot of sense for you to show up on Luke Cage Season 2 as well.

Yeah, I’d love that. I’m fully down for a Heroes-For-Hire series. I think that would be awesome, so I’m really going for that in the future.