Daredevil is a walking contradiction: Charlie Cox

The man behind the mask speaks about the reel and real struggles of the man without fear

Justice is blind, which is really the central theme in the Netflix original, Marvel’s Daredevil.

In the first season, the titular hero, portrayed by Charlie Cox, aptly describes the man without fear as a force that happens to the world, more specifically to New York’s toughest neighbourhood, Hell’s Kitchen.

For season two, however, the tables are flipped, with the world now happening to Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, with the introduction of new characters such as Frank Castle/The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) shaking up his world. “He’s pulled in so many directions, trying to keep the lid on all these pots but they’re boiling over,” said Cox, who does a fine job at showing the unraveling of a man, caught up by the stress and weariness of a double life.

This is also duly reflected in the second season’s quick pace, which throws viewers right into the thick of the action. A far cry from the first season, which builds the anticipation of the lawyer by day turning into a full-fledged vigilante by night. In the very first episode of season two, you get fellow vigilante The Punisher thrown into the fray almost immediately in the first episode, while you see Daredevil come into his element.

Which is really a reflection of how both the reel character and Cox has adapted to playing a blind man with heightened senses. “I’m more comfortable with the technical aspects, I watched the first season and take note of what worked and what needs to be improved on,” said Cox.

The challenge posed to Cox is more emotional in nature, as he explains how the eyes are used to speak to people. “During the show, I don’t have that, it’s tricky to draw up the emotions without the use of my eyes,” he admits.

Mastering the role of a blind vigilante is only one part of the challenge. The action sequences, which makes the Netflix series realistic yet unusually brutal, is the bigger challenge Cox faces. He gives due credit, however, to stunt double Chris Brewster, who trains him so that Cox can do as much of the fight scenes as he can.

While the single-take, three-minute fight scene in season one has drawn a lot of praise, it was the showdown in the warehouse that Cox remembers is the toughest. “It was very dark, dirty and a long, long scene, we shot in six to seven days, almost an entire episode. My character took a beating like no other and there was a lot of jumping,” Cox said with a chuckle.

For season two's epic fight, Cox points us to the end of the episode three. “It certainly took a lot of time, it was hard to shoot physically because it took place on a narrow stairwell, we had to get all the actors and cameras in front of the it, making the scene very tricky,” said Cox.