Foker on Film caught up with the star of the new Netflix TV hit series Daredevil, none other than our very own London-born Charlie Cox.

Charlie is probably best known as the leading man Tristan Thorn in the film Stardust (2007) and he also featured in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Daredevil is another Marvel vigilante character created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett and is the first of four live-action Marvel ‘street level heroes’ ear-marked for a series of TV spin offs.

These will feature Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. (The die-hard Marvel fans will know!)

Daredevil is only on Netflix and has had the big thumbs-up from the comic book fans.

It's about a young boy who is blinded by a chemical spillage but discovers that this has also left him with extraordinarily heightened senses.

Years later young Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights crime as a lawyer in the courtroom but by night he becomes ‘Daredevil’ a modern day vigilante in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen.

The character’s first outing - starring Ben Affleck in 2003 - didn't exactly light up the big screen, suffering from a poor script and diabolical special effects.

The new TV version is a must-watch. It’s extremely dark both in the way it has been shot and the content. Just be warned, it’s extremely brutal.

Your Local Guardian:

Foker on Film: Charlie were you a fan of the Daredevil comic book series?

Charlie Cox: At the time I had never read the comics or seen the film which ended up being quite helpful because I was allowed to read the scripts early on in the audition process and read the first two episodes.

So when I eventually got the job I was able to immerse myself in the comic back catalogues and identify which series the writers and illustrators best represented the show that was being written.

So I didn’t have many preconceived ideas on who the characters should be.

FOF: It seems like the show has been very well received over here and loved by the critics including myself.

What did the US audiences make of your America accent and did they even know you were another one of those damn Brits taking the role of an iconic American hero?

CC: There’s an old saying there “The British are coming and they’re wearing our tights!”

Yeah there’s a lot of us. It hasn’t come up personally.

I don’t think anyone would go out of their way to say that they were angry about it.

There is something odd about it though. I mean we have Brits like Andy Garfield, Tom Hiddleston, Ben Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Henry Cavill. All they’ve got is Captain America (laughs). Lucky for us.

Your Local Guardian:

FOF: Everybody is talking about how good the action scenes have been but not much has been mentioned about how good the drama is.

What would you like people to see the series as? A great superhero story or great crime drama?

CC: Oh! Wow! Ideally both.

One of the things we talked about was that if we could make a show that survives regardless of the superhero element then what we have potentially got is a very successful TV series.

You will always attract the fans which you don’t want to alienate but you also want to attract an audience that didn’t grow up with the Marvel comics and haven’t seen the films.

You hope these people will find the story sophisticated and interesting enough, that the superhero element that is peppered on top is a fun and different perspective to the crime drama.

I’d like people to see it as quality television.

FOF: Were you surprised how brutal is was?

CC: Absolutely. Every episode seems to have something that makes you go “Oooh!” and that’s just reading the script.

There’s an epic fight scene in one of the later episodes where the villain uses a weapon with a kind of fish hook at one end and it lodges into Murdock who is pulled across the room.

The strange thing is that the people who wrote the episode are a married couple and after the reading the husband came up to me and said “Yeah! Ruth wrote that and I’m a bit frightened of her now.”

Your Local Guardian:

FOF: What preparation and training did you do for the role in the way of physical fitness, blind awareness and mastering the accent?

CC: Yes there was a huge amount. When I started I weighed about 160lb and I have never had a gym membership in my life.

So the first thing they said to me was that I had to put on a ton of muscle and I had about a month to do that, so I just went into the gym every day.

They set me up with a personal trainer and eat a lot of food and drank protein shakes and just did what I was told basically. There was also a lot of martial arts and boxing training.

The same with the accent. Which doesn’t come naturally to me whereas some actors just have a knack for it.

So yes I had an accent coach and practised a great deal. I still make mistakes but hope to improve for the next season.

For the authenticity of the blindness I worked with a blind specialist and we were particular in making sure that we were consistent in the performance.

For example we have Matt Murdock who uses a stick in his normal life when the public see him but as his alter ego he is still a blind man who’s eyes don’t work but can perform better that a seeing person with his heightened senses.

There are also technical difficulties, so if there is a glass bottle behind him he can reach out without looking and grab the bottle.

Whereas, me (Charlie) would usually have to look to see where it is to pick it up so these movements had to be carefully choreographed.

The added complication is that it’s very hard to act with people as a blind person when you can’t look at them in the eye.

The good thing is that when you look at the comic book panels you would not know that Daredevil is blind unless somebody told you.


FOF: Do you have any favourite Daredevil comics now?

CC: It’s difficult not to mention Frank Millers ‘Man without Fear’ and it was a great influence in the show.

Personal comic issue favourites? I like the moment in the comics when Matt Murdock defends the ‘White Tiger’ in court.

The reason I relate to that is because I like seeing Matt Murdock as a lawyer giving his closing argument. There’s something poignant with him defending another superhero.

I’m hoping the ‘Punisher’ will feature in the second season and at some point I’m sure we will have ‘Bullseye’ in the show.

FOF: Are you quite happy to continue with the Daredevil series or do you worry about being typecast?

CC: I’ve been acting about 12 years and I was fortunate early on with some great roles.

I was in a film called ‘Stardust’ in 2007 which was popular in the UK but didn’t do very well in the States and there were several months when I couldn’t get any work.

So the idea of regular work for me is so thrilling and the fact that I love this show and love working on it is a bonus.

I’m also glad how well the show has been received and makes me feel good. But when people say are you worried about being typecast on a hit show? I say…no, it’s a dream (laughs).

Ask Andy Lincoln if he enjoys being on The Walking Dead he’s not going to say “Nah! That show ruined my life!” (laughs).

Your Local Guardian:

FOF: Did you get a sense while you were working on the show that it would be a success?

CC: Yes in a way. The production crew stuck to their guns in what they wanted to do with it and I was very optimistic and I felt like it was the next evolution to the TV superhero particularly in terms of the tone.

I do also feel a sense of responsibility. I meet people in the street who say how excited they are with the show. That makes it all worthwhile.

Early on I rented a place in Brooklyn and near the corner of my house there was a guy who set up a small stall selling Marvel comics.

I would go and see him on the weekend and he had a lot of Daredevil stuff but I didn’t tell him I was doing the show.

I would just chat to him about Daredevil and ask him what his opinion was and he knew they were making a TV series so we would talk a little about his hopes for the show.

Eventually I told him that I was starring in the show and gave him a signed poster by the cast and crew.

He was very excited and emailed me saying that he was thrilled that I was playing this character.

But just having the conversations with him made me aware of just how important these superheroes are to people in general.

FOF: Is there any likelihood that Matt Murdock will turn up in other Superhero TV series or even films?

CC: Huh! Big smile on my face (laughs). That would be great.

I’ve read Civil War now and the Avengers and I know he’s in there but I think I’ve missed the boat on Civil War because they are filming that now.

I don’t know, Marvel haven’t mentioned anything to be but it is in my contract that if they want me to do it I’m there.

I would love that but we have the Defenders to look forward to as well.

Charlie Cox stars in Daredevil on Netflix.

See the trailer below: