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The acting plate of Charlie Cox is always growing. The actor confirmed last month he’s due to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at one point or another and even beyond of that, he’s working on a bunch of other projects. Last fall he appeared in AMC’s Kin, which aired straight to AMC+ in the United States. (Spoiler alert: it’s even been renewed for a second season.) Now, he’s filming Treason for Netflix, a six-episode limited series in which he stars opposite Black Widow star Olga Kurylenko.
During a recent break in filming, we caught up with Cox to talk about Kin’s release in the United Kingdom and his busier-than-ever schedule. Luckily for all the fans of Marvel’s Daredevil, we even talked about the actor’s future in the beloved franchise and what his Spider-Man: No Way Home appearance means for the immediate future.
Keep scrolling to read through our full chat with Cox.
ComicBook.com: Recently you’ve been dabbling in political thrillers and crime dramas. I don’t want to call it a microscopic story by any means, because no story’s microscopic, right? But what draws you to kind of these type of real-world shows, compared to expansive, sci-fi, fantasy projects?
Charlie Cox: Yeah, I don’t know if this is so much me being drawn to them as creators being drawn to me for those roles. Certainly, I’m interested in finding truth in realistic, if not sometimes heightened scenarios. I like playing characters that are very relatable and that find themselves in extreme adversity. That’s certainly what interests me as an actor.
Having said that, I long for an opportunity to do something that is unexpected for me. I’m willing, able to, can’t wait to do some comedy or something more lighthearted, or something with a character that is maybe more heightened than what I’m used to playing. But it’s just got to be the … It just has to be the right thing in the right moment.
So, you’re totally down to don the mo-cap suit sometime, if someone wants you to play a huge alien?
Sure, man, I’d love that. I’d love that, and put on a funny voice and a wig, whatever, sure. I’d love to do that.
As seen in Kin, your character Mike is reserved, I guess you could say, even to the point where he suffers from a disability, and he shields it from his family. Why do you think that is? Do you think he earnestly wants to get better, or is he protecting himself to a fault?
I think he has shame around it. I think he has a lot of shame around it. He’s the man that we never really meet, the man that went into prison eight years before the show starts, is the kind of person who would never let you see him sweat. You would never know for a second that his heart rate had increased. And it’s why he’s been so good at his job for the years that he has, which is, within the family business, he’s the enforcer. He gets stuff done and he helps encourage people to do what they need to do for the family.
And so, a lot of his identity, I think, is tied up with that role and his ability to do that, and this disability is something that jeopardizes all of that. And I know he’s also trying to step away from that and start a new life so that he can rekindle the relationship that he no longer has with his daughter. But it is still part of his identity, it is still something that he probably, deep down, feels like he has in his favor, if he were ever to need it. And so, the disability really jeopardizes that.
Kin gets spicy, man. There’s quite the stuff in there, involving Mike and Jimmy (Emmett Scanlan), and all that stuff. There are some questions as to which children belong to which father and the like. So, I guess you could say there’s an odd throuple or an odd relationship going on. Would you say this relationship, or the relationship that might be crumbling with Jimmy, is the driving force behind Emmett Scanlan telling everyone he keeps beating you at pool?
Yeah. [laughs] We had such a good time together, him and I, and all of us, the whole cast. It was a very tight-knit family, to use that word both literally and figuratively. As you know from having seen the show, there’s a pool table in the basement, and whenever we were filming in the house but not in the basement, him and I would be down there. I can, if you were Daredevil and you could hear my heartbeat, you would know I’m not lying when I tell you that I categorically destroyed him at that game. But this is a feud that obviously we can’t prove, and maybe we’ll have to. In season two, maybe we’ll have to have a live-streamed competition just to put it to bed.
Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe this show is your first role playing a father where you’ve been a father in real life, right? Were you still able to use any of that experience in real life?
Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, being a father is a huge transition, and I was really excited to kind of dive into that, those feelings and that relationship with my on-screen daughter, having had the experience of having two children myself. So it was fun. And it’s just a fun, interesting experience to play that role, play the role of a father on-screen. And a lot of this is probably obvious to most people, but when you … All your priorities change when you have kids, and in the same way that you can be quite ambitious.
You can be quite ambitious and quite preoccupied with your career as a young man. When you have kids, not that you don’t care about your career or craft or any of those things, none of that changes, but there is a sense that there are things that aren’t important. Which some young men, myself included, probably can’t see. Life is imitating art in that respect because Michael is going through a very similar thing. He’s realized that, and it was a very harsh reality for him that he had to learn and it ended up almost completely losing him, his family. I mean, he lost eight years of his life in jail, but it’s a similar thing where he’s realizing that being a parent is more important than everything he thought was important up until that point and he’s having a complete reorganization of his priorities and emotions and things like that.
Let’s pivot a little bit. You brought up the last time we talked and I asked you about the forearms. We’ve seen Spider-Man: No Way Home and know they’re not yours. I’m not sure if you’ve heard this new conspiracy, but there’s a conspiracy that the red glasses you wore in that scene are computer-generated. Did you actually wear red glasses or are those actually CG?
I haven’t heard that. No, I wore red glasses. Why? I don’t understand, why would that be? I remember there may have been a conversation about tint, but no, I was wearing my glasses, yeah.
Okay, well that answers that. You’re not on social media, are you?
No. I come sometimes, I walk into interviews like this and I’m blissfully unaware that there’s probably a whole conversation about something that I’ve never even… I do know that there was, before the movie came out, before Spider-Man came out, there was a screen grab going around of the scene that is in the movie. Someone sent it to me and I was like, “Oh wow, that’s it. That is that scene.”
I mean, certainly someone texts you or your wife comes in the room and says, “Hey, you’re trending again.” Does anyone let you know how often people on Twitter talk about you?
It’s so funny. I don’t, God, I’m going to really reveal my ignorance here. I don’t really know what that means and it’s interesting because if someone says you’re trending, maybe I’m doing it wrong, I need to learn. If you then type in trending and then my name, there’s no list. Well, I can’t find a list or there are like multiple lists because there can be the UK or entertainment. Basically, what I’m saying is when someone says you’re trending, I’m like, “What does that mean? Where? How? Where? When? What does it look?” It’s funny because I guess it’s just a lot of people are searching for you.
Talking about you, yeah. They’re tweeting about you.
Tweeting about me, okay. Look, I’m such a technophobe and I don’t really understand how any of this works. As you can obviously tell, I kind of stay away from it because I recognize what a hole it can be. I’ve seen what it can do. Even with just in news, you can just lose hours just refreshing with everything that’s going on with Russia and Ukraine right now. It’s like you can lose hours just refreshing and refreshing.
I really try and stay away from all that stuff. To ask your question more succinctly, yes, I would get a lot of messages from friends being like, it’s happening again and screen grabs that don’t really mean much to me but there’s my name. There was a moment where I guess I was trending above COVID which a couple of my friends thought was very funny. But what my brain does is go, great, will this translate into work? That’s what I care about. Does it mean I’m going to get another great job or are the folks at Marvel going to be like, oh, we should use him more. You know what I mean?
In the Netflix show, you wore the red and black suit. Ben Affleck wore a red suit. I’m sure you’ve read most of the comics. You’re coming back, so what suit do you hope to eventually wear? Are you hoping for the all red? Are you hoping for the original yellow and red? Are you hoping Shadowlands with like all black?
I know enough to know to not speculate on something like this because as soon as you say it, it somehow becomes a thing. This is what Charlie Cox wants to see and I don’t want to put that in the minds eye of the fans or even the creators so I’m not going to answer that question purely because if it doesn’t become a new story, if there is some new suit or if it does morph for change or it’s rethought or whatever, it will be so much more fun for the fans to just have that moment of like, oh shit, that’s what it. You know what I mean? I don’t like speculating because I know it can go down a rabbit hole.
What I would say is I’ve always liked the idea that at some point in Matt’s journey, his emotional journey, and again, I don’t know how everything what’s happening, and what might happen, and how it ties into what we’ve already done, I have no idea. But I’ve always liked the idea that at some point he feels like he has earned the right to have the DD, which we’ve never had. And one day down the line, I like the idea that he just makes that decision; we get to witness that evolution on screen. That’s just a little idea that I’ve had that I thought would be quite cool.
Daredevil is going to Disney+, instead of Netflix. Before this, Disney+ had zero TV-MA ratings. You mentioned Matt Murdock’s personal journey, character development and all that, do you feel that type of story lends itself more to that TV-MA adult rating? But do you feel Matt Murdock’s journey can be told without scaling back for a more wider, all-ages audience?
I wouldn’t put it past the folks at Marvel to be able to accomplish that. I’m such a fan of everything they’ve done so far, I wouldn’t underestimate them at all. So if they wanted to make a more PG version of Daredevil, I back them to find a way to do where it feels totally in keeping with everything we’ve done. And maybe there’s a little less blood, maybe there’s a little whatever, but I back them to do it.
My feeling is that the comics work best, the Daredevil comics, for me are more exciting, readable, relatable when it lives in a darker space. Having said that like, and obviously I’m thinking like Bendis/Maleev is probably the best example of that. Having said that, and this was actually when this news that you talked about came out, I was texting with some of the guys from the show and the text I wrote was, “Born Again.”
But having said that, Born Again is kind of a PG comic, it’s not in the same world as the Bendis and Maleev stuff. It’s not that dark, and it’s one of the greats.
So it absolutely can work, but I guess what you can’t deny is Daredevil is never going to work as well in a PG world as Spider-Man does. Do you know what I mean? That’s the point. I think that the age of the character, the Christian guilt, his history with women and stuff, it’s like it’s a little bit more mature, it has to be.
Let me just throw out a scenario to you. PG-13 rated films get one F-bomb. You get to say, “f-ck,” one time in a PG-13 movie, where would you put it?
So this is in a hypothetical Daredevil show moment, where would you put it?
Yeah. Is it even Daredevil that says it, is it Foggy getting mad at Matt?
Oh, I see what you’re saying. It’s probably not Matt that says it. It’s probably Elektra or someone, you know what I mean?
And it’s probably she’s beaten him up, she’s trying to kill him, she’s got him arrested, she’s done all sorts of things and he’s always forgiven her, but she swears and he’s like, “That’s it, it’s over.” That he will not take.
Film Franchise or Series?
At the end of the day, you’re all about the story, you’re all about the character–but do you think the Daredevil story lends itself better to a film franchise, a TV series, or team ups with Spider-Man?
I think all of these characters lend themselves perfectly to the television format. Because they are episodic in their original format. The deep fan base has learned to consume them in an episodic format in the comics.
The thing I always said about season one of our show was that if you made the movie version, you kind of have to have him in the suit after 20 minutes, and you’ve got a lot of story to tell. And this is one of the mistakes I think the film made, which was that they tried to tell all the stories, they had Foggy, Electra, Kingpin, Bullseye, they had all of those characters in two hours.
We had 13 hours times three before we even bought in Bullseye. Do you know what I mean? So it would be really cool to do a Daredevil movie and to do this kind of one-off moment in time.
But I think in terms of telling the story, it’s more fun to have more time to do it. The only caveat is that it would be super cool to see DD on the big screen, that’s the only thing that miss out. But even now with movies, most of the movies, you watch them streaming anyway.
Your first go around with Daredevil was 2015 to 2019. Do you feel the second go around is going to be at least four years, five years still?
I have no idea.
Do you hope?
Oh man, I hope it’s 20 years.
Old Man Daredevil, Old Man Matt?
I love it. I’ve loved every minute of it. And right now I’m just buzzing that it’s kind of happening again, it’s starting up again. And I don’t know where it’s going, I don’t know how much involvement I’m going to have, I don’t know what it’s leading to, but it feels like we’re born again.
And so I feel like I’m getting a second chance at the dream job that has… I refer to it as, “There’s the gift that keeps on giving.” It’s been so good to me, I’ve had such a good time doing it, I love playing the character, I love the stories.
I’ve been doing other stuff, I’ve been working on my kids, but about a month ago, I re-upped my Marvel Unlimited account. And I started reading the comics from the beginning again, which I haven’t done since we started the show all those years ago.
And it’s funny, I’m rereading the Joe Quesada, Kevin Smith, the Guardian Devil from ’98. And it’s funny, I haven’t read it since I read it before we started shooting the show. And it’s funny reading it now, I’m recognizing so many moments that we kind of took. Because right at the beginning of that series, there is a confessional that is almost how we started our show.
And at the time I hadn’t read it enough to put the two together, but like he’s in a confessional basically saying similar lines to what I said in that booth at the beginning of episode one, season one. So it’s really fun to reread it and to be able to kind of identify little moments that were kind of little Easter eggs, the ones I was unaware of at the time.
Was there one panel or a team up with someone in the comics that you want to see play out, that’s not Spider-Man, or something you never thought of before reading the comics?
I really like the Black Widow, the Daredevil/Black Widow stuff. That relationship is really funny to me, I don’t know why. I find it really funny and sexy at the same time. Other than that, it’s difficult. The obvious one is Spiderman, isn’t it? That is the one, I would have to get more time with Bullseye. We just touched on that story, and we were just gearing up for it before we weren’t allowed to continue. I really enjoyed working with Wilson Bethel in that character. There’s so many, but I think the obvious one is, it would be really cool to get some Daredevil/Spiderman stuff, more stuff.
I hear you, that’s great. Final question for you. You told a story last week, or the week before, about how you attended the cinema, and nobody clapped.
One of my first phone calls, when I found out I was coming back, even though I was trying not to tell anyone, I was living in fear for two years of it being leaked, it was this big surprise. When I was on the set I was wearing the thing everywhere, blah, blah. One of my first phone calls, and I knew I could tell him because I also knew he knew, was Tom Hiddleston, he’s one of my best friends.
He said to me, and he was shooting Loki at the time, so he’d spoken to those guys, and he knew, and they knew we were friends, and all that stuff, so he knew about it. I spoke to him, and he said to me, “Whatever you do, when the film comes out, you’ve got to sneak into the back of a theater, because it will go crazy.” And I remember thinking, no it won’t. It’ll be nice to be there, but I think he’s thinking what it would be like for Loki to appear in that moment, where the Loki fan base is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life.
But it was nice him to say, but I didn’t really believe it. When we were shooting the scene the creative decision was made, they were going to build in a moment for the fans to react before any lines were said. We had this shot with the cane, and then the camera comes around before I say anything. I remember them talking about it on set, and I’m like, “I hope it’s worth it, this is dead silent.” Anyway, the movie’s coming out, and obviously I’m not at the premier, because I’m a secret all this kind of stuff. But I have friends at the premier who text me and called me, and they were like, “Oh my God, it was a huge reaction.”
My cousins get to go and see the movie in the first weekend, and they filmed it, and there’s this big reaction, and there are a few on YouTube that people have sent me. I’m getting loads of emails and texts, and I knew I was going anyway, but I just wasn’t sure when, and I was traveling, I was worried about COVID and being in a movie theater and all of those kind of things. My wife and I were like, “We’re going.” I’m not going to say where, but we went through a big IMAX near our house. I’m not on social media, but I was vaguely thinking about, my wife was going to record my reaction to the reaction, and maybe it would be a nice thing, and I could then give that footage to Marvel or Sony, and have them release it as a nice little moment. For whatever reason, the theater I was in was dead quiet, it was tumbleweed. I think I heard one person go, one person went, “Oh,” and that was it.
It was a real letdown, it was a shame. You can go online, you can go on YouTube, you can type in, “Spiderman reaction to Daredevil entrance,” and there are some amazing reactions. I did not get that experience. It’s kind of a funny story.
Right. Is it still on video? Does the video exist anywhere, of ultimate disappointment?
Yeah. On my wife’s phone.
You don’t want to release it? You don’t want to share it, release it?
It literally ends with me going, “Shut it off.”
Come on, talk about viral, man.
Yeah. I shared that story with Tom and he thought it was very, very funny. He was both right and wrong about that.
Daredevil starts streaming on Disney+ beginning March 16th. Kin is now streaming on AMC+.