Sporting a Costume, Rough Reviews and the Joy of Being Iron Fist
Where do you find the joy and the reward in what you do? Specifically, what you got out of being Iron Fist?
That’s a great question, and it’s something that I ask myself every day. Where is the joy coming from in this job? It’s a tough job. It really is tough. I think the joy comes from, honestly, the development of character. I don’t just mean the development of the character that I’m creating with Danny, but also the character of myself. It’s the joy of the struggle, which is ultimately what I find the most rewarding thing in this journey.
I’m on this journey of becoming an actor because it’s something that’s in my heart, and it’s something that I’m passionate about, and it’s something that is leading my life. And I’ve been very grateful that doors have opened in my life which have allowed me to pursue this dream. Not always is the dream going to be great. It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be a great dream. Sometimes there are rough patches. And let’s be honest, Iron Fist went through a rough patch.
I find joy in the roughness, and I find joy in the successes as well, because ultimately, I’m on my path, and I’m on my journey. It’s what I learn from all the successes, and the downfalls on this journey, which creates the joy for this job, if that makes sense.
The last couple of months have been difficult, because the show was received in a way, critically, that none of us really wanted it to be received as. Now, I’d like to add, the audience for this show has absolutely loved it. I’m getting nothing but positivity and incredible vibes from people on the street, and the kind of day-to-day audience. Critically, it was difficult. It was difficult to kind of receive that backlash.
But what it’s taught me about coming through it with integrity and strength, and also belief in my own ability, and the ability of the show and the characters -- what that has taught me as an artist and as a person far outweighs the joy or the sadness within that moment, you see? So it’s the journey of being an actor that really gives me the joy of what it is.
Sometimes you’ll have great successes, and sometimes it’ll be a little bit rough. But it doesn’t matter, because as long as you’ve got that passion in your heart, and you believe in yourself, and you go with it with integrity, you eventually will come out the other side, and hopefully you will have learned something.
The past year, throughout all the filming of Iron Fist and Defenders, to Iron Fist coming out and then also the launch of Defenders, I’ve learned so much about my own character and about what it takes to be an actor. That kind of experience, you can’t put a price on it, and that’s what brings me to it, is having those types of experiences. Good or bad. That’s what kind of creates my joy, I guess.
I think I discovered Iron Fist when I was probably around eight or nine years old. I always thought he had the coolest costume. I really want you to get into costume. Is that going to happen?
It will. And look, I’m not the writer for this show, nor am I the executive producer. So unfortunately these things don’t fall on my head. But from an actor’s distinct perspective, I certainly think that will happen within, hopefully, Season Two.
I think the way that we’re telling our version of Danny’s story is there’s a real progression. The first season of Iron Fist, he doesn’t even really know what a superhero is, let alone identify himself as one. It’s not until Defenders and when he meets the three superheroes, that he kind of goes, “Oh, you can actually do something with these abilities. You can find a purpose.” Which is exactly what Danny had been struggling to find throughout his whole life.
So towards the end of Defenders, Danny has certainly become a lot more grounded, and driven, and more purposeful character. And I certainly think, moving forward into season two, that superhero outfit would be something that Danny Rand finds extremely alluring, and cool, and after seeing Daredevil in his getup, I definitely think he may be persuaded to find one himself. What it looks like, who knows? I’d like to see a mashup of all of the kind of outfits.
At least something with shoes.
I quite enjoyed not wearing shoes! I know the producers hate it. They hate the idea of me stepping on some kind of rusty nail in New York, and getting some kind of disease. One of my favorite things about the character of Danny is I get to take my shoes off all the time. It’s one of my favorite parts.
But I would like to see a bandana. I’d love to see the classic yellow bandana with the two ribbons in the back flowing in the wind. I think that’s killer. I would love to see that!
Season one of Marvel's Defenders is available now in full on Netflix.