It’s Sunday a New York Comic Con, and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada put a spin on his traditional “Cup O’ Joe” Q&A panel — in the form of a 1-on-1 Inside the Actor’s Studio-style interview with a surprise guest, who just happened to be Daredevil star Charlie Cox. While the talk was light on Daredevil talk — it was an endearing conversation full of stories from Cox’s youth.
The panel started with talk of a new film Cox is working on about a famed diamond heist, and his soccer — er, football — fandom (his team is Arsenal).
Quesada asked Cox about recently becoming a father, and how Cox’s own mother “only sends him bad reviews.” “”That’s not quite true,” Cox replied. “They’re both able to see the lighthearted side to being an actor,” Cox said of his parents. “She’ll be up at night, reading stuff at Google, which I don’t do — and she knows I don’t do that — and she’ll send me the stuff she thinks is funny.”
“There was on comment on one of the forums that said, ‘I don’t know who this guy is, but I don’t like his face,'” Cox related. “Thanks, mom!”
Cox was raised Catholic, much like Matt Murdock. “If you’re Catholic, you’ll know, there’s a point in the church service where the priest says, ‘It’s now time to offer each other the sign of peace,’ and you say, ‘peace be with you,'” Cox said. “I’m very English and polite and for a long time I didn’t know what they were saying. I thought it was ‘pleased to meet you.'”
Quesada asked Cox about how his parents supported his choice to act. “I’m 20 years younger than my oldest sister,” Cox shared. “When they got to me, they were just kind of like, ‘Do what you want to do.'”
“One of my dear friends was a really good actor, and we did all the plays together,” Cox said. “One day he went home and told his mom and dad, ‘I think I want to be an actor.’ It was not even an option for him. My mom and dad said to me, ‘You’re really good at this, why not try to make this a career?'”
Cox talked the temptation to divert from his Daredevil diet. “In the U.K., we have what we call greasy spoons. It’s eggs, bacon, french toast, beans — you guys know what black pudding is? Sausages.”
“I’ve never understood the idea of pancakes,” Cox said of his take on American food, saying he’s about to start getting back into shape (presumably to film more Daredevil, but he stopped short of confirming that).
Quesada said that McDonald’s is, in a way, responsible for Cox’s success. “I applied for a job there and I didn’t get it,” Cox said. “My mom and dad said, you need to get a job.” Cox was unsuccessful, and was walking back to inform his dad.
“I bumped into two guys, neighbors of ours, from a previous house, who remembered me,” Cox continued. “They were like, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Actually looking for a job.’ These guys were high-end fashion photographers, and they owned their company. They were like, ‘We’ll give you a job.’ I went back, my dad asked, ‘How’d it go?’ ‘I got a job. I’m a photographer’s assistant.'”
Cox told a story about a tattoo he has, and asked Quesada if he has any — he does not. “I can’t think of an image that I’ve not drawn or that I’ve seen, that I’m not bored with two minutes later,” Quesada said. “It’s what I do for a living, so it’s a little bit difficult.”
Quesada asked Cox about his travels, which have included a month-long trip, ostensibly for surfing. “We flew into Panama City, and then we were going to drive all the way through to Guatemala,” Cox said. “We had to go back and drop off the rental car, and then flew to Costa Rica. Didn’t manage to do much surfing, actually — we got the timing wrong, the waves were too big.”
Quesada pointed out that Cox isn’t on social media, and said that he hears he’s “a hell of a chef.” “I just like cooking,” Cox said. “My partner can’t make cereal — so to her, I’m an amazing chef.” Cox also enjoys hot yoga and, on the other side of the equation, “polar bearing” — swimming in ice cold water.
First fan question concerned what faith contributes superhero characters. Cox said it was more of a quesiton for Quesada to answer. The chief creative officer said it was a matter of “inclusion.” “I don’t think we’re doing anything differently than we did back in 1962 when Stan created these characters,” Quesada answered. “Can we do more? Sure, we can probably do more. But to me, it has to come out of the storytelling.”
The next fan complimented Cox for his physical portrayal of a visually impaired character. “It’s one of the things I think is really important to get right,” Cox said. Quesada praised Cox for his head movements in the role.
“We have to find ways of having a point of view without having a point of view, if you know what I mean,” Cox added. “I’m not convinced that Daredevil would ever need to cox his head to hear something better, because his hearing is so advanced, but in order to tell that story on camera, we need to tell the audience that he’s heard something.”
“Literally, I copied my dog,” Cox convinced. “Any of your have dogs, you know they’re playing, and they hear something — [turns head].”
Next question: What’s the struggle of bringing a character to the screen that has such an established identity? “I think a lot of it is luck, I really do,” Cox said, acknowledging that the show was going “slightly against type” by casting him. “I read a ton of comics, and very quickly realized that Daredevil changes a huge amount. There was no way I was going to be able to encompass all of those Daredevils. I tried to find which of the comics best represented the script that had been written, and as an actor, the thing I try to identify are the things I have in common with this person, and the things I don’t have.”
Last fan question: Anything upcoming that Cox can tease in the Marvel Netflix universe? “What do you think I’m going to say,” Cox asked. “Can you imagine there’s anything I can possibly tell you? I can’t tell you anything. FYI — they don’t tell me anything, for this reason, exactly.”
Cox let the fan ask another question since that answer was unsatisfying: What are his favorite Daredevil comics? Cox said he likes “anything Joe’s done,” plus the Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev run. “I’m re-reading End of Days right now,” Cox said. “My other boss, Jeph Loeb, did a beautiful run, Daredevil: Yellow, with Tim Sale.”
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