Entertainment

'Marvel's Daredevil': Deborah Ann Woll takes a bite out of Netflix's superhero series

By Bill Harris, Special to Postmedia Network

Deborah Ann Woll (Handout)

Deborah Ann Woll (Handout)

Deborah Ann Woll had to think about whether she wanted to get her hands bloody again so quickly.

And that's in both a figurative and a literal sense.

In Marvel's Daredevil, the first time we see Woll's character Karen Page, her hands are covered in blood. And of course, Woll is best known to TV audiences for her role as Jessica Hamby in True Blood.

“I spent basically all of my 20s on True Blood, and the idea of maybe spending all of my 30s on Daredevil made me pause,” said the 30-year-old Woll, whose new series debuts Friday, April 10, on Netflix.

“As much as I respect the companies that are making it, and I respect the story - Daredevil is such an interesting take on the superhero idea - I had just come off seven years in a series. The idea of jumping right back into another one was a little daunting, especially when Karen in the (Daredevil) comic books - as well as the other stories that have been made about her so far - is a little undefined.

“I didn't really know what they were going to do with her this time around.”

So Woll got on the phone.

“I spoke with Jeph Loeb (one of the executive producers) and he very generously talked to me about what the plans were for Karen,” Woll recalled. “He said it was going to be dark but blending in some very realistic elements.

Mobile users, please click here.

“He basically convinced me on the phone, and after that I just said, 'All right, let's see if we can make it happen.' ” 

Marvel's Daredevil definitely is happening. It stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a young boy but was imbued with extraordinary senses. Now as an adult, he fights injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as a superhero in New York.

Woll's Karen Page has a very important part to play in all this, but when we first meet her, she's certainly in despair. That's one of Woll's specialties, actually, playing people in despair. We got chuckling about how one of the first roles on her resume is listed merely as “terrified woman.”

“Yes! I think it must have been that Hallmark Aces 'N' Eights movie,” Woll said with a laugh. “I did it. I played the terrified woman. That's funny.

“But my motto is going to be, if I'm going to play terrified people, at least I'm going to play terrified people with a spine. Terrified people who fight back.”

True, Woll often plays plucky battlers who are forced to overcome horrible things. But there must be something in her skill set that has led to her becoming such a convincing “despair queen” during her career.

“I'm being cast for these things, so it's not a conscious effort on my part, but all I can think of is that I'm a 'hundred-percenter' when it comes to my job,” Woll said. “I like to jump in fully and leave everything I have in the scene. So maybe there's some fun in putting me in desperate situations.

Mobile users, please click here.

“I started in Shakespeare, doing classical theatre, and in certain ways, with life and death right off the bat, kings and queens dying, it's very much like Daredevil or True Blood. I guess I was trained to work in these extreme situations, where I'm saying 'I hate him' on page one, and then I'm desperately in love with him on page four.”

Honestly, though, hasn't Woll earned the right at some point to play a character for whom absolutely everything goes right? 

“That would be no fun, because when good things happen to people it's really boring,” Woll said. “Then again, even in screwball comedies, terrible things always happen to people. So maybe that would be even more extreme.”

Be it comedy or drama, and whether the blood is real or true, Deborah Ann Woll has the desire to dare.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »