Empire (Australasia) - - Contents -

Marvel’s street-level su­per­heroes get to­gether for a big old biff. Re­jected head­line: Fan­tas­tic Flat Back Four.


The most es­tab­lished of the De­fend­ers, Cox has filled Dare­devil’s suit since 2015, and is the only cast mem­ber to have two full sea­sons un­der his util­ity belt. “It’s funny,” says the Lon­don-born ac­tor. “When I was au­di­tion­ing, I do vaguely re­mem­ber my agents men­tion­ing there was even­tu­ally go­ing to be a team-up show. I re­mem­ber thinking, ‘We’ll see…’”

Where is Matt when we meet him in The De­fend­ers? He’s been deeply af­fected by the end of Dare­devil Sea­son 2. Peo­ple died and the place wasn’t safer. So he’s no longer putting on his suit and fight­ing crime. Per­fect cue mo­ment for a team-up.

What does Matt bring to the team?

Matt’s quite good on the in­ves­tiga­tive trail with Jes­sica Jones. Matt can hear peo­ple’s heart­beats and sense when they lie.

What’s your num­ber on the call sheet?

We’re all num­ber one. I’m 1A. They should have done 1J, 1D, 1L and 1I.

When did you first bond as a team?

The four of us went to a sushi place around the cor­ner and had a very ca­sual meal. As we were leav­ing, Mike walked out first and a guy walk­ing down the street went, “Luke Cage?” Then he saw Krys­ten, me and Finn and went, “OH MY GOD!”

Who’s the coolest De­fender?

Mike. Me and Krys­ten just show up in our py­ja­mas, ef­fec­tively. Mike shows up ev­ery sin­gle day in an in­cred­i­bly well-chore­ographed out­fit. He never wears the same thing twice.

Have you seen the other shows?

I’ve seen Luke Cage and Jes­sica Jones, I have not cur­rently fin­ished Iron Fist. I haven’t told Finn yet. It came out right when we were fin­ish­ing De­fend­ers and I couldn’t han­dle any more su­per­hero stuff.

Do you get free Net­flix?

I did. They gave me a six-month pass, but it’s now run out.

You’re Dare­devil. You should get free Net­flix.

I know. But why should I not pay $8 a month? I think I can af­ford it.

If the four of you came to blows, who would win in a fight?

Prob­a­bly Mike, but I wouldn’t want to un­der­es­ti­mate Krys­ten. I think Krys­ten might wait un­til there was a clear win­ner, then ruin that one.

Where would you be?

I’d prob­a­bly spend too much time try­ing to ap­pease the sit­u­a­tion. The irony is, I kinda loathe vi­o­lence.


Po­ten­tially the most pow­er­ful mem­ber of the team, Jes­sica Jones is an ultra-dry pri­vate de­tec­tive who tries hard to hide the fact that she has su­per-strength and is ex­tremely hard to kill. Rit­ter is cur­rently film­ing the sec­ond sea­son of her solo show.

Where is Jes­sica when we meet her in

The De­fend­ers?

She’s in a bar. Where else? Jes­sica is in a dark place be­cause of where we leave her at the end of Sea­son 1 of Jes­sica Jones. [She’s] as sar­donic and dry and just as much of an ass­hole as ever.

What does Jes­sica bring to the group?

I think Jes­sica sticks out like a sore thumb. Her com­ments are off-colour. She thinks ev­ery­thing they’re do­ing is ridicu­lous. But she knows she has some­thing to bring to the ta­ble.

What was the bond­ing din­ner like for you?

Oh God, it was so fun. We went there, or­dered food, had the best time, told sto­ries and then we walked out. We saw some peo­ple on the street and they saw Char­lie and they were scratch­ing their heads a lit­tle bit. Then they saw me and were like, “HOLY SHIT.” Then they saw Mike and re­alised it was all of us to­gether. That’s when we re­alised peo­ple would be ex­cited to see the four of us.

Who picked up the cheque?

You know what? Fuckin’ Char­lie Cox picked up the cheque. Since then we’ve all had our chance to do cool stuff like that.

Who’s the coolest?

I’ll say Mike. The rea­son I’m hes­i­tant is that I would say Mike is the least like his char­ac­ter and his char­ac­ter’s very cool. I will say that Mike shows up dolled up. He’s got the shoes, the shades, he’s got the hat, he’s got the bling.

Have you watched all the other shows?

I’m al­most up to date. I’m up to episode seven of Iron Fist, maybe? Finn hasn’t watched any of ’em!

Do you get free Net­flix?

I do not. Net­flix is on the line — can you work it out? [NET­FLIX PR: Yes.] Now I do!

Who would win in a fight?

I would not par­tic­i­pate. I’d just use my brain and maybe evis­cer­ate them ver­bally.


Blessed with bul­let­proof skin and the kind of punch­ing power that could knock more than a few blocks off, Luke Cage is the team’s mus­cle. In­tro­duced in the first sea­son of Jes­sica Jones be­fore grad­u­at­ing to his own show last year, he pro­vided the fast-talking Colter with a break­through role af­ter years of knock­ing on the door.

Where does Luke fit into the team?

He comes in as a bruiser. But he’s level-headed and aware. He’s that kind of guy. He’ll come in, weigh all the op­tions and de­cide how to pro­ceed. There’s a mys­ti­cal el­e­ment to the se­ries and Luke is a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive about that. Where he’s from, there is no such thing as mys­ti­cism.

Tell us about that bond­ing din­ner.

Good times. There was def­i­nitely a lit­tle gawk­ing, [peo­ple] try­ing to video­tape us on their phones, and we were talking quite loudly. I’m pretty sure peo­ple eaves­drop­ping found out a lot about us. We def­i­nitely said things we shouldn’t have.

Who paid?

Char­lie pulled the clas­sic move. He went to the bath­room and when he came back the tab had been taken care of. As well he should, he’s 1A.

Who’s the coolest De­fender?

Cool is a strange word. I don’t know what cool is, to be hon­est.

Okay, who’s the most stylish De­fender?

Most times they’ll come in pants and T-shirts and a hoodie. I’ll come in in clothes that look like I care. I’ll add a bit of style and dash to it. I’m not go­ing to deny that I’ve had out­fits that, from time to time, have turned heads. But this is my third sea­son of wear­ing noth­ing but a hoodie and jeans on the show, so I gotta mix it up a lit­tle bit.

Have you watched the other shows?

I’m not up to speed yet. I’m still fin­ish­ing off Iron Fist. I have a two-year-old so I’m at her mercy. If she’s awake, all I can watch is Sesame Street.

Do you get free Net­flix?

I thought I did un­til about a month ago. My wife signed me up for a pack­age and I saw the email. I found out the hard way I don’t get it. It’s a shame.

Who would win in a fight? The true win­ner is Net­flix.


Of all the De­fend­ers, Finn Jones has come in for the rough­est ride. Iron Fist, the show in which the 29-year-old Brit stars as fear­somely fisted rich kid Danny Rand, was the last of the solo shows to de­but on Net­flix, and ran into a bar­rage of crit­i­cism; not just of the show it­self, but of Jones’ per­for­mance. “I’ve been get­ting on with my life,” he says. “The way I see it, I do my job and ev­ery­thing that comes out post-re­lease, I can’t change any­thing.”

Where is Danny when we meet him in

The De­fend­ers?

It’s about two months af­ter Iron Fist fin­ishes. He’s a man on a mis­sion now. He’s got the guilt from not be­ing there when K’un Lun was in­vaded. He’s been trav­el­ling around the world with Colleen Wing, try­ing to track down mem­bers of The Hand.

How does he fit into the team?

Danny is the youngest of the group and I think that youth gives him an edge. He’s got an en­er­getic drive to get things done. He’s the strong­est voice for a team-up. But he’s reck­less as well. He won’t think be­fore he acts. That gets him and the other three into a lot of trou­ble.

Who is the coolest De­fender?

Krys­ten’s the coolest as a per­son. Mike’s quite stylish. Me and Char­lie are both bums, we come to work in our track­suits. Mike will come in with a full trilby hat, blazer and shoes. Krys­ten’s al­ways knit­ting a jumper, or a dog’s jumper, or some­thing.

Have you watched all the other shows?

The other guys will kill me, but no. I landed the role in Fe­bru­ary of last year, started film­ing in March. I haven’t had a chance. I’ve seen the first sea­son of Dare­devil, the first three episodes of Luke Cage and the first three episodes of Jes­sica Jones.

Do you get free Net­flix?

Oh yeah. They gave me a nice an­nual pass. That was very kind of them. Only for one year, though. I’ll see if I can get an­other one next year.

Who would win in a fight be­tween all four of you?

If shit went down, I think it would be Mike. The dude’s just mas­sive.


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