DAREDEVIL - Q&A with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Duncan Clarke...
The DAREDEVIL Los Angeles, USA Press Conference with actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan including the director Mark Steven Johnson and producers Avi Arad (from Marvel comics) and Gary Foster.
FARRELL: (Cleared throat) What's that, Mr. engaged man?
AFFLECK: That's right! Ooh, it's a dead, it's a dead room.
FARRELL: Ben, look at who has all the power. Look at all the mics you are having.
DUNCAN: Yeah. I get, I think you got one. We have one right here. It's alright, we don't need them to do this.
AFFLECK: They don't want your obscenities laden speeches.
Why do we feel more at ease relating to real life situations through comic versus a fairytale or something else?
JOHNSON: You can answer that one.
ARAD: No, no, let Ben do it.
AFFLECK: I'm trying to think what the, what the, a fairytale life lesson is from this movie and it has to just be don't trust Irish people. The Irish, the Irish are bad? Is that it?
FARRELL: Don't ever play darts with an Irishman after a couple pints of Guinness.
No, it used to be that's where it came from...
AFFLECK: No, I, u-, I understand. Uh, yeah, I think there's a kind of a, a tradition of, um, like, telling stories on a kind of apocryphal, operatic scale. Good versus evil, that sort of thing. Starting with, you know, caveman drawing and extending through, you know, Dedalus and Sisyphus and Hercules and on to Beowulf and you know and, and they're kind of like, uh, knights and dragons and that sort of thing and I think this is the sort of modern equivalent of that. I don't know what it is that people seem to be interested in like, um, you know, or look at, you know, LORD OF THE RINGS, it's like, uh, fantasy storytelling is kind of engaging and particularly, now, Hollywood sort of the budgets and the skill level that's evolved with technicians in Hollywood is that you can create these worlds visually and that there's kind of fantasy environments and it's, it's the perfect setting for that and it's convincing and it's a wonderful kind of escapist, fairytale environment.
Do you have to go through a process, as an actor, to play a Daredevil?
AFFLECK: Yeah, I mean for Colin, I don't think it was a very far field. But for me, it was a little bit of a stretch.
FARRELL: Because I wear leather pants and long trench coats that are reptilian.
AFFLECK: I think you have to just...
FARRELL: I didn't bring bulls eye today because I couldn't find the fucking thing. Man, and I woke up late. So I'm sorry about that.
AFFLECK: I, uh, I think, um, that you just have to like kind of suspend your disbelief and convince yourself that. It's like one of the reasons why I think it was good that SPIDER-MAN came out and it was kind of so successful before this movie because it helped sort of indoctrinate people into accepting the fact there is a world where people put on costumes and kind of go out at night and, and in particular, this movie which just doesn't do a lot of like winking at the audience and kind of asks you...it, it has that just dual tone. One, is a sort of, um, you know, like you say, sort of comic book, uh, operatic scale universe. And the other, there is a sort of like a, the movie asks you to really be invested in these characters and take them seriously. And so, you know, it really doesn't work if you don't do it as an actor. So you have to just kind of commit to it whole-heartedly. Luckily, I having read the comic book for so many years, it didn't seem that outrageous to me. I thought, "Yeah, Matt Murdock. He puts on a red suit, he goes out at night. I know this guy." You know? I, when I was kid, I kind of thought it was real. You know, so, um, I probably started like ahead of the game in terms of, of acting wise because I was totally familiar with the conflicts.
The movie is pretty violent. Do you fear that kids will jump out of windows mimicking what you've done in the movie?
FARRELL: Oh Jesus! Standing on the back of motorbikes. Killing people with poker cards. Let's hope not. Sorry, Ben.
AFFLECK: No, I think you answered it quite well. Um, no, I think that this, well, for one thing, I think there is a, a, a, there are consequences to the violence of this movie. If this guy gets stabbed, he bleeds, people die, like, and it's sad. It's not random want and consequence less violence. Um, so there, uh, as a opposed to something where people kind of fall, like a video game violence where you can get hit endlessly and you never really die and you have nine lives. I also think that, um, like, you know, look, all I can tell you is that as a kid I watched al-, I loved the ROAD WARRIOR [that] was my favorite movie. I understood full well at the age of nine that, um, like I wasn't going go to be humongous and you know, shoot people with a shot gun or that I could ma-, that, that was fantasy and that there was a difference between fantasy and reality. And so I trust that, you know, with like the parents tell their kids that. I mean this is not a movie for four year old, five year old, six year old kids. I mean they'll just have nightmares. You know what I mean? But I, I started being involved or interested in this kind of stuff when I was eight and nine and I think it, it is appropriate for that. I don't know, maybe Mark can speak to that too. He has three kids, you know.
JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, uh, I have little kids that I won't, uh, the small ones, I won't let them see it. But I think from eight years old and up, yeah. You know, and I, I think it's important. I think this is more, in a way, more responsible in a weird way, because like Ben said, there are repercussions to the violence and you show that people do get hurt and things that don't turn out okay. And you know, it's, it's the, you know, you really get into the head of this guy and you say, "You know, and it's not, um, it's, it's not, uh, about, eh, eh, nothing." There's not bullets bouncing off his chest, you know. I think it's important for kids to see that. You know, but I think people have to use their discretion about, you know, what's appropriate for what kids to go to. And you know, we just saw a little kid burst into tears when he saw Michael Clarke Duncan.
DUNCAN: It was not. He said the Daredevil. He did not say me. He said, "I saw the Daredevil."
AFFLECK: That, that happens to you all the time anyway, Mike.
JOHNSON: We all burst into tears from time to time when we see Michael.
How do you approach playing a blind character?
AFFLECK: Uh, well, there's like c-, a couple answers to that question. One, I worked with this guy, Tom Sullivan, who is blind and with whom I kind of sat down, spent some time and asked him about how he used kind of other senses to compensate for not being able to see? How it changed his carriage? How it changed the way he hel-, held his head? So on and so forth. However, the difference between this and playing somebody who is strict, who is, ah, blind, you know, without superpowers is that, you know, he, he's blind kind of optically speaking, but he actually is aware of his surroundings, you know, by using this kind of sonar sense. So it was tricky. A lot of times he's kind of behaving more helpless than he really is. The other thing that I did was that I had the contacts [lenses] that were built for me that sort of looked like the, you know, eye scars, um, uh, built so that they were opaque, so that I really couldn't see. So it wasn't, I just was able to forget about that and it wasn't an issue for me. I didn't have to worry about acting blind because I really couldn't see anything. It meant that my larger worries were not bumping into the furniture, you know.
Could you all talk about which were your favorite superheroes growing up and if you could have superpowers, which one would it be?
FARRELL: Me and Wonder Woman had a fling for about two weeks when I was fourteen. It seemed to be always me touching myself thinking of her, but...I never grew up with, I never, I never heard of Daredevil until I met Mark Steven, you know. Uh, and I mean I was, I was aware of the obvious things like Spider-Man and Superman, through TV shows and Batman through Adam West. So that was the only knowledge I had. But it did, didn't take a long time for me and Mark to understand that there was an amazing following out there for Daredevil, especially. And, uh, that anyone, that I mean it has so many diehard fans. I never heard of it the world at all, but, uh, it was so contagious from Mark Steven so it was a piece of cake.
AFFLECK: Colin thought it was, uh, what did you mention? Bazooka Joe? When we first...
FARRELL: Yeah, I was like...yeah.
AFFLECK: Who was that, Bazooka Joe?
FARRELL: That little dude in the back of the chewing gum was the closest I got to a comic book when I was a kid. Swear to God. There you go.
GARNER: I grew up with, uh, I was one of three girls so we were much more into "Anne of...", "Anne of Green Gables," than we were of comic books. And I was completely unaware, but I wish that I had Elektra as a role model growing up because she is every man's equal and I think she's kind of empowering for young women. Yes.
AFFLECK: What about you, Mike?
GARNER: Yeah, Mike.
DUNCAN: I had a, a full entourage of comic books. And one of my favorite comic books was Superman and Flash racing around the world. And that was, to this day, I wish I had that poster of Superman and Flash racing around the world. But my superhero was my mother. That was the one, the only one I looked up to.
FARRELL: I wish I had said that.
AFFLECK: That says something about you. You talked about having sex with Wonder Woman and he talked about his superhero is his mother.
FARRELL: ...everything. What they say is true.
AFFLECK: Um, uh, yeah, like I said I was really, eh, eh, I was into the comic books. It was, um, you know, a little nerdier than everyone else, evidently. Um, but, uh, what superpower I would like to have? Uh, it's hard to say. Um.
GARNER: I'd go for metabolism.
AFFLECK: That's a good one. That's a good one.
Jennifer, what type of action stuff did you do and why were you wearing green contact lenses?
GARNER: Oh, you mean, was it difficult working with him when he had on the opaque lenses? I'm sorry.
What did you actually do, workout wise, to be better than Ben at the action scenes?
GARNER: Oh, that was easy. I had a year of ALIAS under my belt as boot camp where I fought every couple of days and so I came in, probably, more confident than Ben. But the annoying thing was how quickly he caught up. I, I was a little bit cocky after the first couple of days and then all of a sudden he was kind of crushing me and that, that was a problem for me. But, yeah, I, I trained, you know, I was a ballet dancer growing up and then I trained for ALIAS and, and fought constantly all year. And, and really wanted to do DAREDEVIL because I knew that it would be, it would kind of force me to train that much harder and take another step in this world of fighting and action.
How many hours did you train and what exactly did you do?
GARNER: Well, on ALIAS I trained fight by fight and would kind of just try to keep in good enough shape that I could do whatever they threw at me. And training for DAREDEVIL, of course, I had to learn to use Elektra's weapons, which are the 'sais', these three-pronged swords that were either originally from, uh, farming implements or hair ornament, I've heard both theories. Anyways, this guy named Don Lee who is twenty-one and the martial arts sai champion of the country would come and hang out on the ALIAS set and teach me drills and teach me how to use them during lunch or five minute breaks here or there and come to my house on Sundays and just kind of choreograph fights for me to learn the basics of using the sais. And other than that, I just got there and, and Ben and I, then, rehearsed with the, uh, Hong Kong wire team lead by master Cheung-yan for hours everyday.
What were the most difficult scenes to shoot for the actors and the director?
AFFLECK: What do you think?
JOHNSON: The fucking pipe fight.
JOHNSON: That was a nightmare. The, uh, the fight between Bullseye and, uh, Daredevil on the, uh, cathedral on those pipes, just, just was, was a nightmare because you had wire work and stunts and we're couple hundred off the ground and it was really slow moving and there was green screens. Like everything in the movie was put together in that one scene and it was really, really a tough scene to shoot. Just waiting around. You know the waiting around is the hardest part, you know, for all the intricate wire set-ups.
FARRELL: Yeah, it was tough from behind your monitor watching me and Ben.
JOHNSON: Watching you sit up there smoking.
FARRELL: Are we ready yet?
JOHNSON: His bulls eye bubbling from the heat.
JOHNSON: We had put a new one on. That drove him crazy.
FARRELL: That was. For me, it was insane.
JOHNSON: That was, that was a tough one. That and the playground fight, I think, were the two, probably, certainly for you two of the most intensive, I think.
AFFLECK: The playground was hard because we had to like, we include this like, um, teeter-totter, uh, thing, you know, the landing on that and the wires were...you know, they just get, uh, it's painful after a while hanging up in the air like that. But, um, you know, we did a lot of rehearsal and everybody else seemed pre-, pretty comfortable with it so it made me feel like I better get my shit together. You know what I'm saying?
Both leads are inspired by their parents to fight their fight. Can you guys think of the influences from your mother/father/parents that had led you to make certain choices in your life?
AFFLECK: Yes, yes, yes. We do understand. We're all mulling it over.
FARRELL: Yeah. Oh.
AFFLECK: My father was a staggering, falling down drunk. Um, I decided not to go that way.
FARRELL: After being one.
AFFLECK: After being one myself. Um, there you have it!
GARNER: Nicely pointed out.
FARRELL: Thank you. Thank you very much.
GARNER: My mother, uh, after college I had spent every summer kind of doing summer stock and working for free and the whole time saying, "I'm going to go to law school. I'm gonna, I'm gonna go be a doctor", and trying to avoid the fact that I was so impassioned by learning how to act. And when I finished college and was thinking about all of these different options for graduate school, my mom said, "Jen, go to New York. Just go to New York, you're ready. You've trained for it your whole life. Go." And that's kind of the opposite from what you would expect from a mom.
FARRELL: My mom as well, uh, just always kind of instilled in me to...
GARNER: No she didn't. Nuh, uh.
FARRELL: ...do whatever you want. Yes, she did. You're a liar, Elektra. You always were. Uh. Always instilled in me to do whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anyone and as long as you're happy. Do whatever you want in life. Reach for whatever you want to reach for. Um, say whatever you feel, whatever is on your mind at any given time, of course. Uh, and, and that's something that's always stuck with me. As long as you don't hurt anyone, as long as you're happy. Whatever. Whatever makes you tick, you know. So that's something that I, I wear everyday with all these fine jewels as well.
DUNCAN: My mother just, uh, just told me that, uh, YCDA, stood for, "You could do anything." And when, uh, I think if somebody had pushed my mother back in the day, she would've been, uh, an actress like Dorothy Dandridge because she's a, really, a phenomenal actress in her own right and I learn all of that from her.
AFFLECK: I love mother too. I was, I picked another example. I got a great mother.
For Jennifer and Ben, could you address the nature of the love story? It seems like these two share something in common, with the tragedies in their past.
AFFLECK: I'm glad, it seemed, I, I was a little worried that people wouldn't get all that from the movie but I'm glad that you did. Um, I think, yeah, that, like, you, you make a good point that the love story really is the heart of the movie and it's kind of like the transforming power of love and the way that it kind of changes this character and how he, as you say, decides to like, recognizes that kind of, that he's been vengeful, really, and, and vindictive and violent and doesn't want to do that now that he kind of meets somebody that he really falls in love with. And, um, I think the love story kind of anchors the movie in a great way and I couldn't possibly have, um, uh, anybody better to, to play with than the lovely and talented Jennifer Garner.
GARNER: Oh, Ben. Um, I love the idea that these two people recognize each other's handicaps - her emotional handicap and his emotional and obvious, physical handicap. And, and respect what they've had to go through and how disciplined they've had to be to be able to do what they can do. And I love that they fall in love out of a mutual respect and a mutual admiration for each other, as well as just an attraction.
How much of the love story is related to your personal life?
AFFLECK: Um, yeah, yeah. Sure. I think, um, you know, it's, it's, it's not, it's like not an exactly as though like for me, I go into, try to do this and say, "Okay, what exactly is this like in my, my real life?" - but rather to try to live realistically through the imagined circumstances of the movie. And, um, in that way, it was very easy for me to, to imagine this scenario because it was so clearly drawn out and so, uh, well played by, by Jennifer and, uh...So yeah. You know I think, I mean people fall in love for mysterious, unknowable reasons and, um, it's, it's sometimes like trying to distill it down to all the exact things is, is, is frustrating for me. It's easier just kind of like try to play the honesty and the emotion, scene-by-scene. You know what I mean?
Ben, what are you doing on Valentine's day?
AFFLECK: I thought...you're not...me and you aren't going to hang out? I thought you were going to come over. Ahh, I'm going to have to look for something else to do now. Um, I don't know. I guess, I'm going to be in New York, um, working on, um, promoting this, this movie. So it'll be a, it'll be a working holiday for me. I'll be, I think I may be even on Valentine's day ...is it Friday or Saturday, Valentine's day?
AFFLECK: Oh, Friday. I don't know. Maybe I'll be rehearsing. I'm going to try to, um, sneak onto Jennifer's "Saturday Night Live" thing and make a, an appearance if I can find the time to.
Can you talk about how faithful you have to remain to the original source? If I'm not mistaken, Kingpin was white in the comics, right?
DUNCAN: Yes. (Cell phone ringing) Hello?
AFFLECK: I think, you know...sorry, go ahead. That's okay. The first question they ask him. Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. Ah, it's cool, it's cool. I'll take this call.
FARRELL: I'll be home in ten minutes, bitch.
DUNCAN: I heard that man. Um, that question was about Kingpin, right? I think one that, that one of my first, uh, questions to Mark Steven Johnson, I asked him did he do his research. And he looked at me and he said, "Yeah, I, I mean I wrote this so I know I did my research." I said, "Well, did you know the guy is white? So why in the hell are you coming to me? Are you trying to make fun of me? Do you think I'm funny or something?" He said, "No." He said, "You're the best actor for the job." He said, "We went through a lot of wrestlers and these other guys and they just don't have what you have." He said, "You're the best actor and I know you can pull this off." And after he said that, after he said the people at Fox and New Regency had the confidence in me, I didn't think about it anymore.
Gary and Avi, can you address this as well? Do you have the flexibility to do this now?
ARAD: Yes. We have a lot of flexibility. D-, our books, really, were born in the early sixties and, um, now it's 2003. And our job is to make great movies, uh, and bring the characters up-to-date. Unfortunately, the world in the early sixties, uh, was less diverse and, and we were looking for a great actor and the idea of Michael came up and I'll tell you, I didn't think twice. Especially with his wild and weird audition, he came in being the Kingpin and he left the room and we knew we found the man we wanted. And no pressure at all.
FOSTER: There was, there was a tremendous freedom within certain parameters that, uh, Mar-, Avi and Marvel allowed us to explore the movie and, uh, never did we feel that we had to go a certain way and it was only that way, which was, which was great because we are making a movie. It's not a comic book.
In the movie, you are attracted to this Jennifer because of her scent. What attracts you to women and what attracted you to your fiancé?
AFFLECK: Well, I think, um, what's attractive about, interestingly enough, about Jennifer's character and about Jennifer is that, um, Garner, is that she is, uh, in, in the movie, you know, uh, she's, it's not just the scent, it's the, it's the person. You know what I mean? It's that, like being blind is an interesting thing because you take away, uh, all the visual things. And, and you, it's an interesting question. Who, would you be attracted to different people if you were blind? Would you have different criteria? Uh, and yes, like she's supposed to smell beautiful and everything, but it's, it's really about the fact that and I'm sure she does in real life, um, it's supposed to be about like being attracted to her, um, personality, her soul; the essence of her. And I think that's like a really, uh, it's kind of not hit on the head, exactly, in the movie, but it's, it's, it's, it's kind of obliquely referenced when she says like, "I wish you could see me tonight." The idea, of course, um, is that she knows that he can't like see her really and see how she looks and if probably, I imagined that it would give you a whole, it would be a pretty impressive thing to have a blind person fall in love with you because you would know that they really loved the essence of who you were. Uh, so much of like what we think of as physical beauty is like so visual and every, and that's the focus and I thought that was one of the really nice, beautiful things about this relationship in the comic book and, and that we carried over the movie, was the, uh, idea of, you know, being attracted to really who someone is without regard for how they look.
Is that the case for you, yourself?
AFFLECK: Yeah, yeah, that's the case.
Colin, how did you prepare to play Bullseye?
FARRELL: Yeah. I growled, I snarled, I...
FARRELL: Sniffed. I, uh, I used every trick in the book. It's all smoke and mirrors, what I do. We did one take, me and Jennifer, we're doing the fight scene up on the roof and, uh, I was doing one of them, uh, very subtle lines I did like, "Orphan!" and this to fucking...And she went after the take, she went, "Could you use anymore fucking tricks?" She did.
GARNER: Seriously, every, every single take he added s-, another bit, so that it started off with him kind of looking down after he's tossed me off the roof and growling and then noticing that the helicopter is coming and running away. And then he would look down and growl, "Arggh, argh." And he would pull the rose out and toss it at me and then run away. Then he would pull the rose out and rub it on his forehead, his bulls eye and lick it.
FARRELL: See how creative I am? Do you get what she's trying to say? It's a compliment.
GARNER: And every single time, I'd be lying on these stunt pads after he'd just tossed me off the roof. He is one of the most ridiculous, courageous actors I've ever seen in my life. I mean this guy - he just keeps going.
FARRELL: I, there was nothing I could do. I mean couldn't really walk around Santa Monica killing people with safety pins, you know, and, um, and I can't stand on the back of a motorbike going forty miles an hour. So I mean I just, I just talked with, with Mark a lot about...
GARNER: He worked with a magic guy.
FARRELL: I worked with a magic guy. It was the funniest thing, man. I was doing THE RECRUIT up in Toronto and, uh, the good people from DAREDEVIL decided to get me a magician and he'd come out to my set at lunch break, during THE RECRUIT and I'd sit in my chair in my, uh, in my trailer and he'd stand in front of me and he'd do a trick and go "Tada!" And I'd say on my own, me and him would go, (clapping) "That was brilliant, man." And he gave me a tape of his, of his tricks just to get a little, you know, slight-of-hand down for the card trick and for the safety pin and all that. So...
AFFLECK: You did that really well, by the way.
GARNER: Yeah, you did.
AFFLECK: You got it down.
DUNCAN: Yeah, he did.
FARRELL: Thanks, man. It was CGI. Don't tell anyone. Uh, so just that kind of stuff. And I mean I didn't have to work with a dialect coach, thank God, for once. You know, I could use me own accent and actually thicken it up. And, uh, and just worked with Jeff Imada who's a great stunt coordinator and his stable of fighters, the guy who doubled for me in the fight with, um, Jennifer sometimes, Damon Caro is his name and they were brilliant. And just, it just worked out the choreographing the fights with them and the rest was just figuring it out with Mark. Figuring out who Bullseye was. I mean he's fairly a one-dimensional character, you know. The way he's, the emotional way the film rested on the show is with Jennifer and Ben as characters who had a background as characters, who were feeling things, who were changing, who were going through life changes, falling in love. And for me, it was, it was fairly straight forward. Just to, to have a good time and, and Bullseye being someone who just, just enjoys, enjoys to the fullest being an insane assassin. You know, and can't, can't, can't handle the disgust that a smell of a rose sends up his nose. It's, it's disgustingly fucking beautiful. Yeah, I want to smell that shit. And it was all about me and Mark. And Mark was there every step of the way. He was, he, he more than the chance to play the character and anything was the reason why I did the film. You know his passion for it and his understanding of it and his, and his love to tell the story the way both he and all those diehard fans I was talking about, um, would want the story told. Yeah, so.
Jennifer, let's forget for a moment that you're married.
AFFLECK: Okay, okay.
GARNER: Okay. Alright then!
AFFLECK: Alright. Sure, sure!
GARNER: Okay, done!
AFFLECK: Whew, thank God!
Do you find that superheroes sexy and do they melt your heart? For the guys, do you find women that are strong, sexy?
DUNCAN: ...Jennifer do her stunts and do that flip off the wall and do that karate and all that mess, I swear, if she wasn't married, I'd be down on one knee right now. She is my FAVORITE, FAVORITE actress, action heroine right now.
GARNER: Thanks, Mike.
DUNCAN: Alright, baby.
GARNER: Um, if I were not married, it seems to me that dating a superhero would be a hassle. They leave in the middle of night. They have freaky powers. They have lots of scars. Um, there's a lot of baggage that goes along with a superhero, so I think I'll just stay right where I am.
AFFLECK: Uh, what were, the, who would I, what, uh...yes, women who are strong are really attractive. Um.
AFFLECK: And, uh, I think that, uh, explains the like, you know, and, and confident and, and kind of independent and powerful, I think, that's extremely attractive, which is, explains like the, um, towering, overpowering popularity of, of Jen Garner, for example. That, that image that's out there is very appealing. And, um, I'm certainly, you know, I think men, increasingly, like, I don't know, you, I think the damsel in distress in a way is kind of reductive of women. You know what I mean? It's kind of like, if they need men to save them or, and, and it's also to more modern men, probably, less interesting. Because it's, you know, you can't really have a conversation with a damsel in distress beyond just like, "Aah! Help me." You know, here, here I am. And after a while, it probably gets old.
FARRELL: Me Bullseye like damsel. I agree with what he says.
AFFLECK: Thank you.
FARRELL: I agreed with what he said.
Jennifer, I heard the studios were happy with your role, enough so to do a sequel. However, your character appears to die in the movie.
GARNER: She does, she does.
What is behind that idea that there can be some sort of spin-off for you and whether or not you would be interested in doing it?
GARNER: Um, well, the first part of the question. I, I'm kind of up for whatever. If they want to make DAREDEVIL 2, I'd love to be there. If not, I'll go watch it. If they want to make Elektra, I would miss the big red devil, but if my stunt double's up for it, I'm up for it. Um, but I'm not counting on any of the above. This has been enough fun right here. I don't have to look forward. But, um...what was the rest? Spin-off.
AFFLECK: You die and...
GARNER: Oh, I die. Right, I die. Yes, I die. But then very quickly after that happens, I mean Elektra's story is epic and she quickly goes on and visits her own grave. Right, Mark? Oh, I shouldn't have done that. Alright, Mark, you go. I'm fixing this.
JOHNSON: Um, there is, there is, you know, uh, we left it open at the ending. It's been interesting talking to people. There's a couple of possibilities. You could say that she left that necklace for him, the brail necklace, before she died, you know, as a message to him and then, you know, it's a sad reminder that she's already gone. Or you could say that somehow she appeared back in spirit. In the comics, there was a whole Frank Miller resurrection story about a group who was actually able to bring her back to life. And what Jen's talking about is, it's a, it's a, you know, a pretty iconic moment in, in comics when she goes and she goes to the graveyard and actually visits her own grave. And, uh, it's, you know, so there's possibilities of that and maybe doing something like that. I know it's more of ....
AFFLECK: Or grow, or go before.
JOHNSON: Or do a prequel and see what happened to her in the early days, you know. I mean I, I just really wanted to be, I, I didn't want to cop out and just say, you know, everything is fine and, and let, have a happy, you know, or make it really clear that she's alive. I wanted to make it very ambiguous and just, you know, commit to what we did, which was a pretty, you know, a darker ending, a more honest, I think, ending, but also a hopeful.
What about her spin-off?
Oh, yeah. They would, I mean I think they'd love to. I mean we'd, we just want to work with Jennifer however we can, so. And, uh, that's something I know that they were talking about, yeah.
Ben, your character and Colin's character are obviously different and on a personal level, seem pretty different as well. He smokes, you're trying to quit.
AFFLECK: I'm trying to quit.
Good for you.
FARRELL: Guess what magazine she's from, man? People.
GARNER: Stop it!
What do you think about Colin?
AFFLECK: I, I love Colin. I know you j-...
AFFLECK: I love him. I, I, he's like a, I love him Um, I don't know. He just, uh, it's ha-, hard to say, exactly. But, uh...
GARNER: He's strong and independent.
AFFLECK: Yeah, and sexy. God, he's sexy. Uh, I, I enjoy hanging out with...Ahh, there you go. Aah. Now you see why I like him. That answers your question. Aah.
AFFLECK: Yeah supportive. Always good for a...
FARRELL: Hand job.
AFFLECK: ...round. Hand job. Fuck it. Yeah right!
FARRELL: I feel the love, man.
AFFLECK: Yeah. He's, he, he's, he ca-, also, he's very like, uh, charming, uh, open, honest guy. I, I get along better with people who are accessible and open rather than like, I think there's something, um, I don't know full of shit about people who are really guarded and put up this sort of thing. I'd like to think I'm not that kind of guy. And, um, you know, Colin is, um, who I want to be reincarnated as.
AFFLECK: Why? Look how much fun he's having.
FARRELL: I want to be reincarnated as you on Valentine's Day, man. I know what you guys are doing.
AFFLECK: Well, there you have it.
GARNER: Publicists all over the world are kind of pulling their...
AFFLECK: Have you, have you talked about, um, have you asked Colin about Britney Spears? Has anyone brought that up?
FARRELL: Ask her how many times she's asked me about Britney.
Why did you wait so long to bring this superhero to the big screen and was Ben your first choice?
AFFLECK: Near, near the bottom, I think.
JOHNSON: I'm sorry, what was the question?
AFFLECK: Was I your first choice or somewhere...
JOHNSON: He was the closest to my house, actually. It's a geographic thing. Yeah, Ben was, um, my first choice for the role. Uh, we, he wasn't available, he was doing another film and they really were trying to rush us. So and I couldn't get, I couldn't to Ben. I didn't know him personally and I couldn't get through Patrick actually. Patrick was the wall - he was tough. And so, um, I had to go meet with some other actors and by the time that the movie got delayed, he became available again. So I called Kevin Smith who I didn't know, I introduced myself and said, "Look, I got this gig and I really am trying to get to Ben and I can't get to him." I read Ben's introduction to Kevin's book and I, I thought, "Wow, that's exactly how I feel, you know." What Ben wrote about it, I thought it was like me talking. And I was, I, I, you know, I wanted somebody that was so passionate about it that I could have shorthand with. And, and, uh, so, I, finally, Kevin, actually, brokered a meeting between us and I was able to get together and once we started talking and looking at drawings and everything else, it was clear that we saw the same thing.
AFFLECK: You know, Mark and I had an almost identical vision or at least I thought, I didn't know what his take was going to be and you could do almost anything with this. I sat down with him and I was really impressed by his degree of preparation, the drawings he had, the storyboards, the computer animatics and that like tonally, and, um, we both liked the exact same things about it. So I was immediately impressed and really excited and...I'm, uh, it was a, it was an honor to be, to be put in the movie.
JOHNSON: We really owe it to Kevin for setting that up. You know, it's a big deal.
What other characters are interesting to you in the comic universe?
JOHNSON: To me? Ah, I don't know all of them. I ... every time I talk to Avi I drill him for the 411 on what's going on with all the movies, you know. But I love them all. I mean I'm a huge fan of Captain America and the Ghost Rider, uh, Ironman. I mean all of a-, really, every one of them. I mean I grew up with them. Ever, they mean a lot to me, they really are...like Ben said, I mean I really believe in them, you know, I really on to an embarrassingly late age. Um, but, uh, but, uh, you know, they, they're all unique and they're all, I don't know...I mean I really do think that now, there, there's a reason for the popularity. I really think people want heroes right now. I believe that and I believe that the Marvel characters are always kind of in a real world. It's not always black and white. It's really kind of gray existence and it's, it's really interesting, you know. And especially, the world we live now everyday in the news, you know, you, you just want something to believe in and you want a character who would be like you and act like you and that's what he does.
AFFLECK: I just wanted to be in a movie where they got the really deep voice, the voice over guy to the trailer where he would say things like, "In a world, one man stands alone." And then they have my picture. "He has to make a choice at an outpost on the edge of space."
How do you feel about all the attention you get from the media?
AFFLECK: Who do I feel about it. I think, unfortunately, it does you like a disservice as an actor because what happens is that people just get accustomed to seeing you one way. You know, it, whether it's "Access Hollywood," or whatever it is internationally, tabloid, press, magazines, that kind of thing, so it becomes more difficult for them to kind of suspend their disbelief, um, in terms of believing you
as another character. You know, um, you know, where it might take people like a few minutes to get over watching, you know, like, uh, "Oh, there's Harrison Ford and now I know he's Harrison Ford, but after two minutes of the movie, I'm totally wrapped up and it's somebody else." We have too much baggage, tabloid baggage. You know, it may take audiences fifteen minutes to stop sort of going like, you know, to get this other image out of their head and you know, I need all the help I can get, so. Uh, it's, it's unfortunate as an actor but, um, it doesn't appear to be something I have a whole lot of control over, so what are you going to do?
Is justice all about revenge?
AFFLECK: Well, that's, that's something that, that, you, you picked up on that as a theme in the movie, um, and it is. It's, uh, uh, it's, I think, what happens in the course of the movie is that he, this character sort of discovers the difference between vengeance and justice and, and th-, learns to value mercy a little bit more. And, and, um, you know, goes from being vengeful to being, uh, a more just guy, largely, through this, the process of falling in love with this woman and seeing what happens to her and watching wh-, how, how she kind of changes when she loses someone that she loves and goes through the same experience that he had, uh, as a child. He's also not the bad guy. He struggles with that. I'm not the bad, I don't know if you heard that, but he has, also has work to do.
Do you think this movie has a message that we should find a different way to answer to violence?
AFFLECK: A different way to answer, what?
To violence in the world.
AFFLECK: The different way...yeah, well, that's kind of a theme of this, of this movie in a way is that kind of violence isn't always the answer. It's often times a first instinct, but probably not the most, um, not the healthiest first response and it doesn't really solve the problems as he says, like the line he has to Elektra at the, at the graveyard where he's something along the lines of, you know, "It, it doesn't make it better. It won't make it go, the pain go away." Um, and, uh, I think that, you know, all, um, sentient compassionate people understand that, um, violence isn't, should be a last resort and that only when, you know, all other avenues of, um, negotiation and conflict resolution have been exhausted is that even, um, acceptable to contemplate. And I know it's an issue that, obviously, very present, um, today and on everyone's mind, um, here and abroad. And, uh, and in that way I think the movie has a good message, although, I think, you know, you're really, it's almost awkward to talk about an issue that's so much larger than a movie and so much serious. Um.
GARNER: But what I love about the movie and what you can take away from it is that this character isn't trying to save the world in a huge way. He's trying to, to, he's compelled to prevent a small child from being beaten or a woman from being raped or he's trying to, to help people in his ten block radius or whatever it is. It's, it's very much what's in front of you and what can you do to stop the, the small injustices or the large injustices that are happening right in front of your own eyes.
Ben, you seem to choose more projects that are commercially successful. Will you do more roles like you did in "CHANGING LANES," that challenge you?
AFFLECK: Yeah, yeah. That's sort of like, um, like in a, in a very simple kind of way, um, one of the things I try to do is be able to do movies that I think are, in some ways, more commercial. Albeit, like, I, obviously, I hope I choose the more interesting versions of those, like, this movie, which I think is substantial and, and I don't want to be dismissive of it, but I do think that, um...you know, usually, I kind of alternate. These two movies, this and SUM OF ALL FEARS came out back-to-back, although I didn't make them that way. I think GIGLI, for me, is more representative of like the CHANGING LANES kind of movie, where I did CHANGING LANES, then SUM OF ALL FEARS, then I went to do GIGLI, which was smaller, more character driven, more, more, uh, I guess, actor oriented rather than kind of spectacle, visually oriented movie and then I went and did DAREDEVIL. And, and that's sort of the balance that I like to try to maintain. Sometimes, you know, two things might come along in a row that are interesting and don't fit into that. But, ultimately, I think it's, I've always looked at my career as like, well, I struggled for a long time and I couldn't get a job and it was because I was never in a money that made any money or that anybody ever saw and so I always understood, implicitly, that the way that you get people to hire you for, um, riskier, more kind of performance oriented fair was to have them believe that you could be in a movie that was successful by doing more commercial fair and try to balance that out. With that being said, I really think this is a substantial and interesting movie and, and a character driven movie within this, this comic book genre.
Mark, do you feel it is an opposite affect for you, having that 'media baggage' Ben spoke about to help promote the movie to a wider audience?
JOHNSON: I have not, I don't, I don't believe it is, really, at the end of the day, I don't think that that matters who's, you know, uh, gonna go pay to see a movie. You know, um, it's, uh, you know, uh, everybody here at the movie is, for some reason, the planets have aligned and everyone has seem to become even greater in the public eye, you know, over the last year. And you know, it's a, you know, uh, selfishly, it's great awareness, but I don't know if it helps or hurts to be honest. I mean, you know, there, there is on both sides.
AFFLECK: At the end of the day, I think people go to movies because they think it looks good and because they think it, you know, or because they have an affinity for the actors and they think the actor looks goo-, does well in that sort of...
JOHNSON: My, my biggest worry is, is something Ben touched upon is like when people leave that aside and go to the movie and forget and, and see Matt Murdock, you know and that's what I'm really proud of. Is that I really believe, you know, that minute that you meet Ben in the movie, when he starts folding that money and you're looking, you go, "Wow." It's, all my friends, who are the hardest core audience in the, and the, the hardest to please comic geeks who have said, "He's Matt Murdock." I believe it from there and then I'm in the movie.
AFFLECK: When Colin is going to bring Britney to the premier, that's not going to change my position.
JOHNSON: Doesn't, that's not helpful.
FARRELL: I just, Mark asked me to, Mark asked me to. I'm a generous guy. I'm paying for it now.
At least they're talking about you, right?
Ben, it's known that real-life couples in movies have not helped the publicity for the movie.
That's a nice way to put it. You could've said, "hurt."
For instance, Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, the director was worried about them hurting the movie.
AFFLECK: Ah, it's a little bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, I think, in that particular case.
But is Kevin Smith worried at all?
AFFLECK: Um, I don't, I ult-, I really, honestly, fundamentally think that if movies work, they work. It's like, um, you know, um, you know, that, that DAYS OF THUNDER, or whatever, movie, that was a big - you know, it, it just depends. You know, it just depends on whether the movie is good or not, you know. If you, uh, and I think that that really is what it's important and then, ultimately, people kind of forget that other stuff. I don't know whether people are worried, if they are worried, they probably don't tell me. You know what I mean? They probably don't say, "Hey, I'm really worried." You know, you did. Well, there you go he's worried. He's calling Jennifer. He's a...
GARNER: It's bad and it's good.
AFFLECK: I love JERSEY GIRL, I'm really excited about it. I think, um, you know, it's, uh, it's a good movie and so I, I'm going to count on that and let the chips fall where they may.
Can each cast member address how comfortable their costumes were? How many fittings they had to go through? Did you wear them out on the street just to get a sense of how people react to you?
GARNER: I kind of fell for the fittings the most. Everyone else kind of went for a couple of fittings and said, "Oh, that's fine." I went every Saturday for several hours. I don't know how I got roped into this. But it was really important that as tight as my wardrobe was, that I also be able to move and kick and be free. Um, Elektra wears two different costumes. The one that she's known for is this red, uh, kind of sashy thing that as far as I can tell, she doesn't wear anything under. And the one that she's, that it is not as well known is the one that's very similar to what I ended up in and I'm so grateful to Mark for, for, um, choosing this, this other look. I don't really know what was behind it. But, um, for me, if I hadn't been covered up at all, I think I would've just, you know, luckily for me, Ben was completely covered in leather, so if I stabbed him with my sai or, or whatever, I wasn't, I wasn't going to hurt him. Um, if I had had just skin everywhere, I think I would've just been one big road rash. And it, it was pretty comfortable once I got into it. It took about half an hour to get laced up.
FARRELL: I, uh, uh, as, I don't know if you know, Bullseye wore kind of a, a nice kind of blue tights motif all up and down his body and I don't think Mark or anyone and I didn't think that would transfer, not that I had any say in the matter. The decision was made already, but it didn't, wouldn't have transferred well on film, just having me run around in blue tights. I don't think Bullseye wore any underwear underneath his blue tights either because he's hung like ball shy, ballet dancer. But they did need it, fortunately, they gave me a cup, which didn't make me feel too good about myself. But we...
AFFLECK: Well, it did look good without it. I got to be honest.
FARRELL: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly.
AFFLECK: It was really, I was thinking, "What's this guy?"
GARNER: You had no problem showing all of us your cup.
FARRELL: The Irish curse. The Irish curse.
GARNER: Every single night.
FARRELL: But the, uh, James Acheson, who did the wardrobes, he's an amazing wardrobe designer who's so passionate about what he does and, and I mean, he's won three Oscars for wardrobe design and he was on board this - from the start, Mark, with you?
JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah.
FARRELL: And he, he, I had a couple of meetings with him and he'd, he'd be in the room with you and you'd be trying on stuff and he gets so excited with it. And Mark definitely wants to go down a road of, of kind of having Bullseye looking more rock n' roll than wearing blue tights. So we just, we figured it out with the vest and the, and the long reptilian trench coat was something that we knew we wanted earlier on, we wanted to be able to use in the fight scenes, you know, with Elektra, to be able to shield blows and so and so forth and flick her in the face, which I enjoyed doing of course. And, uh, just figured it out that way. And then, you know, there, there was, there was originally, of course, Bullseye, uh, his, his headpiece came down here, the material, and there was, there was just some white, a white target kind of painted on as part of the material and it was Mark's idea to have that bulls eye branded in. Not branded in, but cut into his forehead in a moment of insanity which he suffers from a lot where he was like, "Nobody can fucking touch me so I'm going to put a bulls eye on my head. Come on, anyone? Can you do that? I mean there's a fucking bulls eye on my forehead." And that was Mark's idea, so, uh...I, it got frustrating when you put it on first, the costume is like, "Shit. This is fucking cool. This is insane. This is mad." And then after two months and you'll be like, you're fucking pants be falling apart and the boots coming off the sole and there's people from the wardrobe department coming in and putting glue on your soles and you just stand there pushing the sole together. And, uh, but, but James Acheson did a fantastic job and I, and I had a field day. It, it was a case of, as he said, I mean the wardrobe made the man. You know, you just put that shit on and you start, as we said, growling and then moving a certain way. It was fun.
DUNCAN: Oh, I just, I just thought I was cool in my wardrobe. I was, this was a first time in a movie that I was just completely comfortable. The suits were just nice. But Mark's, Mark had a problem with padding. He wanted me to be padded up like a football player at first and the padding looked really ridiculous when you put it up under the suits and I told him that I would be ready in a couple of months, that he didn't have to do all that. But he didn't, he didn't believe me and in a couple of months, I was ready. The suits fit nice and I'm ready to do number two.
AFFLECK: Yeah, I, I looked at, um, after I saw Mike's padding and Colin's cup, I think it was nice for the wardrobe department to have a guy who could fill his outfit out. And, uh...So I didn't have too many problems in that way. You know what I mean?
FARRELL: You're a big boy. He's six foot four.
AFFLECK: Um, it was just, uh...yeah, you know, and it's, there were package issues and on, on all these kinds, you know, kinds of sui-, tights movies, um, which we addressed that were...and, um, the suit, you know, where some of the things Michael D-, Keaton, I think, tells a story, I don't know if this is apocryphal or not, but about Jack Nicholson telling him like he kind of couldn't figure out how to do the Batman thing exactly, and Nicholson said, like, "Let the suit do most of the acting." And there, there's a lot of that. It's true. You know, for me, like just putting on the thing, it's, it's, uh, first of all, you can hardly tell that's me. And, um, second of all, it, you know, it does a lot of that kind of work for you. You know, just standing there in the out fit, you sort of look and feel more like a superhero than you do otherwise, so it was kind of helpful acting wise. Uh, you know, it, I think, I really was happy with the suit because it was, it was very close to what the comic book im-, iconography was that I was used to and comfortable with. So, uh, that was great.
Bullseye can't stand to lose. How well do you accept failure? Can you please explain why Ben keeps bringing up the Britney Spears issue?
FARRELL: Because we're having, we're mates and he can do it. I give him full privilege and he doesn't work for a tabloid. It's all good. Ah, ah, do I like to lo-, I'm a competitive little bastard, you know. I'm, I'm not the, the sorest loser, I'd be the first person with me hand out to shake the man's hand and then I'll call him a prick as I walk away. But I'm, uh, I'm competitive. Bullseye doesn't like to miss...does that answer your question? I'm not at all. No. Kind of, sort of? What you want to know, darling?
How adamant are you about succeeding?
FARRELL: About succeeding? I, th-, there's, there's a thing that I've oft-, I've often thought there's a large difference between ambition and passion and I'm, I, I think I'm a passionate little fellow, you know. Go for it, man. But he's been on the phone all day. Yeah, but I, I never saw me self as ambitious, which sounds so ridiculous and so probably contrary to what any of you's would think, um, because I've had all this enormous amount of success and I've been, uh, lucky and it is huge for me and for every, or from where anyone comes from. I've had an enormous amount of success in the last few years. I have been so, so lucky, but I never saw myself as ambitious, just passionate with what I do and I'm lucky to have a job that it's, it's very easy to get passionate about, you know, because I love it so much.
When have each of you been a daredevil in your life?
DUNCAN: Uh, uh, ten years ago I rode the Texas Giant at Six Flags over Texas and that was the last time I ever got on a roller coaster. Eh, eh, that, that did it for me. I'm not a, I was a wimp. I can't take it, I'm going to tell you, I'm afraid of roller coasters right now. And the guy got on the microphone and he hollered out real loud, "Who's going to be the bravest man to seat in the front seat?" And everybody turned and looked at me and I just kind of got in the front seat, which was really stupid, and I promised myself I would never, ever do that again. So.
FARRELL: Slow on the way up, fast on the way down with you in the front seat.
DUNCAN: Yes and you know, it just kind of went all through my bones and that was it for me and roller coasters.
FARRELL: No idea. I, I've, I have no idea, Jesus. I don't know. Uh, I'm a nervous flier, I hate flying.
DUNCAN: You do?
FARRELL: Oh, shit man, I can't handle it at all. And I, I took a flying lesson in two seat Cessna over Dublin about two years ago to think that that would cure me. I'm fucking, again, I'd never do that again.
DUNCAN: Uh, that...
FARRELL: But that was for me. There was a, you know, and it's a two-seater Cessna, so it's, even though, even though you're only fifteen hundred feet off the ground, the thing is bumping this way and your flying that way and your flying that way. And I'll never do that again. There you go, that's boring enough for you, isn't it?
GARNER: Um, with three girls, somebody kind of has to step up to the plate and kill the spiders and kind of take on whatever job a normal, that would normally go the boy of the family and that fell on my shoulders. So that, particularly, when we were sailing as a family, if a storm came up, everybody would go down below and dad and I would stay out and weather the storm. And that's my, that's my daredevil moment.
AFFLECK: And that was a really nice one.
GARNER: Wasn't that sweet?
AFFLECK: Yeah, it had a family appeal to it.
GARNER: I love my dad.
FARRELL: I get up in plane. Oooh.
AFFLECK: No, I've never done anything, uh, particularly daring, really. Um, I had all that time to think about an answer and still nothing. Uh, I, I guess I was a little bit more reckless and, and, uh, less aware of like just the general kind of, eh, risk inherit in the world, maybe, then I, at one time than I am now. Um, you know. So, uh, but I, I've never been accused of being a daredevil, I don't think. I'm the man with fear. Man, man with fear
For the producers, are there any talks about a DAREDEVIL 2?
JOHNSON: I don't talk about that kind of stuff.
FOSTER: Well, in a, in a few weeks, I mean we'll, we'll, if we all want to do it and, and, uh, and there's a good story and a good script, then we'll all talk about it.
Are they signed up too?
FARRELL: I want a bigger cup.
Are they contractually bound?
FOSTER: It's all about whether we all want to do it. If we want to do it, I'm sure we'll all come together and do it again.
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