We’re days away from the debut of season 2 for the Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil, and the masked vigilante hero/Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) will have even more hurdles to climb in the seemingly unwinnable war against evil in Hell’s Kitchen. While much of the action will involve Daredevil’s battle with The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), fans are also looking forward to seeing Matt Murdock’s former flame Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) and her ninja assassin skills.
One of the reasons Daredevil’s debut season earned such positive buzz was its gritty, bloody, realistic fight scenes. While there were plenty of incredible acrobatics and lightning-fast moves, we were always keenly aware of Murdock’s humanity and vulnerability. The latest trailers reveal Elektra will be getting in on plenty of the action, and the actress recently discussed the intense work involved in creating these scenes.
Though she’s had extensive martial arts training, Yung revealed to CBR that it was a challenge getting the moves right on such a tight shooting schedule, Rather than the months of advance training a movie project can allow, Daredevil required a lot of learning on the fly.
“Basically you do all the talking scenes during the week, and then comes the last day of the episode on the shooting schedule, and this is the action scenes. This is when the stunt coordinators for the stunts present the choreography to use. We’ve never seen the choreography before, and we had to learn it on the day, literally. That was really challenging, but you just have to suck it up and do it. They show you five moves at a time, and you do it. Then, five more moves, and you do it.”
Considering how iconic the sai is to Elektra’s character, Yung didn’t want to just muddle through the stunts. Claiming she gets “clumsy” when it comes to dealing with “distance and weapons and objects,” the actress lobbied for more time to train. She practiced with plastic sai at home when not on set, working hard to get the moves right and avoid any catastrophes while executing stunts for the show.
“We kept it very safe, but it was tricky because — it’s a tricky one. It’s not a knife. It’s not a sword. You can’t really slice with it. You can poke people. You can beat people with it. You can stab people. It’s a weird shaped weapon, so to twist it is quite difficult.”
The extra time paid off, and Elektra said she eventually became more comfortable and enjoyed working with the sai. Her character also evolves into an ass-kicking assassin over time in season 2 of Daredevil, which helpfully allowed room for a visible learning curve on screen. Much like Daredevil’s, Elektra’s costume also appears to evolve as the season progresses, and Yung felt the more practical version of the comic-inspired look helped her get into character.
“I think when you look at the costume that [Miller] designed and [the costume] they created for this show, I think you have the same vibe. This strong female character who — she goes for the throat, she goes for the killing. I think you have that, or at least I do when I wear the costume.”
Yung’s interviews on the subject of Daredevil have continually revealed her dedication to the project, and her intention to create a powerful and interesting character, using as much source material as possible in her portrayal of Elektra. While it’s not certain if anything on Daredevil can ever match the raw energy of the hallway fight scene in season 1, it’s looking like Elektra and her sai could take us to a whole other level of artful violence.
Another positive note on the character is that Yung’s take on Elektra has also evolved. While she initially categorized the mysterious woman from Murdock’s past as a “sociopath,” she’s since found Elektra’s capacity for love and a hint of emotional vulnerability. That means we won’t just get a cardboard, cold killing machine that doesn’t inspire any feeling, but a more complicated human being. Since Daredevil’s first season excelled at displaying the good and evil urges in each of its characters, it’s exciting to hear that that theme will continue.
Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix on March 18th, 2016, followed by Luke Cage season 1 on September 30th, 2016. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, Iron Fist, and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced.