The stunt performers for six of the principal characters in Marvel’s The Defenders have assembled for a cool behind-the-scenes photo. The Defenders finally debuted for fans on Netflix just after midnight PST on Friday, after two years and four series – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and  Iron Fist – established the group of street-based superheroes who come together to take on the nefarious organization, The Hand.

The four series have a distinctly different tone than anything fans have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including dark atmosphere, a gritty feel, R-rated content and lots of physical action. And while the four stars of The Defenders – Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Danny Rand/Iron Fist) – certainly have the physical wherewithal to embody their roles, there are some stunts that are too difficult and/or dangerous for them to perform, so the production has recruited a cadre of stunt performers to step in when the action becomes too intense.

Related: Why The Avengers and The Defenders Won’t Get a Crossover

On the same day The Defenders made its hotly anticipated premiere on Netflix, six of the stunt performers from the series stepped out of the shadows for a rare, behind-the-scenes photo from the series’ set. Posted by Elodie Yung’s stunt double, Lauren Mary Kim, on Instagram, the photo not only includes the main stunt performers for Cox, Ritter, Colter and Jones, but the stuntman who steps in for Scott Glenn’s Stick, as well.

Pictured in the photo, left to right, are stunt doubles Justin Eaton (Stick), Dejay Spadaro Roestenberg (Jessica Jones), Chris Brewster (Daredevil), Guy Fernandez Jr. (Luke Cage), Kim (Elektra), and David Armstrong (Iron Fist). It’s easy to see how the stunt performers landed their gigs because of their similar looks to the actors they’re doubling for, but you can almost sense the attitude of the characters in the photo as well (particularly with Roestenberg, who is flipping the bird in Jessica Jones-like fashion).

Photos like the one Kim posted of her and her stunt colleagues need to be posted more often. After all, the direction of The Defenders and the each of the solo series that preceded it has been been slick and so expertly edited that you’d swear the stars of the shows are the ones actually performing the stunts. This way, fans get to put a face to the invaluable behind-the-scene players that really make the action happen, yet remain the unsung heroes of the industry.

At the very least, the work of stunt people have the attention of the television industry, since the Emmy Awards traditionally honor stunt coordination, and the Screen Actors Guild honors stunt ensembles (in both TV and film). With any luck, the people who literally take the punches in The Defenders will be honored for their hard work and sacrifice when the time comes for nominations. Without them, Marvel’s compelling superhero stories on Netflix simply wouldn’t be the same.

Next: How The Defenders Sets Up Phase 2 of Marvel’s Netflix Series

The Defenders is now available on Netflix, with The Punisher arriving sometime this fall. Premiere dates for the new seasons of DaredevilJessica JonesLuke Cage and Iron Fist have not yet been announced.

Source: Lauren Mary Kim

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