Jessica Jones: David Tennant on Playing The Purple Man

David Tennant as The Purple Man in Jessica Jones

At the time of writing this, we are just four days away from the premiere of Jessica Jones- Marvel’s latest TV offering. The show will arrive on Netflix on November 20th and anticipation is high, especially since early reviews are hailing it as an absolute triumph.

Starring Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad) as the titular character, Jessica Jones is immediately refreshing in the sense that it tells the story of a superhero (and a female one at that) after she has retired. Jessica now lives and works in Hell’s Kitchen as a private investigator, but she finds herself returning to her superhero role - compelled to do so by Zebediah Kilgrave (The Purple Man), who also happens to be the reason she quit the game in the first place.

Jessica Jones is the second installment in the Marvel/Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will develop its own characters and storylines as well as expanding on the Hell’s Kitchen that served as the setting for Daredevil. The third installment is set to be Luke Cage in 2016 as well as the second season of Daredevil. Taking on the villainous role of Kilgrave is David Tennant (Doctor Who), and in a recent video interview with The Guardian (see above), he said it’s the type of show he’s always dreamed of doing.

Given the Marvel connection, and having been a comic reader all his life, Tennant says he couldn’t turn down the Jessica Jones role, adding:

“All the movies and TV shows I’d wished existed when I was a kid suddenly are here, so to be part of that was already tempting.”

David Tennant as The Purple Man in Jessica Jones

Tennant also spoke more about his character, which first appeared in the Daredevil comics books as a foe before emerging as an enemy of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Kilgrave’s superpower is the ability to verbally control others. Whatever he says, people are compelled to do without question - and Tennant notes that although that might initially seem like a fairly simple concept, it actually resonates on a much deeper level:

“As you start to unpick, it becomes quite complex, morally. How do you cope with that? How can you tell if people are doing things because they want to, or because you’re asking them to? How can you have any sense of what the world is, or how the world should be, if your world is so particularly unique to you?”

It remains to be seen whether any of those thoughts actually occur to Kilgrave himself on the Jessica Jones TV show, but it’s certainly easy to see how a man like him can abuse such a superpower. Interspersed with the interview are clips which demonstrate this skill perfectly; from Kilgrave entering a family home and announcing that he is now staying indefinitely, to casually winning $1 million at poker by ordering his competitors to fold.

Jessica Jones Daredevil Crossover Teased in Prequel Comic

Though expectations are high, we still don’t really know too much about Jessica Jones going in. We know that the show has drawn on and then expanded Marvel’s Alias comic series, where Jessica made her debut, and we can expect Jessica to be dealing with a bad case of PTSD at the start of the series (as a result of Kilgrave having previously gained influence over Jessica). However, the main bulk of the show’s plot has been kept under wraps.

Of course, Tennant is well used to such procedure, having worked on Doctor Who, Harry Potter and British crime drama show, Broadchurch, where the production crew and cast go to great lengths to keep absolutely everything secret. As he put it:

“I don’t mind that. But I am aware that it must be frustrating (for interviewers).  Drama doesn’t work if you know how it’s going to end, so I’m quite happy to be a part of that.”

NEXT: More Jessica Jones Early Reviews

Daredevil season 1 is now available on Netflix. Jessica Jones will be available starting November 20th, 2015, followed by Luke Cage season 1 and Daredevil season 2 in 2016. Release dates for Iron Fist and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced.

Source: The Guardian

Rey and the Emperor in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars 9 Trailer Confirms Emperor’s Physical Form In Rise of Skywalker

More in TV News