Whether it’s Daniel Day-Lewis getting handy with a meat cleaver for Gangs of New York or Jared Leto being an all-round mental case on Suicide Squad, method acting is a tried and tested weapon in any actors’ arsenal. While some see it as an excuse for egocentric performers to insist that all their runners refer to them only as “Mr. President”, others maintain that it’s the most direct route to capturing the essence of a character. It seems that Charlie Cox also “went method” in his search for the elusive Man without Fear, and that inhabiting Daredevil’s world meant plunging his own into darkness.
While it’s easy to roll your eyes at another tale of a pompous actor “discovering” his character instead of, you know, acting, you’ve got to give some grudging respect to anyone who decides to temporarily blind themselves for a role. In a recent interview, Cox described how he went about it:
“I went to this specialist, an optician – and I had these lenses made that were identical to my eyes but they completely blinded me. You put them in and I couldn’t see a thing and I thought great, I’ll do that and I don’t have to do any acting.”
Predictably, the move wasn’t the most convenient when it came to working on a busy set:
“The problem with that was that after every take, someone from the crew had to come and get me and lead me away and kind of sit me down. After the second day, I was like this is going to get really old, really quick.”
In the same interview Cox describes his campaign to bring Bullseye to the show, hinting that he faces a lot of opposition from his fellow cast members:
“It’s no secret, I’ve said it before and I get in trouble every time I say it, I’d like to see Bullseye make an appearance at some point. I think it’s a really interesting opportunity. Deborah Ann Woll obviously does not want Bullseye to show up for obvious reasons. Elodie Yung, who plays Elektra, doesn’t want Bullseye to show up either.”
We certainly share Cox’s dreams of seeing Daredevil facing off with the malevolent marksman. Rumors that gravel-throated Jason Statham will play Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3, which debuts in 2018, remain unconfirmed.
The jury’s still out on method acting as far as we’re concerned, but when it produces a performance as fresh and arresting as Cox’s in Daredevil, it’s difficult to argue with. Cox’s commitment to doing the character justice is admirable and we’ve got to hand it to him for the lengths he went to in making sure he nailed it. Here’s hoping he doesn’t feel the need to single-handedly take on any armed gangs in order to prepare for season 3.