From showrunner M. Raven Metzner, Season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist (available to stream at Netflix) raises the stakes in every way, as Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the Immortal Iron Fist, throws himself into his mission to defend the streets of New York City. With the day-to-day oversight of Rand Enterprises in the hands of Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) on a mission to take what she feels she’s owed, Danny is trying to get a feel for domestic life with girlfriend Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) until the return of his old friend Davos (Sacha Dhawan) throws his balance off, in a way that could derail everything.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Jessica Henwick talked about what she’s most enjoyed about the journey Colleen has taken over two seasons, doing a new season with a new showrunner, the dynamic between Colleen and Misty Knight (Simone Missick), domestic life for Colleen and Danny, the fun of working with someone she’s known as long as Finn Jones, her favorite fight scene, the danger of a threat like Davos, and going way off book from the source material by the end of the season. She also talked about why she’d love to do a guest stint on The Handmaid’s Tale, and why the show resonates so deeply with her.
Collider: Looking back on the first season of the show, when did you feel that Iron Fist was at its best, and how do you feel that the series has built on that for Season 2?
JESSICA HENWICK: For me, last season, I definitely loved early Colleen and getting to find, discover, and learn about this woman who is struggling to make ends meet. She’s abandoned the warrior code that she was taught to live by, so that she could be in the fight club, and she actually really fucking liked it. She was addicted. I loved Colleen, top and tail. The end to her story really got me last season, where she had to fight Bakuto, who’s pretty much her surrogate father, and standing over him, in the rain at Central Park, and Davos saying, “Do it,” and her saying, “No, because then I’ll be just like him.” I think that was the crux of Colleen, and I loved getting to tell that story. In terms of building on that, we find quite a different Colleen, this season. She’s gone through a great tragedy. She had to chop the head off her surrogate father, and she hasn’t really dealt with it. She’s compartmentalized, so the easiest thing for her to do was to just close up shop. She closed the Dojo. She was like, “I’m not teaching anymore.” She doesn’t go to the fight clubs anymore. She hung up her katana. She’s effectively just living off of Danny’s money and doing volunteer charity work. It’s really a very different Colleen that we find. That is, until Misty comes along and shakes her and goes, “What are you doing? What do you want to do with your life? You have to make a decision.”
I love the relationship between Colleen and Misty because Colleen has a much more reserved personality than Misty does. What do you enjoy about the dynamic between the two of them, especially in this season?
HENWICK: I think that Colleen gets to have a sense of humor when she’s with Misty. They laugh and they joke. We really saw that in Luke Cage, when they were fucking around in the bar. Colleen very rarely gets to be like that, and it’s just fun. When the two them are on screen together, it’s just fun.
After doing the first season, and establishing this world and the characters, were you nervous about starting over with a new showrunner for Season 2?
HENWICK: I don’t know. I just tried to come at it with an open mind, and not to prejudge, and just see how it went. There’s always a worry. The one consistent thing with Colleen has been me. There are four different shows with four different showrunners, and four different writers’ rooms. I think I’ve worked with 30 or 40 directors now, and they all have different opinions about Colleen. The only person who’s been there, through it all, has been me, so there’s always a worry of, “Will they get it? Will they know all the references?” But Raven [Metzner] was great, so I didn’t need to worry.
How is Colleen feeling about the domestic life that she’s living with Danny this season?
HENWICK: I think that she’s trying to tell herself that this is the right direction. I was always trying to play it where you can feel her holding back and that this life isn’t enough for her. She’s not the kind of person who can just stand idly by at home and wait for her boyfriend to come back from a hard day at work. That’s just not her. So, I think that she’s trying her best, but certainly with Misty’s help, she comes to realize that there was nothing wrong with how she was before and that she should embrace the fact that she enjoys fighting. She enjoys being a vigilante.
What have you most enjoyed about getting to explore the dynamic you have with Finn Jones, and having an actor like him to play off of?
HENWICK: I love working with Finn. We’ve known each other for seven years, and there’s no bullshit with us. We know each other’s rhythms and we have a bit of a shorthand with each other because we’re so used to each other. That’s always fun because then you’re building off your real relationship and your real friendship, rather than acting opposite someone who you’ve never met before. That’s always much harder. Working with Finn is not hard, at all.
Even though Colleen gets dragged into everything that Danny is dealing with, a bit reluctantly, she still manages to get herself into a number of fights. My own personal favorite fight scene is when you have to fight the Crane sisters because that whole sequence is really bad-ass. What was your favorite fight scene or sequence to shoot, this season?
HENWICK: I have to agree that it’s the Crane sisters fight because, for me, that’s the turning point. That moment when Colleen takes her jacket off and smiles is a moment where she goes, “Oh, I remember what this feels like, and it feels good.” It’s fun to see characters relish something like that and accept that this is how they are. So, the Crane sisters fight was definitely a blast.