After they’ve each tried to pave their own way as heroes, Daredevil, aka Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist, aka Danny Rand (Finn Jones), finally crossed paths and had to work together in Marvel’s The Defenders, in order to save New York City. Having been burdened with their own personal challenges and a desire to keep their loved ones safe, they reluctantly realized that they might actually be stronger fighting evil together.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Finn Jones talked about what it’s meant to him to be a part of the Marvel universe, all of the pinch me moments, how being a part of The Defenders changed his perspective on his character, why it was a relief for the actors and characters to be able to team up with each other, why Danny Rand and Luke Cage develop a soft spot for each other, whether Danny will always retain his optimism, and looking forward to Season 2 of Iron Fist.
Collider: What has it meant to you to be a part of the Marvel universe, playing Iron Fist? Do you still have pinch me moments?
FINN JONES: Yeah, all the time! My life has completely changed. I’m now living in New York. I lived in London, and I completely uprooted my life and moved countries, which is probably the biggest change in my life. I’m always having pinch me moments. Just driving around New York and living here, I’m like “What the fuck am I doing here?! How did I end up living in New York? This is awesome!” And then, being on the show and playing this role, the thing I love about Danny the most is that he’s not a perfect character and he’s not fully formed, so I can really grow with this character, over the years. As an actor, that’s a really fun thing to do, to have a character that you can really mold over time. I’m really grateful to be a part of this show, for that reason.
As an actor, getting a job like Game of Thrones must be a dream because of the quality of the production, the cast and crew, and the scripts and work you get to do. As a result, I would imagine that figuring out what to do when that project ended for you must have been a bit scary, but then you landed this role. Have you had any time to reflect on how cool that is, not just to go from one amazing project to the next amazing project, but to also have them be so vastly different from each other?
JONES: You know what? To be honest, you just gave me chills, saying that. I haven’t had time to really fully understand the weight of it, and I don’t think I will until I properly get time to take a step back. I shot Game of Thrones for six years, and then on the last day of shooting Game of Thrones, I was in the airport going home and doing that thing thinking, “Okay, it’s the first time in six years that I’m going to be unemployed. It’s make or break time now. I’m either going to do something really amazing in my career, or I’m not.” It was a little bit scary! I was at the airport, thinking those thoughts and getting ready for the next chapter of my life, and then an email came through for the audition for Iron Fist, that very day. Within three months, I was shooting Iron Fist. From shooting Iron Fist to now, I haven’t stopped. I did Iron Fist, straight into The Defenders, straight into a promo tour for Iron Fist, straight into a promo tour for The Defenders, and now I’m back to go straight into Iron Fist Season 2. I’m constantly having these pinch me moments. I’m constantly in the tornado and whirlwind of it all. I am very grateful, and I’m always taking stock and trying to get my head around it all. I think it’s going to be when I’m much, much older that I take a look back and realize how lucky I’ve been.
Did getting to be a part of The Defenders and seeing the other actors bringing their characters to life change your perspective on your character or on your place in the larger Marvel world?
JONES: Yeah. I think it’s integral for Danny’s growth and in his pursuit of becoming Iron Fist that he has to meet these other heroes. Towards the end of Season 1 of Iron Fist, Danny didn’t even know what a superhero was. He’d had a great deal of trauma. He had a very tough upbringing, he’d just come back to New York, he’d been deserted by his friends, he had this huge responsibility of the Iron Fist that he didn’t now what to do with, he’d just inherited this massive billion dollar company, and he was failing. He was failing hard, and he didn’t know what to do with his life or his emotions. Now with The Defenders, he’s still failing, but he’s a little bit more driven because of the guilt, which is behind him, and he’s still in turmoil. It’s when he meets these other three people with abilities that he starts to understand himself and his situation, a lot more clearly. By meeting these three other heroes, in them, he sees people with abilities, but he also sees people with huge flaws and problems of their own, and they’re all able to keep it in check. They’re able to go about their lives with purpose and take their responsibility seriously. I think by the end of The Defenders, Danny is really inspired by these other three people and he’s really grounded by these other three people. By meeting them, they allow him to become the hero he was destined to be.