5 Questions with Carrie-Anne Moss of Marvel's Jessica Jones
Season one of Marvel’s Jessica Jones was released on Netflix Canada this past Friday and already it’s being touted as the best television drama of the year. Its frank depiction of sexuality, female empowerment and friendships, post traumatic stress disorder, and the harrowing aftermath that rape victims endure, is not only refreshing but necessary viewing. Prior to the season’s release we were incredibly lucky and humbled to speak with one of its stars, Carrie-Anne Moss, in a conference call with a group of talented, local female journalists. Needless to say we all couldn’t wait to discuss the brilliant show together.
Scene Creek: How would you describe the show and your character to someone who wasn’t familiar with the source material Marvel comics or the Marvel universe as a whole?
Carrie-Anne Moss: The show is really a story about a character named Jessica Jones who is truly an anti-hero. She’s flawed, struggling with a lot of things that we learn about through the course of the show. She befriends…i mean she leans on me, my character [Jeryn Hogarth], who is a lawyer. I’m a partner in a firm…and very successful and she’s a private investigator, that’s what [Jessica Jones] does as her work to make enough money for booze and her rent and I use her for things that no one else can get. Jessica is able to get things done and Jessica needs me for money and also, ultimately, asks me for a favour. So I don’t think you have to be familiar with the Marvel Universe to absolutely enjoy the riveting performance of Krysten Ritter in this. The writing is on the edge of your seat worthy and there’s just a lot of rich character; it feels like film noir — it’s just very edgy, dark, interesting television with a sense of humour at times too.
Scene Creek: What has the response been like from people who have seen the show and what are you hoping people take away from it?
Carrie-Anne Moss: The only people I’ve talked to so far who have seen the show are people in the media who are interviewing us. A lot of them have actually seen more than I’ve seen so it’s been great; people seem to really love it. I try not to really think about what I think people should take away from anything because everybody is so unique and I know that for me when I read the script I was just completely amazed by the content and the writing. When I saw the first two episodes, which is all I’ve seen, I just thought the execution was fantastic and I think that this time where we have this incredible platform of Netflix to be able to binge watch at our own leisure — what works in our lives. To get to sit down and immerse yourself in that world of Jessica Jones, it’s an incredible journey and cinematically I think the acting is – I think Krysten is amazing and all the characters are so well done; David Tennant’s as well. I’ll tell you what, there’s a scene I have with him, when I was watching him work and I was just so floored – he’s incredible. That guy just blew my mind because he plays such a diabolical, so scary of a person and yet there was a moment of such humanity that had so much compassion for this guy and yet never from a place of ‘oh I like him now’, you know? You don’t want this guy around, you know what I mean? To play that character, and for me to be acting across from him and for a moment for me to feel like ‘aww, poor guy,’ to have care for him – that’s brilliant acting. That guy is incredible. I think it’s just a very high quality show.
Scene Creek: Can you talk a little about working with [lead actress] Krysten Ritter?
Carrie-Anne Moss: Yeah, I loved working with Krysten! I just adore her; she’s so professional, she’s so talented, and I’m so excited for her because she really just carries this show as the lead character and she does so with so much talent. She’s just a gem of a person. Loved working with her!
Scene Creek: What did you like best about working on the show?
Carrie-Anne Moss: I like all the people that I work with; the showing up for work and going to work is a total pleasure. I love playing the character; she’s a lot of fun for me to play. I’m a pretty grounded, honest person so it’s fun to play somebody who’s just really ruthless and powerful and really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her.
Scene Creek: There’s an emerging, exciting trend of women playing kick–ass roles that were originally written for men — Emily Blunt’s role in Sicario, Sandra Bullock’s role in Our Brand is Crisis, and now your role on Marvel’s Jessica Jones– what are your thoughts on this trend?
Carrie-Anne Moss: I don’t know, I hadn’t really thought about it too much to be honest. I think it’s great. I’m playing another role in a movie right now where it was actually written for a man and then they had the idea that I would do it and I hadn’t really thought of it in such a big way, so much as to just have that flexibility of thinking. Then you can even go the other way, like a character that was written for a woman can be played by a man. I think that to be truly creative your brain has to flexible and I think that’s a step we’re seeing — a strong lawyer doesn’t have to be a guy, a strong cop doesn’t have to be a guy, it could be anybody — it doesn’t have to be just one way. I think that’s pretty exciting to be at a time where that’s becoming normal now.
Season one of Marvel’s Jessica Jones can be currently streamed on Netflix Canada.