You’re looking at the two absolute opposite stunt styles and superhero styles out there. Captain America is not human. Captain America is faster than the fastest human. He is stronger than the strongest human. So when Captain America gets in a fight… in the first “Captain America” movie you saw him hold a motorcycle over his head and you saw him punch a heavy bag so hard that it broke and went flying across the room. So, you can’t put any realism into Captain America’s fight because he isn’t very human, he is a superhero.
But Daredevil doesn’t have super strength or a suit that’s going to protect him. He is human and he is the actual first street-level superhero out there. When he gets in a fight he’s in a lot more jeopardy. If Captain America gets punched in the face, it’s going to feel like an ant, it’s not really going to do any damage, but Daredevil can get beat up and you see that in the series. He takes a beating and gives a beating.
I’ll be honest with you, I am more proud of what we did on “Daredevil” than on anything I’ve done in my entire stunt career. I’ve worked on some really, really wonderful projects in some of the coolest movies out there, but every single action sequence that we did in “Daredevil,” we made it count.
When Stunt Doubling on Daredevil, do you work closely with Charlie Cox? Was there ever a time when Charlie Surprised you?
“Charlie and I work very closely together. Charlie brings me in and shares his vision and his character with me. It’s really exciting, and such an honor. I am amazed how deeply he thinks about every move that Daredevil makes. Having him as a part of the choreography makes things 100% better. Anyone can kick and punch in a fight scene, but the reason behind each move makes the action so much better. In this show, every punch has a purpose. Charlie surprises me, and the entire stunt team every day. We don’t get much time to rehearse with him, as he is in almost every scene in this show. We show him the choreography, and within a few minutes, he is performing it on camera, and it looks awesome! Charlie trains really hard, and it shows. He definitely doesn’t move like most actors… he moves like a superhero.”
Normally I try to put a lot of thought into “how do you make this character come to life? How would this character move?” But Charlie is so, so, so perfect. He was the absolute best casting choice they ever could’ve gotten. I watched him literally morph into Daredevil in front of my eyes. I can’t even put it into words. I was watching him and seeing that he is Daredevil, so it was very easy. There was no thought involved. I saw the way he moved and I’m like “that’s right, that is exactly how Daredevil has to move.” So I saw the way Charlie holds himself, the way Charlie – even when he’s interacting in a friendly manner with somebody – positions himself, and then how he holds himself while he’s in more of a combat situation. It was a very cool experience because I have become the biggest Charlie Cox fan. He is incredible. – Chris Brewster (x)
ChrisBrewsterStunts Well, there are obvious insurance reasons that actors can’t do all of the stunts, but I find that when actors do a lot of their own action, it adds so much to the scene. It makes it much easier for the audience to be pulled into the story, and feel what the characters feel. I love it when actors do a lot of their own stunts. You wouldn’t believe how much Charlie actually does. Half the time you see DD flipping, everyone thinks it’s me, but it’s actually Charlie! He learned how to do a palm spin (basically spinning around your hands against a wall), in a matter of minutes. He also threw a front flip ax kick inside a bus! The guy is amazing.
We dedicated our whole day to it. The first half of the day was just the camera movements. And then we got into, it was, as you know, it’s one take, so we had to get everything right. Each attempt that we had at it. And it’s incredibly tricky because it’s not like a long tracking shot with two people speaking; it’s a long tracking shot with people punching. If one punch doesn’t land, it no longer works. It ceases to work as a scene. So I think we did it 12 times. I think three of them, we made it all the way through to the end. And one of them was the one in the show, which is kind of almost flawless. I mean, it’s very hard to find holes in that. - Charlie Cox on Cut-Man Hallway Fight
When the series starts, Matt is only just beginning his vigilante career, so you get to see his fight style develop over the course of the season — how would you describe his evolution?
You get to watch Matt evolve into Daredevil. There are flashbacks that go back to literally the first time he put on a suit and was a vigilante. It all follows along with the story, and Charlie literally took the comic book story and made it come to life because in the early-on action scenes he’s fighting with his heart, and that’s it. He doesn’t have any amazing techniques. You know he’s been trained and you find out later on who his instructor is and who really did most of his training, but he’s not fighting as a technician. He’s not fighting like assassins or superheroes fight. He’s fighting with his heart. He is just trying to do good and take out the bad guys.
And I think that as time goes on he learns, he adapts. His fighting style is flawed in certain ways, so he then gets better. You learn throughout the story that his vigilante outfit might not be the best thing to be wearing in this situation and you actually see the thought process evolve, and he goes from wearing one thing to wearing another thing.
You also see his techniques go from very visceral and gritty to [how] he has to think faster on his feet and he fights a lot differently in a one-on-one that he can very easily control to when he is heavily outnumbered. He’s a very smart superhero and you literally see him approach each situation in the most technically sound, intelligent way.
Charlie had a lot of praise for your performance and the way you mirrored how he stood and moved — is that how you approach every role, just studying the actor you’re doubling for?
It’s so funny because Charlie gives me so much credit, but I have to throw the credit right back to him. Normally I try to put a lot of thought into “how do you make this character come to life? How would this character move?” But Charlie is so, so, so perfect. He was the absolute best casting choice they ever could’ve gotten.
I watched him literally morph into Daredevil in front of my eyes. I can’t even put it into words. I was watching him and seeing that he is Daredevil, so it was very easy. There was no thought involved. I saw the way he moved and I’m like “that’s right, that is exactly how Daredevil has to move.” So I saw the way Charlie holds himself, the way Charlie — even when he’s interacting in a friendly manner with somebody — positions himself, and then how he holds himself while he’s in more of a combat situation. It was a very cool experience because I have become the biggest Charlie Cox fan. He is incredible.