When production was underway on the newest Marvel series The Defenders, streaming now on Netflix, it operated under the working title Group Therapy. It was a small joke at how the Defenders — Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones)) — don’t like being around each other very much. But behind the scenes, things were the oppositings were the opposite Defenders actors actually bonded while filming one key scene from the debut season.
“I think filming of episode four, was when we really bonded,” Cox tells Inverse, referring to the scene in “Royal Dragon” where Danny pays off so the Chinese restaurant so the four plus Daredevil’s mentor Stick (Scott Glenn) can can briefly hide from the Hand.
“We were all stuck in that Chinese restaurant for a couple of weeks, and it was a lot of great banter both on screen and off-screen. The scenes are very fun to shoot,” said Cox. “That was the time where we really kind of began to bond and find what our dynamics were as a group for the first time. That was my favorite episode to shoot. Those were the best memories.”
The banter was echoed onscreen when Matt suits up as Daredevil. At first it’s just Jessica Jones’ scarf wrapped around his face, which she gleefully tells him is weird, and impractically stupid. But then the jokes really start rolling when Matt’s fully costumed in front of his Defender cohorts. Jessica, unimpressed at the whole superhero thing in general, knocks Matt’s “ears” (“They’re horns,” he quips back). To Cox, the teasing doesn’t bother Matt. “He unashamedly puts on his suit. If he’s the brunt of jokes, so be it. He’s contented.”
“People can associate those red horns with someone who is out there holding you accountable if you’re engaged in criminal activity. He’s a symbol to be feared. I think Matt is very proud of that,” added Cox. “It’s not because he feels cool. It’s an attempt for him to be identifiable, as a force for good.”
And they can tease Matt’s horns as much as they like, because Matt Murdock will never take them off. “The reason Matt has [his suit] was made very clear in Season 1. It’s a major source of protection,” says Cox.
But, those horns are still charmingly goofy, which Daredevil’s new allies who prefer street wear are eager to let him know any chance they get. That’s just what happens when you gather four divisive personalities and expect them to work together. “There’s four characters who, fundamentally, don’t have any interest in working as a team,” Cox says. “What The Defenders tries to do is put these guys in a room and make them stay there.”