Jessica Jones’ Carrie-Anne Moss On Breaking Through Stereotypes

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix
Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

On November 20th the latest Marvel Universe hero will come to Netflix, and make no mistake about it, Jessica Jones is not your typical superhero. Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica, a hard-drinking former superhero who has opened up her own private detective agency and finds herself being drawn back into action after one of her past enemies, Kilgrave (David Tennant), makes a reappearance. “She’s a reluctant superhero. She doesn’t really want to be doing what she’s doing,” co-star Carrie Anne-Moss, who plays attorney Jeryn Hogarth, explained on a recent call with reporters.

“If she could she’d just run away, but she can’t because she does have this deep conscious and wants to save it and yet, it’s painful. She’s got so many wounds from her life that it’s so incredibly difficult for her to show up in a way that she has to show up. I think that really just makes her a complex character, an interesting character,” said Moss.

Along the way Jessica will get some help from others, including the high-powered Jeryn, a character that was originally a man in the comics. “She’s going through this mid-life crisis, and that originally it was going to be a guy, and we see so many men exhibiting these things that she’s going to be doing,” said Moss. She said that challenge is part of what brought her to the role because “I thought that was kind of interesting to let all the stereotypes go and to play this strong, but completely flawed person.” While much attention is being drawn to the gender switch of her character, it’s not something Moss ever really cared about, explaining that she “hadn’t really thought of it in a big way so much as to have that flexibility of thinking is really great.”

It is however, something that she does hope opens up ideas across the movie and television landscape. “You could even go the other way, where a character that was written for a woman could be played by a man. To be truly creative your brain has to be flexible and that’s the sign that 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 and I think that’s pretty exciting to be at a time where that’s becoming normal now,” said Moss.

Another intriguing aspect for Moss with Hogarth was that the character is so very different from the actress herself. “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 really ruthless and powerful and doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her,” she explained.

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix
Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

While Jeryn does help Jessica, their relationship isn’t an easy one and Jeryn finds herself often reluctantly hiring Jessica for her unique skillset. “I use her for things that no one else can get. Jessica is able to get things done,” said Moss. The two often clash, as Moss said that “Jessica initially kind of drives her crazy and she’s irritated by her. She doesn’t really appreciate that she needs her at all. She’d rather not deal with her at all, but ultimately she’s intrigued by her and interested in her and wants to understand what’s going on with her.”

Another interesting aspect to Jeryn is that she’s also the first lesbian character within the Marvel Universe. While Moss does acknowledge that she loves “that I get to do that,” she admitted to not really finding that aspect of her character all that unique. “My character, that was a part of her, but she’s so many things that it was never that I was playing the idea of that,” she explained. She further added that “we know that in television there’s so many great characters that are gay. It’s not like it used to be where we weren’t showing all kinds of people, all kinds of relationships on TV. We’re really in a time where diversity, thank god, is what we all expect to see on TV.”

Being a part of the Marvel Universe also automatically opens the show up to comparison to other Marvel shows such as Daredevil and Agents of SHIELD, but Moss said Jessica Jones should stand on its own just fine. “I think the storytelling is really well done. I was impressed with every script that they wrote. There are so many twists and turns in the script and the storytelling that are just jaw-dropping. I just think it’s really good television,” she said.

So whether or not you’re a fan of comics, or a fan of Marvel, there’s sure to be something here for all fans. “I don’t think you have to be familiar with the Marvel Universe to absolutely enjoy the riveting performance of Krysten Ritter in this, and the writing is ‘on the edge of your seat’ worthy,” enthused Moss. She also added that “there’s a lot of rich characters and it feels like film noir. It’s just very edgy, dark television with a sense of humor as well.”

Are you excited for Jessica Jones? Will you be bingeing it all on November 20? Sound off with your predictions and thoughts in the comments below!

Jessica Jones‘ entire first season will be available for streaming on Friday, November 20 on Netflix and Netflix Canada.