Morning becomes Elektra at 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 18, for fans of the Netflix series, “Daredevil.” That’s when the second season of the streaming series based on the Marvel Comics character returns with the addition of Daredevil’s old flame, Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), and a new foe, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal). You might know Castle better as The Punisher.
Jeff Loeb, who is both an executive producer on “Daredevil” and Marvel’s head of television, explains the addition of Elektra to the series was a natural evolution for the series. The first season was about blind lawyer Matt Murdock becoming a hero, while the second will focus on what it means to be a hero.
Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the superhero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.
The addition of the two new characters gave writers new story lines as each brings a different definition of justice.
Elektra has been around since 1981 when she was drawn into the Daredevil universe by Frank Miller. A film adaptation in 2005 starred Jennifer Garner. But, even with all that material, Yung wasn’t aware of the costumed character until being cast.
“I had to find the comics and try to figure out who Elektra was,” Yung says. “The world of Daredevil is very grounded and very real, which was a starting point for me trying to find the essence of Elektra.”
Her latest work is based on a comic book character who is an extremely well trained assassin of Greek descent whose weapon of choice is a pair of bladed sai. Whether she’s playing a trained killer or a god in the feature film “Gods of Egypt,” Yung treats every role the same. The Paris-born actress of Cambodian and French descent tries to ground her roles in as much truth as possible.
Yung, according to Loeb, completely got how Elektra doesn’t see the world in black and white terms, but as more a gray place to live. Her view of the truth will be a constant test for Daredevil.
The writers and Yung have decided that Elektra is a very complicated person with sociopath tendencies.
“This world is a game for her. It’s like a chess game, and what motivates her is what she wants. She’ll use anything she needs to use to get to her goal, and if she needs to kill people, she would,” Yung says. “She has this coldness and this sociopath in her, and I tried to keep that.
“But, on the other hand, we wanted to create a character with different layers. I think Elektra isn’t a bad person. She’s not a good person. She’s a person with different traits, with layers, and she’s seeking for who she is.”
The complexities of the character make Elektra one of the most favorite roles that Yung has ever played. Her past work has included the TV series “Of Kings and Prophets,” as well as the feature films “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Along with all of her acting experience, Yung also brings years of karate training to the role. That has been a big help in taking on the comic book character.
“When you have been given the chance to play a highly trained killer, unless you are very good at faking it, it helps to have someone who can really throw a punch or deliver a kick,” Yung says. “I am a black belt, so that helped.
“I am also helped by all of the amazing stunts and the great choreography.”
Loeb is quick to add that the martial arts training was a bonus, but it was the inner strength and elegance that Yung brings to the role that were the main reasons she got the chance to join the cast of the Netflix show.
The cast also includes Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple) and Scott Glenn (Stick).
- 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 18, Netflix