Working with Charlie Cox in Preparation for His Role as Daredevil
by Joe Strechay
Last night, we got a wonderful shout out from Charlie Cox during his interview with Seth Meyers. I had the pleasure of helping Charlie prepare for his new role as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night, on the upcoming Netflix television show, Marvel's Daredevil. All I can say is that I was truly lucky to work with such a great person and dedicated actor. I was extremely impressed with the care and effort that Charlie put into preparing for his role. In my job at the American Foundation for the Blind, I prepare youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired for employment and the professionals working with them. I manage the AFB CareerConnect program at AFB, a national and international non-profit. In my career, I have worked with youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired specific to orientation and mobility, daily living skills, technology, adjustment to vision loss, employment skills, and the realm of education.
I am also an individual who is blind, and I travel a lot. Yes, I do like to walk quite quickly, and on occasion my white cane does hit people's feet and ankles. I don't make an effort to hit their feet, but people need to be aware, as I can't see them. I loved Charlie's description of this, as I really enjoy traveling in cities where I can walk at a nice pace or "a lick."
I can tell you that Charlie was the first person who was not blind or visually impaired that I taught these skills. I have worked with writers from television shows, but this was the first actor. It was a great experience, and I was lucky to find a great friend in the process. He pushed himself to be accurate and efficient, and this was a whole new level of drive. He is not only a talented actor, he is a caring person. I am proud of my efforts with him, but the real applause goes to Charlie Cox. Charlie Cox will be presented a Helen Keller Achievement Award at the American Foundation for the Blind's Helen Keller Achievement Awards on June 18th in New York City. The award is being presented to him for all and much more than I mentioned. Watch the video from Late Night with Seth Meyers now, in AFB's accessible video player:
I hope you will watch the show when it comes out at 12:01 a.m. on April 10. I am pretty psyched about it, as an individual who is blind, comic book fan, and a part of the team.
Transcript of the Embedded Video
Seth Meyers: I’m so happy to have you here!
Charlie Cox: I’m so happy to be here.
Seth Meyers: I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, and I will admit to being a fan of comics and a fan of Daredevil in particular so I am one of those guys that when someone gets cast in the role I have to immediately judge it.
Charlie Cox: ...and have opinions.
Seth Meyers: Yeah, and when I heard, I was like he’ll be good, he’ll be good.
Charlie Cox: There were a lot of opinions.
Seth Meyers: Yeah, there were a lot of opinions, I bet you heard them immediately, yeah.
Charlie Cox: My mum, my blessed mum is backstage here, she er, she likes to send me some of the amusing ones and one of them was “I don’t know this guy, but I don’t like his face.”
Seth Meyers: It’s funny, the one thing Daredevil never had to face was people saying he made a terrible Daredevil. Like...
Charlie Cox: Right. [Laughter]
Seth Meyers: ...the actual hero Daredevil just has to face bad guys but he never has to deal with the Internet.
Charlie Cox: It’s very true.
Seth Meyers: Um, so this is...I watched the first episode, it’s great, it’s sort of darker than we’ve seen Daredevil before but going into it, you did not, is it safe to say you did not have a ton of familiarity with the character?
Charlie Cox: I had none. In fact the first anything Daredevil that I was subjected to was the script. I didn’t grow up on comics and so um, I mean I’d been aware of the movie but I don’t think I knew it was anything to do with Marvel so...
Seth Meyers: Right.
Charlie Cox: Yeah.
Seth Meyers: I’m assuming that something like this is shrouded in secrecy. At what point in the audition process do you know it’s Daredevil?
Charlie Cox: Well, it’s kind of an interesting story ‘cos they sent me the mock sides so, mock sides taken from the script with different names, and it was, project was called “Untitled Something” and in the body of the email from my agents they said we believe this to be Daredevil and then it had a long character description and it kind of said, you know, red head, tall, athletic, gymnastic, strong, all, about 14 different words and...
Seth Meyers: And you were thinking yes, yes, yes..
Charlie Cox: ...tall
Charlie Cox: and I was, I had a friend of mine, and the audition was like the next day and I was thinking I’ve got to learn these lines and my, I’d said to my friend, he was helping me read the lines, and he said, um, “I think, I think, isn’t Daredevil blind?” And er, and I said to him — and I didn’t have time for this — and I was like no, dude, I’m pretty sure they would have told me...
Charlie Cox: And so, yeah, I had to call him up, email back, and say, is Daredevil blind? And then the email back came like two minutes later saying, “Oh yeah, and he’s blind.”
Seth Meyers: I’m glad they got him red headed and acrobatic. I guess that’s a pretty big Daredevil thing.
Charlie Cox: ...a slight oversight.
Seth Meyers: Yeah.
Charlie Cox: Excuse the pun.
Seth Meyers: [Laughter] Yeah, exactly. You went out for accuracy, er, you went out with sort of an expert, er, who helps, is, does he help sort of actual blind people train them as to far as, how to get around the streets?
Charlie Cox: Yeah, Joe, Joe Strechay is a wonderful man and he works very closely with the American Foundation for the Blind.
Seth Meyers: umm.
Charlie Cox: I did a ton of work with him, you know I filmed him a lot and we, er, you know and observed his eyes and what his eyes were doing and, because that was something I was quite concerned about is like what do you do with your eyes when...
Seth Meyers: Sure.
Charlie Cox: ..when you’re not wearing the mask.
Seth Meyers: Uh-huh.
Charlie Cox: And, yeah, we went out on the street, and like learnt like you know, Daredevil when he’s Matt Murdoch, when he’s a lawyer, he has to keep up with the pretense that he is, that he functions as a regular blind person.
Seth Meyers: Uh-huh.
Charlie Cox: So I practiced my cane technique, and er, walked the streets.
Seth Meyers: Did you actually go out into.. with a bunch of people around?
Charlie Cox: Yeah, yeah, with a blindfold on and stuff.
Seth Meyers: All right.
Charlie Cox: That must have been really freaky for people actually.
Charlie Cox: Now that I think about it, it’s like, that guy’s not blind but he’s got a cane, why is he covering his eyes?
Seth Meyers: Yeah.
Charlie Cox: ...that’s weird.
Seth Meyers: They probably gave you a wider berth they would give a normal blind person.
Charlie Cox: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Seth Meyers: Well, this guy obviously has some stuff going on so...
Charlie Cox: And the thing about Joe which amazed me, this is the, is that, well, you always think that people will move out the way if they see a blind, or they hear the cane being tapped on the street. The thing about Joe is he goes at such a lick, down the street, that he’s bumping into people who are walking the same direction as him.
Seth Meyers: Oh, wow!
Charlie Cox: Like, they’re just walking in front of him and he’s coming up behind them and hitting them, you know...
Seth Meyers: [Laughter]
Charlie Cox: ...and they’re like “Oh, I’m sorry!”
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