How Danny Rand finds his purpose in ‘Iron Fist’s’ latest season
Finn Jones works hard to bring his onscreen characters to life, from Loras Tyrell in “Game of Thrones” to Danny Rand in “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders.”
In his recent visit to the country to promote the second season of Netflix’s “Iron Fist,” which began streaming on Sept. 7, Jones disclosed that while he stayed true to Danny’s character, he also made sure that, as the story developed, he brought more of himself into the role.
“Actors are the stewards of the characters,” showrunner Raven Metzner explained. “So, you can make them more believable and relatable when you integrate what you know about the actors into the roles they portray.
“It’s like talking to people about their personal lives and getting an insight into the characters they’re creating. So, this season, we integrated Finn’s love for music into the story and gave Danny a record collection and a music player.”
Metzner also said that the focus for characterization has also expanded into the baddies, toughies and even guest cameos, like Davos (Sacha Dhawan), Typhoid Mary (Alice Eve) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick), respectively.
“We’d rather call villains ‘antagonists,’ because we want to know more about their stories. You see who they are as people,” said Metzner. “From their perspective, Danny Rand and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) are the villains. So we try to play with that idea.”
Our Q&A with Jones and Metzner:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is huge. How do you make sure that the different stories in it don’t contradict each other?
Raven Metzner (RM): We do that in a lot of different ways. I assign one of the guys in the writers’ room to have one specific role—to double-check everything that we do. Melissa Glenn, one of our writers, reads everything in the whole MCU so we wouldn’t miss out on details and mess up the story.
On top of that, Megan Brander, who works at Marvel Studios and understands everything about it, is responsible for tracking the characters’ development.
We also have two Marvel producers who stay right next to me and Finn while we shoot every episode. They make sure that we don’t say or do something that contradicts anything in the MCU. Moreover, when the actors tell me, “I don’t think Danny would say this,” I have to listen.
That’s the thing about collaboration, the actors, who know their characters inside out, would know when the words that come out of them don’t feel real.
Fans like seeing Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Danny together. Will we be seeing more of that partnership in the future?
Finn Jones (FJ): I hope so. This season in “Iron Fist,” we have Misty Knight coming in, and there are some Daughters of the Dragon action sequences.
How has Danny evolved in Season 2?
FJ: Danny has taken on the mantle of protecting downtown New York, not just the Rand brand. He’s also moved in with his girlfriend Colleen and tries to balance home life with his “job” as a vigilante—which, as you may have seen, isn’t easy.
As far as Finn’s evolution is concerned, at the end of “The Defenders,” the dying Matt Murdock aka Daredevil asks Finn to protect his city. Up until that point, Danny didn’t really have a purpose. So now, he operates with a lot more confidence and direction. He’s no longer as aimless as he was in Season 1.
Raven, with the magnitude of influence comic books and pop culture have on people, what kind of responsibility do you think you have as the showrunner of a superhero series?
RM: What drew me to the show is the message at the center of its story—it’s about hope. Also, there’s a story in Season 2 about the importance of finding balance, which is something everyone struggles with in his or her life.
How do you balance work and your personal life? Or your desires with your reality? How do you balance your responsibility to society with your personal wants and needs? These are questions we all struggle with.