“I never played her like a superhero,” said Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter about the troubled, complex Super Hero during the show’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Emmys event this morning. “When I was building the character, I felt like if I threw a punch and somebody is going through a wall because of it that was because she was so strong inside. [Her powers] was just an extension of what she really is.” She and series creator Melissa Rosenberg were on hand to discuss the critically acclaimed Netflix series, which was renewed for a second season back in January. “We were always approaching the powers as a matter-of-fact. Its simply who she is,” Rosenberg told Deadline’s Dominic Patten.
The series, which debuted in November, was a critical success particularly for the way it approached such difficult topics as gaslighting, rape, PTSD and the process by which the main character, Marvel’s first female superheroic lead, deals with them. Even so, Rosenberg said she didn’t necessarily boil Jones down to being simply about womanhood. “It didn’t feel I was approaching it has a female character… It was really about building a character, not being defined by her gender” but “informed by it.”
Ritter said she particularly loved how Jones was “informed… by her past, how vulnerable she is, how strong, how powerful she is. Also she’s very cool… there are so many layers for me to play as an actor.” Ritter also cited the show’s emphasis on character development instead of simple action. “There was so much quiet. Some of my favorite moments are when Jessica is alone at her house and how she relates to a whiskey bottle.” Rosenberg, who has worked on multiple platforms from network television to features (the Twilight series and The O.C) gave credit to the Netflix format for those moments. “Its a different perimeter, you’re really able to dig into the story you’re telling a 13-hour movie esstentially. It opens up the storytelling and there’s a lot of story.”