Krysten Ritter made a name for herself in comedic movies and TV shows like She’s Out of My League, 27 Dresses and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. But that image happily went to hell when she scored the title role in the edgy drama Marvel’s Jessica Jones as a butt-kicking superhero-turned-private eye.
The popular streaming show has already been renewed for a second season, and Jones will also be part of The Defenders, a miniseries that will stream later this year.
“You have to tap into aspects of your own emotional and internal lives with all of your parts. But this character is the least like me out of all I’ve played.”
What drew you to Jessica Jones?
I kept saying things like “I want to do a cool show like Breaking Bad* or Dexter, all these male-driven shows. And when they locked me in a room at Marvel and I read the first two scripts, I walked out, and I was like, “Obviously I have to play her.” It’s a rare piece of material. I’ve been acting for over 10 years and I hadn’t seen anything like it before. I always knew it was bigger than me just getting a great part. I definitely felt like it was groundbreaking material and a groundbreaking role and I’m just really excited that everybody kind of got behind this show and spread the word.
Do you identify with her?
I think there’s always a little bit—you have to tap into aspects of your own emotional and internal lives with all of your parts. But this character is the least like me out of all I’ve played, so I’m actually able to watch the show with everybody else and sort of take a step back.
Why do you think the show caught on so well?
We have a great writing team, great cast, great crew, an amazing platform with Netflix, an amazing fan base with Marvel, and luckily people got behind the show and spread the word. The stars aligned. That doesn’t happen every day.
What character you’ve played is the most like you?
Probably Don’t Trust the B.
If there’s a Don’t Trust the B reunion, are you in?
Obviously I’m doing Jessica Jones, but if we can find a way to do it, yeah. James Van Der Beek, all of us, are really blown away by the appetite for it, and we had the best time ever doing it, so if there’s a way to do it I have the will and I will be there.
What was your most challenging scene to film so far?
Early on there was some stuff on the fire escape and it was real cold outside. We’re talking 13 degrees below zero. We all joke about it now.
How about the sex scenes? They get pretty intense.
If you’re going to have to do a scene like that, it’s not terrible to do it with Mike [Colter]. He’s alright looking. But he is also just a nice guy, and always has your back. I always felt really safe and protected. And it’s so choreographed. There’s really nothing sexy about it. We kind of pick on each other, like brother and sister. So it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
I heard you put on ten pounds of muscle. How’d you do it?
Weights, push-ups, boxing, all of it. Definitely a lot of training.
Your costume is on display in the hallway here.
Yeah, I just walked by it and I was so confused. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to need that back!” I kind of dress like that in real life, too—jeans, jacket and boots.
What goals do you set? What’s on the to-do list for down the line?
A lot of stuff. I really enjoy my job, and I would love to just be able to keep doing it.
How did you feel when you heard about the second season pickup?
Thrilled! When the news came out, with everybody else I was like, “OK, what’s next?” which is kind of what happens with all the Netflix shows: you need more. I’m so excited to see where she goes next.
*Ritter actually played Jesse Pinkman’s doomed girlfriend Jane Margolis for nine Breaking Bad episodes back in the day.
Photo by Myles Aronowitz/Netflix