With True Blood wrapping up last night, Deborah Ann Woll can turn her attention to her next project, the upcoming Netflix / Marvel series Daredevil. She talked with Zap2it about playing Matt Murdock’s love interest Karen Page. But after playing Jessica Hamby for seven years, how do you approach taking on a new character:
I’m already starting to notice huge differences between the two characters [in “True Blood” and “Daredevil”]. That’s already kind of exciting to play. I can feel myself go, “Oh, if this was Jessica she would do this,” but wanting to kind of steer differently than that. It’s always going to be me in some way. I think, as an actor, that’s part of it. You have to bring some of yourself to it, and that’s why you have to revisit roles over and over again, so you can see different people bring themselves to the part.
So it’s always going to feel a little bit similar because it will always be a piece of me, but I can choose to respond differently or play things closer to the chest. It’s been a really interest experience, actually, stepping outside of Jessica. It feels sort of weird. Jessica was like an old pair of jeans. I knew every rip, every stretched out spot. It just fit me just right after so many years. Karen, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I’m starting to figure out how to I fit into those clothes.
And what has been the most difficult part of changing characters
You know what’s funny, after a few years of working on one character, it was so easy to feel for [Jessica]. By Season 3, I could cry for Jessica at the drop of a hat. I cared about her as much as I care about myself, so it was just very easy to go there. Starting up with the new character [Karen] now, I remember being like, “Why is this so hard? I thought I was really good at this. I thought I had this whole emotional accessibility thing licked because it had been so easy for the last four or five years.”
And then I was like, “Oh, right. I’ve only known Karen for like four weeks as opposed to seven years.” I have to do this work all over again, and maybe in two years I’ll be at the point where I can cry at the drop of a hat for Karen. [ laughs] But it just takes a little bit of extra effort to get there, and making things even more real or higher stakes for yourself, whatever you’ve got to do to get yourself there. It’s a reminder of how special it was to do that one show for seven years.
Woll joins a cast that included Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosario Dawson, and Elden Henson. Steven S. DeKnight is the showrunner for the 13-part series that is expected to debut in May of 2015.