Krysten Ritter and Melissa Rosenberg Talk ‘Jessica Jones’ Buzz, Dark Themes, Season 2

Krysten Ritter Jessica Jones
Evan Falk/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

Superheroes don’t typically get to kick back, raise a glass of champagne and celebrate their hard-fought triumph. But then, the star of Netflix’s newly minted hit “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” is anything but a typical superhero.

Not quite two weeks after the second of Marvel’s street-level superhero series debuted its 13-episode season on the streaming service to marathon binge-watching, widespread acclaim and near-constant social media buzz, executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter of the “Twilight” films) opened the doors of her gorgeous Beverly Hills home Tuesday, with its sweeping cityscape views, to cast and crew members and a contingent of the press for a cocktail reception to mark the enthusiastic response to the show.

“I’m really thrilled, because I felt going in that this show had so much potential,” star Krysten Ritter told Variety. “It’s also kind of scary because it’s such a departure for Marvel. You’re kind of like on edge waiting to see what the response is. So the fact that people are responding so positively is a dream come true.”

“I don’t take it for granted that shows like this don’t come around very often,” added Ritter, who was joined at the celebration by fellow cast members including Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Erin Moriarty, Eka Darville and Wil Traval, as well as Marvel Studios Head of Television Jeph Loeb. “Roles like this don’t come around very often. Then audience-wise, getting your peers watching it, the industry watching it, and your family watching it, and a big audience – it kind of feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I’m just trying to enjoy it.”

“I had spent my entire career dying to find a character like this to write for,” admitted Rosenberg, who copped to texting with Ritter over the first few days of the debut excitedly exchanging the positive feedback they were seeing. “Having been in this business a long time, I know what it is to put your heart and soul into something and not have a response – or have a bad response – so it just makes you really appreciate it. And this really unusual. We’ve worked our asses off on this thing, so it’s incredibly gratifying.”

Rosenberg said she was especially pleased to see the audience embrace the deeper, darker thematic elements of the series. “All the conversations I wanted to be happening around it are happening,” she said. “The conversations about women in power, women sexuality, of rape, sexual abuse, control – all of those conversations… There are just these wildly articulate insightful pieces being done about a feminist perspective, a political perspective, at a time where these subjects are getting some attention about women in Hollywood and women in the world, and how we’re portrayed in the media. It’s my life goal to contribute something to the world that hopefully moves it in a positive direction.”

Of course, much of the cocktail chatter revolved around the Jessica Jones’ future: after having introduced love interest Luke Cage, the star of Marvel’s next-in-line Netflix series played by Mike Colter, it’s possible she’ll show up in that series as well, and she’ll definitely be a part of “The Defenders,” with will unite Jones, Cage, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and the yet-to-be-cast hero Iron Fist as a street-level “Avengers”-style super-team. And the series left plenty of lingering plot threads – Just how did Jessica get her powers? Does Trish Walker have her own superheroic future ahead? Is a turn as the comic book villain Nuke ahead for Will Simpson? – to provide plenty of fodder for a potential second season.

“I’d love that. Me, personally – I’m ready to go,” Rosenberg said “Marvel has a lot going on. So does Netflix. So I don’t know if a second season fits into this schedule, when, whether or not we’ll get one. I don’t know any of that. I personally, I’m ready to jump in now. I’ve had some time off. I needed some time off! It was a really hard run.” Consistently generous in her praise for Jones’ comic book creator Brian Michael Bendis, she says there are a number of juicy comics storylines to adapt. “We’re always mining that series as much as we can. It’s just great story telling. So we’re not idiots, we’re not going to ignore great story telling. Grab it, use it, and claim it – then call it ‘an homage,'” she laughed.

She’s not certain yet how much specific input she’ll have in Jones’ other TV adventures, but she’s confident the character will remain consistent. “What I have is Krysten Ritter, and she and I are on exactly the same page with this character,” she said. “And that is a women that will not do something that violates the character in any way. So if I have nothing to do with it, I trust that she’s going to be the protector of the character.”

Ritter is certainly eager to spend more time in Jones’ anti-stylish boots and tying up some of season one’s loose ends. “I had such mixed emotions about the ending, because what does that mean for Jessica’s journey or her purpose? So I think I would love to see what she gets into next. And I love doing stunts – like, fight sequences and things like that. They always say in second seasons they really amp those up!”

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  1. Mike says:

    A second season for Jessica Jones? It will sell like hot cakes – why wouldn’t you?

  2. Amanda says:

    Loved this show so much and it has to get a 2nd season. Like the article says there’s so much left to explore not just with Jessica but all the other characters. I get Marvel and Netflix have to figure out what to do with the order of the other shows and films now, but Jessica’s become so popular that season 2 should be a given.

  3. Jason says:

    I’m confused how the journalist/actress/show runner did this entire article/interview without mentioning the strongest part of the show: Tennant’s Killgrave. They can’t possibly be kidding themselves into thinking he isn’t the biggest reason for the shows success, can they? 🤔

    • Hulumama says:

      The show is called Jessica Jones, not Kilgrave and there are plenty of other supporting actors and actresses in it. This article was about the focus on female empowerment. Wish Tenant obsessives would stop making out the show is all about Kilgrave or David Tenant. This is Krysten Ritter’s show, she is the star and is the one going on to make more series in this franchise. She’s also the best thing in the show. She’s also very erudite and has been great at emphasising the positive messages in the show about rape culture and consent. I think that message needs to be front and center.

      • Dave says:

        Tennant drew in a crowd that might not have otherwise watched the show. But make no mistake, Season 1 was as much (if not more) about Kilgrave as it was about Jones. It was both their stories. I’d have watched it regardless – I loved the Alias comics it was based on, and I am looking forward to season 2 (and 3, 4, 5…) especially with the build-up at the end of season 1 for what’s coming.

  4. Falconsnacks says:

    I have already binged watched JESSICA JONES twice,suffice it to say I am a fan. I can’t wait to see Jessica and Luke get back together ASAP.

  5. therealeverton says:

    Fantastic show. Very well done all and nice to see Bendis getting the respect he deserves too.

  6. Dunstan says:

    I’m about to watch #9 on to the end and so far, it seems to be taking a long time for something to happen. I just don’t think it’s very strong. I really enjoyed “Daredevil” but this one? Not so much.

    • Rosanna Marie says:

      I watched this despite not having a clue or a particular interest in the Marvel universe or super heroes largely because of Krysten Ritter. I loved her in Breaking Bad; she had that natural sardonic wit about her and I love badass women that just happen to have vulnerability and a casual non fussy kind of beauty…. I have tried Daredevil and so far it’s seeming too Superhero predictable but I’ll give it a shot. What I liked about Jessica Jones is they made it so easy to relate to on so many levels.

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