Carrie-Anne Moss and Eka Darville Talk Power Dynamics in 'Marvel's Jessica Jones' Season 3
How are Jeri Hogarth and Malcolm Ducasse adjusting to their very different lives this season?
As much as Jessica Jones may not want to admit it, she has built a network of relationships with people. While it’s true that most of these relationships are fraught (to say the least), they’re important to how Jessica operates, reacts, and feels. Two of the most enduring supporting players in Jessica’s universe, Jeri Hogarth and Malcolm Ducasse, have been going through their own evolutions throughout three seasons of Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Marvel.com visited the set while Season 3 was in production to get the details from Carrie-Anne Moss and Eka Darville, the actors who play them. Read what they had to say before the new season arrives on Netflix on June 14!
One of the most impactful events in Jeri Hogarth’s life was receiving a diagnosis of ALS. As the third season begins, Jeri is still navigating her path ahead while dealing with the effects of a degenerative illness. She is also working for herself in an office of her own. Moss said that this new direction was an opportunity for Jeri to “reinvent herself.”
“…[F]rom what happened in Season 2, she's moving forward, and at the same time, of course, dealing with her diagnosis. There's also a new love that comes into her life that's pretty deep and rocks her, I think… Jeri Hogarth is really trying to regain her power while she's feeling incredibly powerless. It's been interesting to play that and find that.”
As for Malcolm, he’s actually working for Jeri at the beginning of Season 3. Said Darville: “There is a lot of parallel [with] trying to reinvent oneself and trying to find a sense of power.” He added: “There's a level of exploring morality for sure.”
A common theme between Jeri and Malcolm goes beyond just their working together. Both are working through their own senses of power and control. For Jeri, her health is a major reminder of something she cannot control – namely, her own death – and this new relationship only serves to enhance the chaos surrounding her. One element of it is that it’s with someone from Jeri’s past.
“I see this relationship that I'm going back to in a way as my exploration of Jeri Hogarth. She represents her innocence,” said Moss. “This is like this one pure thing that [Jeri] had in her life that she's trying to have again. To feel that when things were great, when life was different. ‘When I was young, when I was free, when I didn't care or think,’ you know? This is an old relationship, a true love that Jeri wants to be around again.”
Meanwhile, Jeri is still maintaining a connection with Jessica Jones, with whom she seems to run either very hot or very cold. “I feel like Jessica and Jeri have so much intimacy and then they completely don't. They go in and out. I feel, at times, that Jessica is the only person I have, which is interesting. It's such a tricky familiarity, and we have some really intense interactions this season. And then, it’s as if we have nothing. We play that dance a little bit, that I think we all do sometimes with intimate relationships.”
But despite Jeri’s complicated relationship with Jessica, Moss said, “I need her. She shows up for me, and then she needs me. And I try to show up for her. I do my best. Jeri tries. Jeri is so narcissistic. Jessica has a narcissism in a way, but it's so pure. It's from a truly good place. Jeri Hogarth's narcissism is just a completely inflated ego. But we do need each other at times.”
For Malcolm, he’s breaking away from Jessica and finding his own path. Working for Jeri Hogarth also calls for some new duds, which probably helps him embody the changes in his life. Said Darville: “I think Malcolm really is a bit of a chameleon. He utilizes and morphs along with the changes. That's a big part of him, trying to reinvent himself and find a sense of worth outside of his relationship with Jessica and Kilgrave.” Even Moss noted, “He works for me now and he looks so dapper and sharp.”
Part of Malcolm’s talent for rolling with the punches includes his work with Jeri. “He definitely sees this as a stepping stone. He wants to go out and do his own thing. The intention is always to create his own thing, and he keeps getting involved with [other peoples’] agendas, and this is kind of the same.”
One of the sets we visited was Jeri’s new office, which definitely set a very Jeri-centric mood. We asked both actors about how working on that set felt and what that office means for Jeri and Malcolm.
Moss spoke about how Jeri’s office “represents everything for Jeri. It's like rebuilding her life. This is being successful, being on top. Being powerful is everything, especially at this phase in her life when she knows that her health is dwindling. Literally every time I go into that [office], I'm just like ‘Oh yeah, this is my new home.’ After spending all the years in the other business that she created, that she built, that was her business… and she left, and now she created this new place.
“But I have that moment of ‘This is new. How do I feel in this space?’ I'm still personally feeling that. And when I think of Jeri, I think of myself in that other set. It's interesting. I have to constantly be like, ‘Who am I in this space?’ Because it's so new. But it's so important that she looks like she has it together.”
Darville noted that Malcolm is also part of the new office dynamic: “I think this office represents everything the relationship represents. It represents everything that are his aspirations, like the person that he thinks [he] should be, on one level wants to be. But then has to grapple with what that actually entails.”
But while Jeri and Malcolm can decorate a new office and wear different clothes, nothing can change the elements of their lives they can’t control: illness and addiction, respectively.
Back in the first season, Malcolm struggled with heroin addiction and, with the help of Jessica, kicked the habit after a painful withdrawal. His addictive nature, however, still remains and manifests itself in different ways.
Darville: “[Malcolm] is exploring life with addict psychology. It really never goes away. It transfers to different things, and then doesn’t show up in various different ways. He's also got a new relationship, and we get to meet that character.” He added: “I've always been very career-focused and know exactly what I want to do, and that can become obsessive. So I can find that aspect of myself and then find what that would feel like pointed in a different direction.”
Moss discussed playing Jeri Hogarth, a buttoned-up woman who was always in control, as she dealt with – or didn’t deal with – the effects of ALS: “I think it's probably one of the most difficult imaginary situations that I could ever put myself in. I did a lot of research, and I have always been interested in ALS. It's always piqued my interest in terms of my compassion, and the truth of that disease is really difficult for me to even imagine what people with ALS must be dealing with. I find it really difficult to bring the truth of that into me. But I think it's difficult for Jeri, too.
“I'm going to be getting phases of it, and I think my feelings about it are very aligned with how she's feeling about it as well, which is slightly in denial. She is starting to have more symptoms of it, but she's totally functioning. In terms of my work, I try to bring my own life in and then I, of course, do research to do all that. And I have certain parameters that I don't allow myself. I never bring my kids to my work if it's difficult. I used to bring my dog in when I was first starting. I don't allow my psyche to go there, and I have to say this has been the most difficult. Like when I really go there. It's difficult. And I am at the very beginning of it, so it’s more the fear of what's going to happen.”
But Jeri Hogarth is still Jeri Hogarth, and the powerful alpha female who craves control is not gone yet. Said Moss: “I really love when Jeri has that power. I find it really incredible to play that. And I definitely think she's a control freak. I think most people with power are, with that kind of power over other people. I do have a lot of moments when I do feel her power. I'm like, ‘Oh wow, I really missed that’ because there's more vulnerability this season, especially with the relationship stuff. This woman that I had a history with, who knows that I can't use that [power] with her. So when I get to go back to that more fierce Jeri, I'm like, ‘Oh, that feels really good.’”
The third and final season of Marvel's Jessica Jones arrives on Netflix on June 14.
You can stream “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1 and Season 2 now on Netflix.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones stars Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, with Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, and Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse. The series is executive produced by showrunner Melissa Rosenberg along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb. Marvel’s Jessica Jones is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.
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