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Marvel’s Daredevil Star Wilson Bethel Talks w/ 411 on Creating His Version of Bullseye, Working With Vincent D’Onofrio, and Wearing the Costume

October 19, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Daredevil - Wilson Bethel

Recently, 411 had the chance to sit down and speak to Daredevil Season 3 actor Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie, Generation Kill). Bethel joins the cast with his interpretation of the character of Benjamin Poindexter, better known to fans of the Marvel comics as a name associated to the villain Bullseye, in the hit Netflix series. Ahead of Season 3’s debut, Bethel told us about his experience booking the role and creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Bullseye.

Jeffrey Harris: People will say, “the role of a lifetime.” But I would maybe say this is the role of the universe and the show of the universe — maybe even a Marvel Universe. What do you think?

Wilson Bethel: *Laughs* Wow. Those are — I mean, no pressure or anything. Yeah, I mean no question about it. This past year has been a pretty amazing experience, just getting to be welcomed into this universe at all, this family of Marvel. And it doesn’t come without its stresses or whatever. But it’s an incredible honor. It’s very exciting, and especially now that we’re getting to introduce it to fans of the show and fans of the comic, that’s where it really kind of starts hitting home how significant this role is for a lot of people. This is a role a lot of people have an incredible connection to. From my perspective, I just think it’s an incredible character. So far, it’s just been an amazing journey getting to explore who this guy is.

Jeffrey Harris: When you were going in for this role, did you ever feel nervous at all? Or did you have a feeling of saying, “I got this.”

Wilson Bethel: *Laughs* No. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those guys who goes into an audition room like “I got this.” There were a lot of nerves for sure. I’m a firm believer that roles come your way that you’re supposed to end up with. So in hindsight, having sat with the character for the past year, I really feel like, “Yeah. I’m the right guy for the job.” It’s been an amazing journey to get to know the character. Initially, I think I was just nervous. It’s big shoes to fill.

Jeffrey Harris: What were you doing when you found out you booked the role?

Wilson Bethel: I was in New York at the time. I had just started working on a play in New York. I remember I was on my bicycle going to meet my mom for dinner. My mom was in town. So, I think my mom was the first person that I told. She might have been more excited than I was.

Jeffrey Harris: That must’ve been one of the best family dinners of your life, right?

Wilson Bethel: Exactly. It was pretty great. I was riding high.

Jeffrey Harris: When you get the role, what were your impressions of Benjamin Poindexter before you had to live in his skin and peel back those layers?

Wilson Bethel: Well, obviously, there’s a pretty big mythology around this character. So, you can’t ignore ignore that. That said, Erik Oleson, the showrunner, he had something pretty close to a carte blanche in developing a backstory and really developing a more intimate and intricate psychology for the character. You have a certain version of the character that exists in the comic book, but I’d like to think you get a really more fleshed out version. You’re getting to really spend some time with him this season on the show and hopefully in future seasons. So, I think part of the excitement for me was really getting to learn about him as I read more scripts.

Erik and I certainly had a number of conversations before we started shooting as to who this guy is and where he’s coming from. And then, as you’re reading more and more scripts, you’re getting a fuller sense of who the character is. And of course as an actor, that just enriches just a bigger understanding of what his motivations are and where he’s going — what his arc is. I think part of what makes the character so cool is that when you meet him, he’s a troubled guy clearly, but he’s also good guy. He’s on the right side of the law, and he’s fighting the good fight. He’s working with the FBI, and for all intents and purposes, he’s a hero. What this season charts is his being pulled from a better nature into a darker nature, and Wilson Fisk is a big part of that.

Jeffrey Harris: Your physique is quite impressive for the show, so how is it getting into super-villain shape for Daredevil?

Wilson Bethel: Yeah, I mean I’m a pretty physically active guy. It wasn’t a crazy transformation. I think I gained five or eight pounds of additional muscle or something like that. [I was] working with the stunt team and starting to get familiar with certain fighting styles and certain movements, and working on certain throwing styles for reasons that may or may not be clear to your fanbase.

Jeffrey Harris: Dare I say, your physique might even be more impressive than Charlie Cox?

Wilson Bethel: It’s not a contest. It’s not a contest.

Jeffrey Harris: Vincent D’Onofrio is a force of nature on this show as Wilson Fisk, and you’re scenes with him are very intense. So, what’s that experience like working with him on the set, feeling that intensity level, and working off of it?

Wilson Bethel: There’s no question about it. Anytime Vincent is on set, everybody is stepping their game up — people in front of and behind the camera. Vincent’s a legend. What he brings to the role is so amazing. Working with Vincent is incredible. The dude brings so much to that role, and the scenes that we got to have this season, owing to the nature of the relationship of the characters, it’s super intense, really interesting with the dynamics of power and manipulation — different personalities coming together. So, I think as much as anything, the intensity is right there between the characters. I lean into that as an actor and just kind of soak it up being on set with a guy like that.

Jeffrey Harris: Now, how do you like getting to wear that costume on set? Do you go up to Charlie Cox and go, “I look better in this costume than you do?” Or, does Charlie Cox say, “Well, I only have to wear sweatpants and a shirt.”

Wilson Bethel: Yeah, I’ll be honest. I was looking at Charlie enviously in that costume. He was far more comfortable than I was. If anything, I was envious of him.

Jeffrey Harris: Last question, have your thoughts improved on broccoli pizza after this season, and would you eat broccoli pizza more?

Wilson Bethel: Dude, broccoli pizza — I’m going to go on the record — broccoli pizza is a crime that should not be committed. Only the harshest of punishments should be doled out for broccoli pizza eaters. I’m a purist man. Margheritas only.

Thank you to Wilson Bethel for taking the time to speak with us. Daredevil Season 3 debuts October 19 on Netflix. You can check out 411’s official review of the third season RIGHT HERE.