We’ve already shown some love to Elodie Yung’s Elektra in season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil (well, at least Offender and resident comic book expert Dominic has here and here). And the fact that Yung is hapa (half Asian) playing the “traditionally” Greek Elektra is even more awesome. But not everyone thinks the new Elektra’s so great including Elektra creator Frank Miller himself.
Miller might have given us some of the most iconic comic book moments, but he’s also proven to be…well, problematic. This new Vanity Fair profile of Yung addresses this issue (and yes, Miller knocked Yung’s Elektra without seeing it) and Yung’s graceful response:
Speaking at an event last December, Elektra’s notoriously cranky creator, comic-book writer-artist Frank Miller, dismissed Yung’s performance sight unseen. “They can call it whatever they want,” he told the crowd, “but it won’t be the real Elektra.”
But Yung, who says she devoured the comic books once she landed the role, has the opposite attitude towards Miller. Giving him credit for creating “such a complex and interesting character,” Yung said she has “a lot of respect for Elektra’s creator” and referred to the comics as her “bible.” And when boiling Elektra down to essentials, Yung prefers to quote Miller directly, saying, “Elektra isn’t a villain and isn’t a good girl but as Frank Miller said, she is one of the villains with a weak streak in them, and that’s a failure that I tried to explore.”
But, actually, Miller is right. What Yung presents on-screen is very different from the bathing-suit-clad bad girl Miller invented, and we’re not just talking about her much-more sensible outfit. In the context of Miller’s Daredevil story lines, Elektra on the page frequently exists to serve Matt’s story and doesn’t often present as a fully fleshed character. But it was important to Yung—and essential to the character-driven universe of Netflix’s Daredevil—that Elektra have much more depth. “The writers wanted her to be a sociopath,” Yung says, “I think when you read the comics there are those elements. She has no guilt and no remorse and she kills. But she also has this bond and this love for Matthew when they were younger. And that was important to me to keep in mind. I didn’t want to make a caricature version of Elektra.”
To check out the rest of the piece, go to Vanity Fair (Unmasking Elektra: How Élodie Yung Walked Away with Daredevil Season 2)