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The Defenders: Krysten Ritter teases 'cat-and-mouse' dynamic with Daredevil

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For more on Marvel’s The Defenders, including exclusive photographs and interviews, pick up Entertainment Weekly on stands, or buy it here now. And don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) may have wiped that smile off of Kilgrave’s (David Tennant) face, but her takedown of the mind controller in Jessica Jones‘ first season only makes things more difficult for the Alias Investigations P.I.

Remember all those voicemails and calls Malcolm (Eka Darville) fields after she returns to her battered apartment? Expect many more to come when Marvel‘s The Defenders begins. “She’s still dealing with the aftermath of Kilgrave, and now she’s dealing with ‘success’ — and not well,” Ritter explains. “People want her to work for them, she’s getting a lot of business, and she’s not ready for any of that. She hasn’t changed, but her environment has, and there’s no handbook for how to exist in a world where you are now popular.”

Popularity, after all, has never been Jessica’s goal, which makes the idea of teaming up in the Defenders particularly unappealing. “She’s gloriously the most reluctant hero in the world,” showrunner Marco Ramirez says. “She’s going to have to let three men into her life who she doesn’t 100 percent trust.” Still, she’ll have to at least meet the others, and by the time Ritter sits down with EW to chat while filming an early episode of The Defenders in mid-December, she has. Ritter says she’s mostly shot scenes opposite Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and teases that their characters will share a “cat-and-mouse” dynamic. But who’s the cat and who’s the mouse? “It switches back and forth, to be honest,” she says. “No one’s best friends in all of the Defenders. This is a reluctant team-up.”

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Unlike Jessica, Ritter says she was excited as an actor to get a chance to share the spotlight. “When I read the first two scripts, I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be big,’ because it’s so fun seeing these huge characters, and not just the four of us, but all of us in one show,” she explains, referring to the litany of supporting players also featured in The Defenders. “This just has a big scope. It’s a much bigger world, because all of our characters have a very specific way in, a specific beat.”

“It was never a negative thing or a daunting thing,” Ritter adds of finally getting to make the mash-up series. Ever since she was cast as Jessica, she’d been looking forward to forming the group: “I thought, ‘Not only do I get a show on the air, I get two shows on the air.’ When does that ever happen?” She laughs. “I’m lucky. I really just think Jessica’s the coolest s— ever.”

And speaking of having two shows, Ritter offers this tidbit to tide fans over until Jessica Jones season 2’s debut, whenever that may be: “I speak to Melissa [Rosenberg, the showrunner] all the time, we’re really close,” she says. “It’s early, so yeah, we’re working on it. It’s happening. Get excited.” Oh, we will.

Marvel’s The Defenders hits Netflix this summer.