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Marvel’s newest superhero is undergoing round-the-clock training for the role of billionaire warrior-monk Iron Fist, aka Daniel Rand. Exceptional instruction is arguably needed to portray Rand, whose origin story is all intense training rather than supersuits or scientific breakthroughs. As fans of the comic know, after his family meets a tragic fate while on expedition in China, a young Rand is adopted by the people of the mystical lost city of K’un-Lun, where he’s taught a magical fighting style. Years later, he returns to New York to fight crime. Below the Game of Thrones actor talks for the first time about starring in the upcoming Netflix series…

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction to getting this part?

FINN JONES: I love the character. What really drew me was the character and the story. I really enjoy how he’s a superhero with a real heart but has spiritual elements as well. I think it’s going to be an exciting character to play because there’s this contraction of on one hand he’s from a very wealthy family, he’s a billionaire, on the other hand he’s been in this world of K’un-Lun for a long time where he’s learned kung fu and buddhist philosophy. There’s a contradiction in those elements that’s going to be really fun to play.

You’re in preproduction in New York. Have they let you try on a costume yet?

No. At the moment I’m in the physical preparation for the role. Every day for the last month, I start my day with about two and a half hours of martial arts — which is kung fu and wushu mixed with a bit of tai chi, and other stuff as well. In the afternoon I’ll do weight training with a trainer to bulk me up and get my physically right for the part. And in evenings I’ve been doing meditation classes and learning buddhist philosophies.

That sounds like so much fun.

It is! I’ve always dreamed of a role that bridged spiritual discipline and badass superhero. This is the kind of role I’ve been waiting for for a long time. Now that it’s happened, it’s like a dream come true. I’m super excited.

I remember when it was announced that Gwendoline Christie was cast in The Force Awakens. She said the first call she got was from you and you were just screaming and happy for her. So it’s great to see somebody who’s been so supportive of others get such a cool role.

Actually, Gwen reacted exactly the same when I got this. She called and was like, “Lots of emojis! Lots of really positive vibe emojis!”

That’s the end of Part 1 (Jones isn’t supposed to say much at this point about the secretive Marvel role). But in the second part of our interview, Jones talks Game of Thrones season 6 — and whether playing Rand will prevent him from being Ser Loras after this season. Follow @jameshibberd for more, and to continue reading the latest issue of EW, buy it here — and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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Marvel's Iron Fist
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