Marvel star Deborah Ann Woll candidly opens up about a lack of acting work since completing the third and final season of Marvel's Daredevil, saying she was "struggling" even before the coronavirus crisis brought much of the entertainment industry to a standstill. The True Blood actress played Karen Page, confidant to costumed crime-fighter Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), across all three seasons of fan-favorite Netflix series Daredevil and episodes of The Defenders and The Punisher. All six Marvel Comics-inspired Netflix series — including the interlinked Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist — were cancelled by the streaming service in late 2018, despite executive producer Jeph Loeb saying Marvel Television had an "idea" for at least three more seasons of Daredevil.
"I'm just really wondering whether I'll get to work again, whether anyone wants to work with me again, and whether I still have it, all of those scary things," Woll told Marvel Creative Director Joe Quesada on Joe Q's Mornin' Warm Up. "And part of my brain goes, 'No, you're just being crazy, calm down.' But the part of me that loves [acting] and the problem with being an artist and an actor, and any of these professions where you put a piece of your soul into your work, is that it becomes a part of your identity."
"If I'm not acting, I'm not sure who I am," Woll continued. "And since it's been so long since I've really gotten to do it, I'm struggling a little bit with how to maintain my self worth, my sense of my own value."
Woll consulted with her husband, E.J. Scott, while debating whether to revisit past works during what she describes as a "period of self-doubt."
"I was like, 'I'm trying to find a way right now, particularly where I can't even look for work, what can I do to help me remember that I do know what I'm doing and that I can do this and that I do have value?'" said Woll. "I said, 'Well, should I maybe go back and watch some of my earlier work?' Maybe now it would be safe and it would be a way for me to say, 'Look, I did do a great job, that was a great moment.' Or is that opening up Pandora's Box when I'm most vulnerable? And he suggested that I don't do it [laughs]."
In the two and a half years since Daredevil finished, Woll said, "I haven't had an acting job since, and that's been really hard for me. So even before COVID kind of flipped the world on its head, I was struggling with this."
"And I think I was already in an uncertain place, and to add this other layer of uncertainty ... it's just compounding a little bit," she added. "And I have to figure out how I stay confident in myself, even when everyone else is telling me, 'Hey, we don't want to work with you right now,' or 'You're not our choice for this.'"
Woll was celebrated by fans and critics for her portrayal of Karen Page in both Daredevil and The Punisher, where she appeared opposite Jon Bernthal. In our Season 3 review of Daredevil, ComicBook.com praised the "standout" Woll for expertly navigating the "complex and emotionally volatile fallout" with co-star Cox's Matt Murdock.