'Jessica Jones': Janet McTeer Was Hesitant to Enter the Comic Book World

For many in the industry, an opportunity to align with Marvel -- a juggernaut of success -- is a path to fame and fortune. For those who already have those two things, like Janet McTeer, when Marvel calls it can come with trepidation.

McTeer has won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play as well as claiming a Olivier Award for her role in A Doll's House, and she was nominated for two Oscar's for her work on Tumbleweeds and Albert Noobs but taking on the role of Alisa Jones -- the mother of Kryten Ritter's titular character Jessica Jones -- made her question her ability to play a part.

“I thought, ‘I’m not quite sure how to do that comic book world,'” she told The Wrap. “It’s not really what I do, and I’m not sure how I’d do it or if I’d be any good at it. But when I watched it, I realized it was more like people with superpowers having super problems. It was very dark and twisted and real.”

As fans have already streamed the second season of the Netflix show -- and now look forward to a third installment -- McTeer said that she was still anxious about how she would portray the character.

For those that haven't binged, Alisa Jones is a character that was believed to be have been killed in a car accident, but survived to develop into a public enemy and killing machine all the while needing to be somewhat motherly, provided an interesting canvas on which to paint with her craft.

“You need somebody who can look like they’re really scary and terrifying, but someone who can also be more complicated, softer, more motherly,” she said.

“I’m pretty Amazonian, even at my great age, so I would see why they would want somebody like me — I’ve got that intense kind of scariness, but I can also do the other side.”

McTeer towers at 6-foot-1, but being involved with a show that is not only empowering woman on the screen but also behind it has been something more satisfying for her.

Jessica Jones boasts a strong female lead, it has a female creator and in Season 2 it will feature only female directors. It is also a mostly female writers room, lead by Melissa Rosenberg.

McTeer was complimentary of the entire process that she found upon her arrival to the group.


“It was weird joining a company of players who already knew each other,” she said, “but that actually worked really well because the character didn’t know anyone and they didn’t know her. As we all got to know each other, it helped the character.

"What Melissa has done is that it’s all so complicatedly female. I don’t know a female who isn’t complicated. Being a woman is more complicated than being a man, and she’s really embraced all of those things in the writing of Jessica Jones.”