After breakout appearances on The Vampire Diaries and Empire, Australian-born Eka Darville landed his most wide-reaching role yet as Jessica Jones' Malcolm Ducasse, the hard-living, superpowered P.I.'s eager if underappreciated assistant. Darville reprises the role for the second season of the wildly praised Netflix and Marvel hit, which finds Malcolm even more deeply enmeshed in both the storyline and the lives of Jessica and her adoptive sister Trish Walker, as he explains to ComicBook.com.
ComicBook.com: You got some good stuff to do in the five episodes of Jessica Jones that I've seen. It must have been fun to come back and to see what Melissa Rosenberg and the writers had come up with so many interesting things for you to get to do.
Eka Darville: Yeah, I mean you haven't even seen the half of it! Shit gets real in [episode] six, and I think that's why they didn't show it to you! For Malcolm, it's very much, it's a bit of a coming out party for me, to be honest. There's just so much great stuff for me to do this season. In all honesty, most of the really juicy stuff is towards the end of the season, so I'm very excited for you to see it.
What were the surprises for you, as far as the things you're able to talk about, once you saw what his path was going to be at the beginning of this season? Was that an exciting surprise for you to get?
Yeah, yeah. It was definitely a payoff for all the hard work I put into Season One. It felt very much like my work had been seen, and recognized, and honored, and I'd been trusted with a whole lot more. Obviously, that's what it's all about for me as an actor. It was very incredibly exciting and rewarding, and then a stretch to be able to play some of it, to be honest. There's some big emotional stuff that I get to work with. We delve into his backstory quite a bit. It was very exciting.
You get to share some good, strong scenes with Rachael Taylor as Trish in particular. That must have been fun, for the two of you to be able to spend some good screen time together.
Yeah, Rachael's my homegirl. We're both from Australia, so we really kind of stick together. We get each other on a cultural level, which is a glass of cool water some days, in the midst of all the chaos here in New York, and feeling a million miles from home at times. Yeah, it was really so wonderful to get to actually play with her on screen a bit more and develop Trish and Malcolm's relationship. The worlds overlap in a really great way, and so I get to play with all the other peripheral characters a bit more.
We get a good sense that Malcolm has a life outside of working for Jessica Jones. He's got some genuine stuff going on, on his own, which is nice to see.
Yeah, he does indeed. Very much, this season is about that. It's about really kind of delving into who these people are and what they have going on, and what are their personal struggles. For Malcolm, it's like he's rebuilding his life post-Kilgrave, just the same way that Jessica is. We get to see him struggle with his moral resolve, as somebody who's been an addict, and what his whole process is around rebuilding his life.
He's a bit of a player, too, which is fun to discover about him.
[Laughs] Yeah, yeah. I think he might have switched out his other addiction for a different kind of addiction, possibly.
Especially as things have been in the past year, it must be interesting for you to be amongst this very creative group of women, in front of the camera, behind the camera. There's a lot of female energy on this show. Tell me a little bit about that from your perspective and to see these women getting these opportunities that haven't been easy to come by.
Basically, I resonated so deeply with all of the incredible female creatives that we got to work with, because they have had to prove themselves so many times over, in order to get to where they are. They're overqualified for the role. We started off with wanting to just get half of the directors to be female. Then once we started really doing our research and getting more of these incredible artists coming through, it became apparent, it was like this incredible pool of talent that is just the best, most qualified people for the job.
It was really so rewarding to just feel that hunger and feel that passion, and feel how hard they've had to work in order to get to where they are. Just the creative inputs that each of them brought to the table is so, it's just incredible. It really was so rewarding to work with these artists. Yeah, they're just the best people for the job, that was it.
Behind the camera and having this culture of inclusion we had on set, it made for a much more safe environment – just an overall sense of safety and inclusion that led to a much more collaborative environment on the set, that toward the end of the series we kind of took for granted as normal. And then when you got back to working at other jobs, "No, that wasn't normal." That was something that was really special and unique to this show.
We have Melissa Rosenberg and Allie Goss, and some of these other powerhouse, Raelle Tucker, women who are kind of running the show – not "kind of", they are running the show on this one… It was very eye-opening and refreshing, to me, to be involved in something like that. It felt like part of a little piece of history, swinging the pendulum in the direction that it really needed to go.
How has being a part of this show and being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe changed your life and your career? I imagine it had a pretty big impact.
Yeah. I'm very grateful for my opportunity to be involved in not just the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in very specifically Jessica Jones. In my opinion, there is nowhere else within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that I'd rather be – except maybe Wakanda! It's completely changed my whole experience within the industry and as an actor.
I'm really, really grateful that it was this show that I landed on, because the writing on this show is just so deep, and layered, and nuanced, and funny, and sexy, and dark, and all of those things. I feel like I definitely got incredibly lucky, and I've worked really fucking hard to be here, too! It's just a joy and it's totally, definitely changed my life. I think this season will do so even more.
Now that you've established yourself with this and people are so much more familiar with you, what's next on the list? What are you looking at around the corner for your career?
I mean I've got a rad little independent feature out, that'll be released soon, called Bernard and Huey, which was the last cool project that I did, and expanding the horizons of my career. Some really fantastic creatives on that, like David Koechner and Jim Rash, and Mae Whitman. Anyway, that's out. That was kind of very much in the small-budget, independent feature world. I'm looking to either expand in that space and do something more. Really for me, it always comes down to the character and the writing. If it's written well, if they're spending like $500,000 on it, or $500 million.
For me, it just comes down to the character. Is this a character that is going to enthrall me as an artist and as a creative. I view each character that comes through as a vehicle for personal growth. If I can't do it as Eka Darville in my everyday life, if I can't inhabit a certain archetype or a certain way of being, or I shy away from a particular experience, then how the fuck am I going to do that when I'm in front of like 160-odd crew members and a camera pointed in my face on a set, under this high pressure environment? When these roles come through, if it's something that makes me uncomfortable, then I want to lean into that, because that makes me a better human being. I guess that is a long-winded answer to that question.
On superhero shows in general, it seems like characters tend to end up with powers at one point or another, although not so much in the Marvel/Netflix world. Would you like some powers?
Yeah, I think Eka Darville would absolutely like powers. Yeah, I think Malcolm too on some level. I don't know if he so much wants to be like a crazy strength superpower, that kind of superhero. I think if he had a power, I think it would be the ability to make other people feel, in a conflict, I think the ability to put somebody else into somebody else's shoes. I think that would be Malcolm's power of choice.1comments
Jessica Jones Season Two is currently streaming on Netflix. Luke Cage Season Two is scheduled to release on the service in June.