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Krysten Ritter Almost Bit Through Her Own Tongue While Filming Jessica Jones Sea

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Final Dread, the Unquiet Earth, Ghostland, Armageddon
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« on: February 27, 2019, 08:49:10 pm »

Krysten Ritter Almost Bit Through Her Own Tongue While Filming Jessica Jones Season Two
By Abraham Riesman

Krysten Ritter
How does Krysten Ritter find the time? In addition to working on Netflixís Marvel outings Jessica Jones and The Defenders for 12 months straight, sheís also managed to juggle careers as a novelist (her debut, Bonfire, came out last year); a producer (her company, Silent Machine, just landed a pilot order); and ó perhaps most important ó a professional knitter (peep this infinity scarf). Ahead of Jessica Jones season two, which premieres this Thursday, Vulture caught up with Ritter to talk about the benefits of exhaustion, her thoughts on a Defenders sequel, and the fight-choreography mishap that almost took her tongue off.

I have to ask, did I spy you wearing a Krysten RitterĖknitted sweater in the first episode of the new season? A friend of mine whoís a fan said the pattern looked familiar.
I wish! No. Hereís the thing: I would have to work really hard, because we need seven of everything that I wear. I think itís seven. Itís me, my stand-in, my stunt double, a backup, and then a larger size and a smaller size. But thereís just too many. I did not, unfortunately, but maybe [co-star] Rachael [Taylor] ends up wearing something. I always try to get a piece of mine in the show. If we do a season three, I will 100 percent try to get that thing in the show.

Your knitting fills a lot of your Instagram these days.
Yeah, I love it. Honestly, Iíd rather be knitting than doing most things. I love it. I like creating something with my hands, and itís also something that I can do anywhere while Iím doing all of my other side hustles. Yíknow, Iíve got a lot of **** going on, and itís just one of those things that I love to do.

Do you go back and watch old episodes of Jessica Jones or The Defenders? Do you ever do sort of a Ö

No, no. Iím good. [Laughs.] I saw the first season, for sure, and I was proud of it. But I donít go back to it and watch it. In fact, I was at a girlfriendís house the other day and they got one of these new TVs thatís super thin to the wall and theyíre like, ďKrysten, check out our new TV!Ē and they just randomly put on Jessica Jones episode 13 and it was HD and I was like, ďI canít **** watch this. I canít.Ē [Laughs.] It made me so uncomfortable. It makes me not want to act ever again. Whatever. You learn from it, but Iím not, like, going back and studying it or anything. I havenít even seen this season yet.

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What did you make of the critical response to The Defenders?
Well, I think Jessica was pretty well received. People were excited to see her again, so that made us happy because Jessica is the next up. Yíknow, I had a great time doing The Defenders and honestly, it was such a good experience that I would even do it again. I donít think we are doing it again. It was never intentioned to do it again, but, you know, if I was given another opportunity, I would. My heart is with my show because of the subject matter and because of the great drama that we get to do and the personal issues that we explore. For me, that is more the type of content that I enjoy as a viewer and as a performer. My heart is in Jessica Jones, but I did have a great time doing The Defenders with the guys. We had a good time. It is what it is.

You started shooting this season right after finishing The Defenders. Does the exhaustion help on some level?
One hundred percent. Yes. Itís the exhaustion that you then put in the character. And youíre right, I did just go straight from The Defenders right into Jessica. But what happens is, you just get a little bit better at bouncing back. In season one, I got really depressed because itís a very dark headspace. Weíre dealing with really dark issues and it can weigh on you. Once youíre acting every single day for 12 months like I just did, you get better at bouncing back. It gets easier to access things. You can flip in and out of things. Itís like a muscle. The more youíre working out your muscles, the stronger they get.

Your showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg, decided to have an all-female directing crew this time around. Did that make for a different acting experience?
Yeah, totally. I will say our first season was also Ö S.J. Clarkson did our pilot and episode two and we had frequent female directors, and our show is run by Mel, so I didnít feel a huge difference. I will say that when guest stars come in, a lot of people comment on our set. About how our vibe is so different. Or our set feels so feminine or so female because the energy is really positive. Mel and I are all fire, heart, and passion. That translates and you feel that. Thereís no ego stuff, thereís no infighting. Itís a really positive, warm set. When I have to be more vulnerable or the subject matter is more uncomfortable, I definitely feel more comfortable talking to a woman about that stuff that I do with a dude. Like technical sex scenes. [Laughs.] Those are way easier! ďOkay, this is what youíre going to be wearing, this is what youíre going to do.Ē Thereís a comfortability there when you have to vulnerable, that I prefer to have those conversations with women.

Did you have any mishaps doing fight choreography?
Yes, all the time. Unfortunately, itís a numbers game at a certain point. When youíre working for 12 months straight, youíre doing so many stunts, of course youíre bound to have some accidents. One wrong move or one wrong step and youíre going to hurt yourself. I punched somebody by accident. I was a few inches off my mark and he wasnít wearing a pad on his chest and the guy was built like a tank, so then my knuckles blew up and swelled up. It looked worse than it actually was. Another time, I basically got punched in the chin. I bit almost through my tongue.

Oh my God!
Yeah, it was awful. That was in the early episodes of this season. It was just one wrong move ó a guy went to push me or pick me up and I got his shoulder under my jaw and I totally saw stars. What really **** me up was the blood, because I had bit my tongue so bad that I thought it was worse than it was. But your tongue heals really fast. You couldnít see it, there was no damage to my face, so I kept working. [Laughs.] But, yeah, thereís a lot of bruises. A lot of bruised knees from flying around. Now I know anytime you have to do anything, just put the knee pads on. Even if itís just, like, grabbing something that fell. Just put the knee pads on! Anything can happen! I have so many photos where my elbows and knees are so bruised. I wear it like a badge of honor.

One of the most beloved figures among the Jessica Jones fandom is Eka Darville, who plays Malcolm. Is he as adorable in real life as he is in the show?
Oh my God, he is so edible. Heís heaven. And heís such a good guy. I love him. He is great on the show this year. He has a bigger story line, we get to see him with Jessica more. He, in real life, is just a doll. Total hippie. Lives in Venice with his beautiful children and his beautiful wife. Heís one of my favorite human beings.

What does one talk about with Carrie-Anne Moss when the cameras arenít rolling?
We talk about essential oils. We talk about all the New Age, cutting-edge wellness tools. We talk about feelings and how to run your household. She is a yoga teacher. She teaches Kundalini yoga. She has a book, she has something called the Fierce Grace Collective, which is like a portal for women and self-help. Sheís, like, on another level. So thereís tons to talk about. Sometimes when weíre on set together, itíll be like, Youíve got to pull us apart.

Sheís your guru.
She is. Everything in my life that has helped me is all from her.

I have a terrible social-media addiction, and youíre one of the best Instagram accounts I follow. How do you keep yourself from being completely Instagram addicted?
Iíve been using it recently because now weíre gearing up to promote Jessica Jones, so I start to gear up, but I didnít even look at it the whole December and January. I knit, so having other things to do besides getting into an Instagram hole, I think is really helpful. I meditate and I knit. Anything to get you off your phone for a few minutes. You should start meditating. Get off it.

I do meditate! I just went on a silent meditation retreat a few months ago.
Oh, really? Where?

In Connecticut. I went to a Jewish silent meditation retreat, if you can believe that such a thing exists.
I can believe that they exist. How long was it?

It was for a week.
Thatís amazing.

I didnít do anything other than meditate and pray for a week. Itís hard to keep the practice up, but Iím trying. Making the time to sit and do nothing is surprisingly difficult.
I know! And then if you go to a meditation class Ö I go to Mindful, or in L.A., I go to the Den. Itís expensive. Iím like, I just paid $25 to just sit there for 30 minutes and not be on my phone.

You mentioned your side hustles earlier. What are you working on right now?
Iím cooking up some stuff. My company, Silent Machine, got a pilot green-lit at Pop Network, so we just shot that and weíre in the edit now. So, fingers crossed that we will get to go to series. Thatís a comedy and we have a great cast put together. Iím working on some new knitting designs. Iíve got a few other things up my sleeve. Iím doing also the press tour for Jessica Jones, like, starting now. Pretty full-on for the next couple of weeks. And then I may ó I may take a vacation. [Laughs.]

Where would you go off to?
I donít know! I donít know. Iíve been Googling a lot. Iíve been doing a lot of research. They say that researching a vacation releases the same endorphins as actually going on the vacation, so right now Iím just enjoying looking at the pictures of people on the beach.

Might another novel be in the offing at some point?
I hope so, yeah. Iíve been working on an idea. Yíknow, novels take a hundred years. So, I hope so. I hope so. I really loved Bonfire. Then, of course, Iíll start promoting that again for the paperback. I hope I have time to do it! Weíll see.

I donít know how you juggle all of this stuff. I barely get my one job done and here you are, making us all look bad.
I mean, Iím a pretty hard-core person. [Laughs.] When I get into something, I go pretty ham. But Iím tired, if that makes you feel any better.

This interview has been edited and condensed.
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