Krysten Ritter on Marvel—and the Unexpected Hobby That Entertains Her on Set
Krysten Ritter does not have time to be a couch potato. She told us so herself.
Between two TV shows, a book, and her own personal knitting hobby, Ritter's got her hands full of creative projects, but she's loving every second of it. The titular star of Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix is working on Season 2 of the series as well as her second Netflix show, The Defenders, which brings together Ritter's character and three other superheroes on an Avengers-like team.
VIDEO: Marvel's 'Jessica Jones': David Tennant to Appear in Season 2
InStyle.com caught up with Ritter at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Saks Fifth Avenue's 10022 Shoe Mecca this week to chat about Jessica Jones, knitting, and all things Marvel. Read the interview below, and catch her new show, The Defenders, on Netflix now.
The Defenders premieres Friday on Netflix, and you're reprising your role of Jessica Jones on a new crime-fighting team. Jessica can be kind of a loner sometimes, so what’s the team dynamic like for her specifically?
Well, Jessica doesn’t really play well with others, so the dynamic is her calling everybody on their shit. But she’s very funny and brings a sarcastic bite that you would expect from Jessica Jones. Obviously she knows Luke Cage very well, very intimately. She also forms a sort of unlikely friendship with Daredevil, which is a fun dynamic for me.
And then Jessica and Iron Fist are on completely different trajectories. They’re in very different places, and she’s calling him [out]. So that’s mostly the dynamic. She’s reluctant to participate. The group is reluctant to even get together, but at their core, while they’re all loners, they will show up when they’re needed. And I think that’s what gets them together is that at their core, they are good people, and they will stand up for the little guy.
Jessica in particular is known for her serious personality. Do you think you’re like her in real life?
No, no. And I think it’s funny because the crew and the cast, we all kind of make fun of how I’m in character, and then afterwards I’m giggling and knitting and wearing bright orange sneakers.
You knit on set?
Oh yeah, I’m really into knitting. I have weird hobbies and things like that. I’m also into essential oils; I’m very unlike the character [Jessica]. I’m much more goofy and silly, and she just broods and kind of lives in a dark headspace.
Is it fun playing a character so different from yourself?
It’s awesome. It explores different parts of yourself; it explores different experiences you’ve had along the way. I love Jessica because she’s so strong, and she’s so unlike any other character we’ve seen. And I love that she’s dirty and she’s no wallflower. She just does what’s right for her, and that’s something that excites me.
You’ve got a lot going on with The Defenders, Season 2 two of Jessica Jones, and your first book coming out soon.
Yeah, Bonfire’s coming out 11/7/17. I’m very excited.
How do you keep a semblance of a work-life balance with so much happening?
Everyday you try something new. So I just try to keep myself healthy physically and nutritionally. I also try to find moments where I can knit and read the new hot book. I work really hard; it doesn’t just happen by sitting on the couch. I don’t even remember the last time I sat on the couch. I have not sat on the couch in months.
But I’m so fortunate that my job, to me, doesn’t really feel like a job. I love it. I’m a creative person. I love to write, I love to act, I love to perform, I love to create things with my hands, so I do all of these things that are kind of like hobbies in a way. They’re things that I love, so it’s not like a work-life balance, it’s just a work-life marriage.
That’s a great way of looking at it. What made you want to write a book?
I read a lot of books, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Years ago, I wrote a book proposal for something else entirely, different content, different idea, and I just enjoyed that process. It felt to me not unlike preparing for a role with the kind of character work that I do. I’ve written pilots, I wrote a movie. This was kind of a way to try something new and jump in and not be afraid. It’s just one of those things, I had this idea and I was like 'Let me try to do this as a book and see how it goes, see where I fare.'
You can pre-order Bonfire here, or buy it when it hits stands on November 7.