Landing a plum role in Marvel’s first Netflix series DAREDEVIL is an achievement in and of itself, but Amy Rutberg has proven to be a versatile asset that can meld into the Marvel fabric of all its series. With characters larger than life populating the Marvel universe, it takes charisma and nuanced delivery to add to the richly layered DAREDEVIL world and Amy delivers. Her performance as Marci Stahl has been delightful. As she builds on her characters and grows in her career, it is a pleasure to see what she brings to screen next. In an exclusive interview, Amy talks about the Marvel magic that has infused her life and how she is growing and learning as a working film and television performer.
What was the initial appeal for you about portraying Marci Stahl and working on Netflix’s DAREDEVIL?
AMY: Initially, I had no idea I was auditioning for DAREDEVIL because it was under a code name and it was the first of the Marvel Netflix shows. I was absolutely crazy about the scene and the character. It wasn’t until I was cast that I found out it was DAREDEVIL. Frankly, I was shocked to get the job, because I had just had a baby and thought I would never work again. Shooting that first scene in the lobby of Marci’s law office was intimidating. I had never met Elden [Henson] or Deborah Ann [Woll] and had no idea who Foggy Nelson or Karen Page were. Everything was slowly revealed to me over the course of Season 1.
How would you describe who Marci is?
AMY: I like Karen’s description from Season 1: “A meat grinder in a pencil skirt” — makes me laugh every time I think of it. Marci is so much more though, fiercely loyal and true to herself.
What do you most admire about her?
AMY: She is trying to hustle in a man’s world and I can appreciate that. She is the hardest working person in the room and doesn’t apologize for who she is and what she likes. We are similar in that way. I think Marci is deeply protective of Foggy, her boyfriend from law school. She loves him very much. No one will compare to him. He does something to her. He is the yin to her yang.
What was it like working alongside such a talented ensembles in both DAREDEVIL and THE DEFENDERS?
AMY: I feel very lucky. I mostly work with Elden, but on THE DEFENDERS, I got to work with Carrie Anne Moss. She is definitely someone I admire and it took everything in me not to call her “Trinity” and totally geek out. She was lovely and gracious. She has four kids back in LA. I can’t believe that. Impressive chick. Reminds me of Mary Stuart Masterson, who I got to work with on BLINDSPOT and is also a total rock star playing strong badass women, while having four kids at home. Not easy.
What is it like working with Elden Henson, who portrays Foggy?
AMY: Elden is a real pro. He’s been working on sets as an actor since he was a toddler. He knows everyone. He has so many stories I like to pry out of him between takes. I feel very comfortable with Elden, which is fortunate given our onscreen relationship. Once the cameras roll, it’s very easy to look into his eyes and feel all the feels. I think I’m also good for him, because I’m still a kid in a candy shop when it comes to being on set, which brings out a different side to him.
What do you love about the Foggy and Marci relationship?
AMY: The loyalty and friendship. Marci is always straight and brutally honest with Foggy, more so than Matt or Karen in a way. She has his best interest at heart because she loves him and knows him. She may not always be right about what he needs, but it comes from the right place — protection and love.
To date, what has been your favorite part about working on DAREDEVIL?
AMY: Feeling Mike Coulter’s biceps during a photo at the season 2 premiere…can I say that? Probably not. Let’s go with “the writing.”
What do you think viewers will appreciate when they watch the upcoming DAREDEVIL Season 3?
AMY: I think this is a sneaky way of asking for spoilers. I’m not falling for it!
As an actor, what has been the one thing you have taken away from the experience of working on DAREDEVIL?
AMY: I was surprised to find some of the best and most complex female characters on a super hero show. Go Marvel!!!!
In your mind, what has been the secret to the show’s success?
AMY: The writing. It focuses on the character while still making the best action scenes on television. Also, Charlie is perfectly cast. Joe Quesada visualized Charlie Cox from BOARDWALK EMPIRE as Daredevil, before they even knew there would be a Daredevil TV show. Interesting fact. Hope it’s not a secret!
You are also appearing on NBC’s TAKEN. What was the appeal for you about portraying Anna Warren and working on the show?
AMY: This is a totally fun character, different than anything I’ve played before. Anna is Southern senator’s wife, who gets kidnapped at an international conference in Brussels. Events take an unexpected turn.
What is it like working alongside Clive Standen and Jennifer Beals?
AMY: Loved working with Clive! He has such a sweet disposition, and a boyish sense of humor and wonder. He also has pretty impressive work ethic as well. Sadly, I did not get a chance to work with Jennifer Beals. OH! I do know Jennifer GREY, we have the same trainer and she is really nice. Probably doesn’t count…
What have you taken away from the experience of working on TAKEN?
AMY: Such a fun opportunity to be part of the actual action! I don’t get to do that on DAREDEVIL. I mostly sit and talk on that show.
What has surprised you most about your career so far?
AMY: That as I get older, it gets better and more interesting. When I first moved to New York at 17, I thought I’d just do Broadway musicals for a living. If I had just done that I would have grown out of “the ingénue” by now and I’d be doing regional theatre in Florida. Which now that I think of it doesn’t sound so bad…. good weather, beach, playing poker with seniors all day. But I’m very grateful I found television (or television found me) especially during this exciting time of storytelling through streaming and cable. It’s also rewarding to be a small part of the next chapter for women in television. There are more roles for us than ever. You certainly don’t see that in theatre.
At this stage of your career, what do you think you have learned from the roles and projects you have worked on?
AMY: From the business side, look at your acting career as a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t sweat the small stuff and try to learn something new from every job you work on. Creatively — especially for women — it’s your job to layer the character. There is always more to find than what is on the page of script. Look at it like a puzzle. Audiences are smart and appreciate complexity. No one is black-and-white. The gray area of a person is the most interesting. That’s what we want to watch from week to week.
What is your proudest achievement from your career so far?
AMY: My satisfaction comes from being as busy as I am. “Making it” as an actor has about the same statistical probability as becoming a major league baseball player… it’s really hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Doing what makes me happy and earning a good living at it, is all the satisfaction I need. Waking up every day and having a job or a great audition to go to is my proudest achievement.
What are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
AMY: Telling interesting stories and having choices about the projects I do is a great privilege in this business. I don’t take that for granted. “Fame” has no appeal to me. I have famous friends. That’s the worst part of their job.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten about working as an actor?
AMY: So many things! Here are a few of my favorites: “Most executive producers started their careers in the business bringing coffee to actors on set.” “You have little to no control over whether you get cast or how the project turns out, so just do your best work every day and forget about it.” Pretty sure this is a Robert Wagner quote: “Once you are on set, you are getting paid to wait not act. The acting you would do for free.”
What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
AMY: Try out other aspects of the entertainment industry. If you like one of those… do that instead. Acting is a lot of heartbreak. Oh and always bring your own mascara to set. No one does your lashes like you do.
At a time when women’s voices are rising to be heard and respected around the country and world, what do you recommend your fans do to lend support in that endeavor?
AMY: Easy. Spend your money and viewing time on projects with women on the poster. I’ve been thinking a lot about Jane Lynch recently. Talented and unique actress who, when she was hustling for jobs, her agent would pitch her for roles that were supposed to be middle-aged white guys. Wouldn’t always work out, but you’d be surprised how often casting directors, writers, and directors default a role to a middle-aged white guy just because it’s what pops into their head. When they cast Jane Lynch instead, they got a more interesting and memorable character. This is thankfully changing with the much over-due push for diversity, but as audience members, we need to put our money where our mouths are: do we really need to see another film or TV show about seven white guys sitting around a table discussing whodunit?
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
AMY: Totally. “John Glaser Loves Gear” on truTV. TAKEN on March 2nd on NBC, and a super secret project I’ve been working on since November. Wish I could say what it is… but fans are reallllly going to like it.
To see more of Amy’s fantastic work, be sure to catch her in an all new episode of TAKEN on Friday, March 2nd at 9:00 p.m. on NBC and watch for the upcoming Season 2 of “John Glaser Loves Gear” on truTV and Season 3 of DAREDEVIL, which will be released later in 2018 on Netflix. More information and sneak peeks about NBC’s TAKEN can be found by following the show on Twitter @TakenNBC. You can also follow what is happening in Amy’s career by following her on Twitter @AmyRutberg.
TAKEN “Charm School” preview:
Amy’s interview with Marvel: