Actor Charlie Cox was given an award for his portrayal of a visually impaired character on Netflix's Daredevil, and his new role on AMC+'s Kin comes with fresh challenges to navigate. Cox plays Michael, a man released from prison who begins having seizures in times of stress. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com earlier this month, the English actor discussed the process of preparing for that role.
Cox said that his process for portraying any medical condition begins with lots and lots of research. "I contacted an epilepsy foundation and I spoke with a couple of people there. There's a lot of amazing stuff on YouTube that I watched," he said. "You know, it's about that kind of stuff — like when playing someone who's visually impaired, it's about the research, really. It's about doing as much research as possible." Cox also admitted that so far, he has not gotten feedback from the general population when it comes to his depiction of seizures.
Cox said that one of the challenges that preoccupied him both on Kin and Daredevil was trying to imagine his performance from the outside. He said that in both cases, he "can't see what it looks like." The solution was collaboration and being completely open to feedback on that aspect of his work.
"So, one of the things I did on this was I would [record] videos that I thought were representative of the seizures that [Michael] would have — what they would look like," he explained. "I would send videos to the creators — to Peter and the director and the producers — and say, 'this is what I'm thinking. Do you think that's appropriate? Is this the kind of thing you're imagining?' And also, 'when we're filming it, you're going to have to tell me if it looks accurate — if it's a good portrayal or not.' On a production like this, you don't have time to do it and then watch it back. It's a very tight schedule; you have to keep going."
So far, Kin has received positive reviews from critics who saw it early, and Cox's performance, in particular, has been lauded. In 2015, Cox was given a Helen Keller Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Foundation for the Blind for his portrayal of Matt Murdock in Daredevil. It seems likely that this was a contributing factor in him landing the role of Michael in Kin in the first place.
Kin is a family crime drama set in Ireland, which also stars Aiden Gillen, Ciarán Hinds, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Clare Dunne, among others. It is available exclusively on AMC+ in the U.S.