The ruthless Bullseye has been revealed as a central villain of Daredevil season 3, and actor Wilson Bethel tells Hypable about the challenging role.
Bethel’s role as Agent Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter (aka Bullseye) was unveiled at New York Comic Con, along with a new teaser exploring the character. While the preview leaves plenty to the imagination, a few points become vividly clear: Dex is angry, Dex is frighteningly capable, and therefore Dex is dangerous to the degree that he can impress even Wilson Fisk.
But as frightening as Bullseye is, the new Daredevil season 3 featurette also suggests a tormented nature behind the ruthless killer. Speaking with Hypable at a press event, actor Wilson Bethel admitted that approaching a character with such a dark combination of demons and deadly skill was “terrifying.”
“This was by far the most nervous I’ve ever been to approach a character, to approach a job,” Bethel says. “Partly because the character is as complicated as he is, and [partly because] the writing was of a caliber that you felt like you can hopefully do some kind of justice to it. But yeah, I had a hell of a time trying to find my way in.”
To do that, Bethel turned to research about the kind of demons that plague Poindexter. “I read a few books going into this job about the experience of psychoses and schizophrenia. It’s some pretty dark shit, you know?” Eventually, Bethel decided to get out of his head, in order to get into Poindexter’s. “You show up on the day,” he reflects, “and you do what you do.”
And right from the start, Daredevil season 3 showrunner Erik Oleson was all too willing to help Bethel sink into Poindexter’s frame of mind.
“When I went into audition, it was Erik and Jeff Loeb in the room with the casting director reading with me,” Bethel recalls. “And [Oleson] had me read this epic monologue which was like six minutes long, like a dozen times. And literally after every take, they were like, “That was great. Now do it like your mom just died.” “Okay. That was great. Now do it like you’re itching.””
Bethel repeated the monologue (which Oleson succinctly called “Dark as shit!”) over and over again. But though the experience was grueling, Bethel feels that it prepared him well for the rollercoaster that is Bullseye.
“In hindsight, I felt in some ways that was really good jumping off [point] going for the character,” he says. “This is a guy who’s gonna be going all over the place over the course of the season. And I think they wanted to make sure I was if not capable, at least game.”
“I feel like this was, in some ways, was the best indication I could have had for what kind of a character it was going to be over the course of the season,” he adds.
Bethel’s journey to Bullseye wasn’t all gloom and grim psychology, though; there were a few lighter-hearted surprises along the way. Oleson divulges that Bethel “showed up at his audition and he didn’t know who the character was,” thanks to Marvel’s patented code of secrecy. After the screen-tests and endless readings (Bethel “crushed it,” the showrunner says) Oleson recounts with relish that he “got to call him up and say, “Guess who you’re playing?””
When Oleson revealed that the character was Bullseye, Bethel let out a “scream on the other end of the phone.”
“[I was] like a 12 year old schoolgirl,” Bethel laughs.
If Bullseye’s new preview is any indication, Daredevil season 3 will probably feature considerably more screaming than smiling… at least from his victims. Poindexter himself seems content to smile as he tears Matthew Murdock’s world down around his ears.
Daredevil season 3 will be released on Oct. 19 at Netflix.com/MarvelsDaredevil.