Executive produced by showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Jessica Jones (available to stream at Netflix) is back for a third season, as Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) crosses paths with a highly intelligent and very deadly killer. At the same time, Jessica has cut the newly powered Trish (Rachael Taylor) out of her life, as she struggles to live up to her mother’s expectations for being a hero, but in order to survive the madman who wants to put an end to the super-powered, the two must find a way to repair their fractured friendship and work together.
At the Los Angeles press day for the show’s final season, Collider got the opportunity to sit down and chat 1-on-1 with actress Carrie-Anne Moss (who plays Jeri Hogarth, a powerful attorney whose ALS diagnosis is making her feel powerless) about Hogarth’s journey in Season 3, how she found out that this would be the final season of the series, moving on from a character, why she enjoys playing Hogarth, exploring her ALS diagnosis, revisiting the past while the other characters are trying to figure out their futures, the Hogarth-Jessica Jones dynamic this season, whether she felt closure with her character, and how nice it’s been to have the fan support.
Collider: Did you have any idea that where Hogarth goes in Season 3 is where she would end up?
CARRIE-ANNE MOSS: Well, yeah, they really pitch it to you, in the beginning. They pitch the arc of the show and what they’re thinking, which I appreciate, so I knew, especially about the potential love interest for her. Not everything they pitched happened, which is interesting. Things change, but I had a pretty clear idea.
Was there anything that they had pitched that you were disappointed didn’t happen?
MOSS: No. When people pitch it, especially when they’re such good writers, you’re just like, “Oh, I’ve never thought of that.” I don’t have that gift of telling the story that way, so I’m just open.
When and how did you find out that Season 3 would be the end of the story for these characters?
MOSS: Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel TV, called and let me know. He’s such a great guy. A few of the other shows had been canceled, so I had an inkling and I was prepared. It wasn’t a shocker.
As an actor, at some point, you have to say goodbye to and move on from every character that you play.
MOSS: Every show ends. I’m so unattached to any of it. I was like, “Okay.”
Are there characters that are harder to leave behind than others, or do you just focus on finding the next one?
MOSS: Yeah. You just have to train yourself to move forward and move on, and never be too attached because it’s that kind of a business. You’re never going to know, and that’s just how it is. Three seasons is a lot.
And it feels like all of these characters have gone on quite a journey, since day one.
MOSS: They’ve grown, and that can take years. I look at some of the shows that I watch, that have been on forever, and you watch the first couple of seasons and you see that it takes awhile for people to get into their groove and for the writers to click in. So, I feel really grateful for the whole thing. It’s been fun.
What have you enjoyed about playing this character, from day one, and what have you grown to appreciate about her?
MOSS: I like playing her. She’s fun, she’s manipulative, and she’s so tough. However I would want to play her, in any given moment, to get what she wants, there’s no handbook on that because she’s so good at doing that. That was fun. I loved playing her. I loved being a part of this whole show. Dealing with the illness that she deals with, and what that brings up for her, as someone who’s so controlling, was painful to look at. I would have moments of working on it, where I’d really have to step away from it.
She’s been able to ignore her illness, up until this point, but we’re seeing her having to deal with it now. Does that affect her, whether she realizes it or not?
MOSS: Yeah. She’s in a lot of denial. She’s so used to living in a certain way. She’s not a victim. So, it’s a tricky thing because she’s asking for some very vulnerable things, in the beginning. She’s really showing her humanity and how scared she is, and she’s being rejected and forced to face herself. And then, she pivots and it’s like, “Okay, I’m just gonna figure it out then.” So, she soldiers on and deals with it. That was definitely interesting to play.
It seems as though, while everybody else is looking forward and trying to figure out what their future is, she’s the one that’s looking back and revisiting her past.
MOSS: Yeah. I always write in my journal, as the character, but then I walk away and let it go, so I don’t remember much. But looking at Kith, this old love, and her really representing hopeful times, it’s like when you’re looking at the future of what’s in store and wanting to be with that person. She reminds her of when things were good and when life was full of possibility. She wants that familiarity with someone that she knows is a good person and a stand-up human being, even when she’s not one. She just wants to be with someone where, when she’s with her, she remembers that, at one point, she had a more innocent life.
What was it like to play that dynamic with Sarita Choudhury?
MOSS: Oh, god, I love her. It’s so funny, I had been thinking about her because I had just binge-watched a bunch of episodes of Homeland, which came out when I was having my children, so I hadn’t watched TV for a long time. And then, I was away in Ireland and Norway, shooting Wisting, and I started to watch Homeland. I just love her acting. So, when I got told that it would her, I was just like, “Of course, it is. Wow, I really love that actress, and she’s coming.” We became really good friends, and it was such a pleasure. She’s so good.
There are some very interesting character dynamics, this season. How would you describe things between Hogarth and Jessica?
MOSS: It’s different. I’m more dysfunctional family. Hogarth goes to Jessica for the most intimate thing and says, “Hey, will you help me out?” And Jessica is like, “Really?!” I love the scenes with her, and I don’t think there were enough. I enjoy the dynamic between Hogarth and Jessica. Jeri wants what she wants. Even in her vulnerability and pain, it’s not like she’s thinking about anybody else, or how they’d feel. It’s like she can’t see that. She doesn’t have the capacity for compassion. What do they call that, narcissistic psychopathic? I constantly think about a lot of people and their well-being, and how my choices of my going to work, for instance, are gonna affect my family and each of my children, at their different ages. To play someone who never thinks about anyone else but themselves is completely different for me. It’s fun to play someone so different than you.
What do you enjoy about the relationship between Hogarth and Malcolm, who she’s really taken under her wing?
MOSS: I loved watching him step into his manhood, in a way. She knows that he’s good at what he does, and she has him do her dirty work, which is very dirty, at times, and really crosses the line. It’s fun. It’s all about what helps her, and about making someone feel like they have that. It’s so manipulative. I don’t think there’s anything that she does without that being behind it.
I’ve often wondered if she has any reflective moments at home, when nobody else is looking.
MOSS: I don’t think so. Maybe with Kith, a little bit.
When you agree to do business with a serial killer, there’s no way to pass him off as a good guy. What was that like to deal with?
MOSS: I feel like she’s just tenacious. She’s just not afraid. Even in Season 1, when she decides to go with Kilgrave, she doesn’t believe, in a million years, that his power will work on her. She’s thinks that she’s beyond everything, and that nothing can touch her or hurt her. She makes these incredibly crazy choices because she just really wants to bring attention to herself, but also just sees herself as if nothing can touch her, even though she’s being touched by her health, in a way that she can’t control.