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Interview with Amy Rutberg

‘Daredevil,’ ‘NCIS: NOLA’ Actor Talks Strong Female Roles

Amy Rutberg plays attorney Marci Stahl in the Netflix series <em>Daredevil</em>. “They gave me a bigger arc” on Season 3, said Rutberg of her role. “I’m not a super hero. Not yet,” she teased.
Courtesy Photo

Actress Amy Rutberg has been lighting up the small screen since the late 1990s, appearing in such shows as Everwood, Law & Order, and The Good Wife. Since 2015, she’s been a television mainstay with featured roles in Blindspot, The Blacklist, Taken, and NCIS: NOLA. She’s also well known in the Marvel television universe as high-powered attorney Marci Stahl from the Daredevil franchise, which returned for a much-anticipated third season in October on Netflix.

The Los Angeles native began pursuing an acting career at 17 years old and has worked steadily since in both L.A. and New York. Though her character Megan Sutter died on NBC’s NCIS: NOLA last season, she’s making an exciting return to the series for its 100th episode — and beyond. Season 3 of Netflix’s Daredevil also promises new opportunities for Marci Stahl, who announced that she’d been taken on as an attorney for another Marvel law firm: Hogarth, Chao, and Benowitz, from the Netflix/Marvel series, Jessica Jones. With exciting arcs for her characters on both shows, Rutberg’s star in on the rise.

Congratulations on 100 episodes of NCIS: NOLA. That’s a huge milestone. What can we expect from this extravaganza? I was on NCIS: NOLA last season, and my character died … so I was pretty shocked that I was coming back. I’m basically the angel of death to Scott Bakula. I exist in his head and follow him around for the season. They get really deep character-wise this season.… And this is NCIS: New Orleans, so it’s got that mystical edge to it. It’s unclear if I’m good, if I’m bad — it’s an interesting plot twist. … I help Dwayne Pride [Bakula’s character] look at his life and the decisions he’s made. … You’re going to see a side of Dwayne that you’ve never seen before. They go into his past, and it’s pretty fascinating since we’ve followed this character for five years, but we don’t know where he came from. We also have an incredible band on for the 100th episode: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.

You also have a foothold in the comic-book universe. I play Marci Stahl in the Netflix series Daredevil. This season is much anticipated; it’s been two and a half years since Season 2. I started on that show as a guest star. It’s been a real delight to learn about this whole world. The fans are hard-core, and it’s been quite the ride.

Do you make appearances at events like Comic Con? I haven’t yet, but I’m going to after Season 3 of Daredevil. They gave me a bigger arc this season, so now it’s time. I’m so excited to see the fans. I don’t know if they’ll dress up like me. … I’m not a super hero. Not yet.

Do you feel that Marci is a responsible representation of a strong female character? I have felt that way from the minute I read the first scene. … What stood out to me about Marci is that she’s so unapologetically ambitious. She’s witty, she’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, and, especially in Season 3, she’s got quite the heart.

I am thrilled at the complexity of female characters that we’ve seen in the last few years — that we are going to continue to see with everything that’s happening with the #MeToo movement.… When I moved to New York 10 years ago, I remember thinking how unfair it was that every time I passed a Broadway theater, the cast would be 10 guys and a token female.… But I’ve noticed a shift. And now in my thirties, there are more interesting roles available to me than there were in my twenties. In my twenties, it was a version of the same thing: the girlfriend or the quirky best friend. In my thirties, an entire world has opened up. There are the lawyers, the doctors — and I believe that right now networks are doing everything they can to make those roles female, and to push for diversity. And that’s just amazing.

How do you balance personal and work life? I’m married, and I have a 4-year-old daughter. The balance is tough! My husband is a busy media executive, so it’s a shuffle! But I’m so proud that I can say to my daughter, “Mom loves her job. When you grow up, you’re also going to love your job.” I like to see the wheels in her head working and thinking about that. It’s fun.

What do you do in your free time? I got into boxing through the Marvel trainer. … It’s a great stress relief. I feel so strong and empowered. … It’s addictive.

Do you get to do any fight choreography on set? I’ve done some action on other shows … on Daredevil, I’m more of a sit-in-the-bar-and-chat kind of character. Maybe in Season 3!

When you become a superhero. You never know!

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