Eka Darville is happy, funny, and a super chill dude from Australia. But, you would never know that if you’re a fan of Netflix’s Jessica Jones and The Defenders. His roles as Malcom Ducasse takes him through one of the most visceral and relatable arcs in the Marvel Universe. Get a taste of that hippy vibe from a dude that loves music as much as his two sons.
Netflix is known for turning some of Marvel’s lesser known franchises into smash hits. What is it about Jessica Jones that gets you excited in between seasons?
Well, it's lucky that the writing is so good because “between seasons” was almost a two-year wait. The upside of the long wait was that the writers got the opportunity to complete all 13 scripts before we shot a single frame. The dedication shows in the deep layering of charter, plot and nuanced humor that makes Jessica Jones feel more like working on a movie than a TV show. I also just love New York. Getting to live and work in this city is so surreal at times, I have to pinch myself. These streets are as much of a character in Jessica Jones as any of us.
Jessica Jones is a Marvel series that skips the ridiculous costumes to depict the supernatural in a realistic way. What are some of the small details about your character do you enjoy depicting?
The single thing I love most about JJ is the show's humanity. All these characters are deeply flawed people with pains and hopes, just like you and I. This grounded approach to the superhero genre has allowed JJ to reach a vast and diverse audience that might not otherwise watch a “superhero show.”
Malcolm is the heart of the show. More then anything he wants connection and to be of service. This noble altruism keeps me smiling on the inside and has allowed me to go to some really dark places without getting lost there.
In season two we really get to see his relationship with Jessica evolve and with that comes this quick-witted sidlingly sibling like the banter that is so fun to play with. Krysten and I have a similar dynamic actually.
Your character, Malcolm Ducasse, has an interesting arch in the series. What was it like to be spying on Jessica one minute and being her secretary the next?
As an actor, you dream about the roles that afford the breadth and scope of Malcolm's arch. Getting to take a character from one distinct place and painstakingly walk in their shoes until you find yourself in some unrecognizable place, it is what it’s all about. It turns the work into a personal right of passage that feeds all kinds of gold back into my everyday life.
Besides being an integral part of Jessica Jones Malcolm is also a recurring character on The Defenders. How is the energy difference between the two shows?
Yes! The Defenders was a bunch of fun. There are so many wonderful people on all the different shows that getting to play with ALL of them, was just a joy.
The two shows are worlds apart is a sense. Completely different writing teams. And it all starts with the words. Gutenberg Baby.
The Marvel universe is so expansive that it has fans from all walks of life. Are there interesting encounters you have had with fans that are particularly memorable?
Malcolm's struggle with heroin addiction has had a big impact on fans. I had one young man who’d lost his sister to the drug recently thank me in tears. That one got me.
Fan forums from The Originals to Jessica Jones always mention your hair. Any secrets you can divulge?
Yeah. Take up surfing, have a Jamaican dad, a mix race mom, grow up in a small coastal Australian town and eat ya damn crusts! Or, you could just love what you got. Might be easier!
Speaking of The Originals, the CW is known for developing these beautiful universes as they did in The Vampire Diaries. What were some of the challenges of taking Diego from The Vampire Diaries onto a completely new spin-off like The Originals?
The Originals was rife with struggles, not the least of which, was living in the landlocked South as a free-spirited coastal boy. To be totally honest, I wish they had chosen to develop Diego much further then they did. A lot of potentials to do something really unique with that show that, unfortunately, wasn't maximized. I LOVE seeing that much melanin on the CW though. Important.
With a bulk of your filming in the United States, how do you keep in touch with friends and family from your native Australia?
I try to get home once a year, so I don't lose touch but its hard sometimes. I grew up with a such an amazing tribe of extended family, in a place that looks like a postcard, so not a day goes by that I don't miss that. Thank fuck for FaceTime & FB group chats. I also live in Venice beach while I'm in LA which is only like 20mins from LAX, so I have a revolving door of homies from the Bay rolling through.
From filming The Originals in Georgia to the cityscape of New York City what are some local foods that you enjoyed?
I'm a self-proclaimed greenie. Farmers market shopping, organic everything buying, foody. Georgia was tough, (laughs). NYC is a delight. Thrive Market takes care of me when I find myself in a food desert. Coconut water, bone broth, the morning green smoothy, and a supplement drawer that looks like a mad, hippy, scientist’s lab are all essential.
With your busy schedule filming two different Netflix series what do you do to relax?
I’m the father of two gorgeous boys that rival the Energizer Bunny with enthusiasm. So…relaxing doesn't happen enough.
I’m a surfer, a dancer, a musician and a movement practitioner. All these things fill my cup and I just fucking love being a dad and living a life of service.
When you get that break in between seasons where do you want to vacation and visit next?
If I could imagine my perfect holiday, it would be Burning Man but in Bali when a big Pacific swell is hitting Padang Padang. I have a never-ending coconut in hand that magically becomes Mezcal once the sun sets, and all the sound systems are exclusively Danley or FunktonONe.