A quick internet search turns up many adjectives used to describe Daredevil star Deborah Ann Woll; gorgeous, talented and cute to name just a few.
The redheaded actress uses other terms to describe herself.
“There’s nerd, geek, all those words,” she says. “I am settling closer and closer to dork. I am a very proud dork.”
The former True Blood star—she played fierce teenage vampire Jessica Hamby for seven seasons on the hit show—embraces her inner dork—“I’m Dungeons and Dragons player, a Mystery Science Theatre buff. I like board games.”—and says the role playing games have benefits beyond entertainment value.
“Sometimes I feel socially awkward. I feel like sometimes I have trouble connecting to people who are more extroverted. Something like Dungeons and Dragons or a board game is a way for me to be social but it takes some of the responsibility off of me myself. If I don’t feel impressive as myself, I can feel impressive as Mistress Pyrona, the Genosi Sword Maiden. Like my acting, it gives me a little bit of support.
“Playing Dungeons and Dragons isn’t at all like acting but it is that idea that you can be braver when you’re someone else.”
On the Netflix series Daredevil she plays Karen Page, secretary and soon-to-be love interest of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who moonlights as crime fighter Daredevil. The character has been around since the first Daredevil comic in 1964 but has changed substantially over the years. Page began as innocent and sweet but slowly morphed into a “heroin addicted porn star,” a complexity of character that gives Woll lots to work with.
“I like characters that change. For my Karen I said, ‘Alright, she’s going to have moments when she’s innocent, sweet and fun to be around and she’ll have moments where she’s dark and a little addicted to that adrenaline rush and danger. I want both of those things to live in her at the same time.’ We started her with a bit of a past, which hopefully, if we get to do any more of Daredevil we’ll find out about.”
Woll knows the fans care about the characters, and so far the reaction has been good to what she’s doing with Karen.
“They don’t care about it because they think you’re hot and they want to see you take your top off,” she says, “they care about it because they really want it to be the Karen they love and respect.”