Hawkeye Star Fra Fee On Playing Kazi, His Possible Future In The MCU & More [Interview]

"Hawkeye" has, thus far, kept Marvel's hot streak alive when it comes to its Disney+ shows. These big-budget series taking place within the confines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have changed the game and offered new characters — as well as old ones — a chance to shine like never before. Case in point, Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton at the center of the story, with Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld, serving as the exciting newbie. But she's not the only one, as a couple of other newbies have stolen some spotlight. Just behind Alaqua Cox as Maya, AKA Echo, is Fra Fee as Kazi, her right-hand man and one of the heads of the Tracksuit Mafia.

As has been pointed out a great deal, this show takes a lot of inspiration from the Matt Fraction and David Aja run on "Hawkeye" in the pages of Marvel Comics. Characters like Kazi are firmly rooted in those pages, and Fee has done a lot with a little up to this point in the show. But there is so much room for this character to potentially grow, especially with the "Echo" spin-off series on the way.

I recently had the good fortune to speak with Fee following the release of "Hawkeye" episode 4. We discussed what it's like working with Cox, who is deaf and previously had no real acting experience, whether or not we'll see him pop up in future MCU projects, and much more.

"Mainly, it was a gift because we got to spend so much time together."

You are working a lot with Alaqua, who is playing Maya/Echo in the series, and I would say that based on what we've seen so far, you're probably about as close to her as anyone is on the show. What's it like working with her? She's hardly done any acting before this, and she's just stolen every scene she's in. Her energy's incredible.

It's been such a dream, mate, to work with Alaqua. When I got the job, I was so, so thrilled and excited and overwhelmed, and then got quite nervous when I realized the requirements of ASL [American Sign Language] with the role. Because I was worried that I was going to arrive in Atlanta and have this massive sign language scene to do days after getting there. But thankfully, the way that the scheduling worked out, we didn't actually do a lot of those scenes until about midway through the shoot. So I had a lot of time to just learn some basic sign language myself in my own time, but to also rehearse the scenes with Alaqua. That was a blessing for me, obviously, because it meant that I felt comfortable and confident doing what I needed to do.

But mainly, it was a gift because we got to spend so much time together. Usually on film stuff, there's very little rehearsal and there's little time to actually spend with the person you're acting opposite. But this was different because we really had all that time, and we were able to form a friendship outside of the project and a bond so that we felt comfortable and safe in each other's company when we eventually got to do these scenes. I hope that friendship and that comfort is translated on the screen. As you say, she's inexperienced in this world, but just took to it like a duck to water. It was quite extraordinary to watch her really find her place in this world, and to share that huge existential experience that she's having. It was a real, real blessing and I'll be eternally grateful for it.

"We've only really scratched at the surface."

Marvel is so expansive now, but everyone has their own relationship to it, either before or after. What was your relationship like with superhero stuff growing up? Did you have one with comics, or is this more new for you?

No, mate, I was a huge fan. So you can imagine me losing my whatever [laughter] whenever I got the job. I remember always loving Spider-Man, because I was a kid, a wee boy, and could relate to him. I loved the cartoon and all of the movies — I've loved every genesis of it. Then I became a huge fan of the MCU with "Iron Man" and loved all of these films. Absolutely adored them. I'm usually the first person to see these films. I'll be seeing "Spider-Man" soon, and I can't wait. So to be a part of it is just the stuff that dreams are made of. I'm still pinching myself all these months later, now that we're actually seeing it on our TV screens. It's utterly, utterly thrilling.

That's awesome to hear. Especially because in your case, Kazi has an interesting comics history. If people are watching the show, they might think this is a relatively minor character, but there is a lot of room for this guy to go, and you may or may not have posted something on Instagram a while ago in some clown makeup. That might have hinted at somewhere the character could go in the future. Have you had any discussions with Marvel about if you're going to be around more beyond the next couple of episodes? Are we going to see you show up elsewhere, maybe in the "Echo" show?

I would like to think that I can remember what I did for those final two episodes [laughter]. I was being very naughty and teasing everybody, I remember exactly what I was doing, showing a photograph from Halloween about eight years ago. But listen, I'm fully aware of the genesis of the character and his origins in the comic book and I'm always fascinated by where these characters have come from. Whether or not they're fully realized in the MCU world remains to be seen. I think there's always more to excavate and discover about any character, and I think Kazi is an utterly fascinating one. We've only really scratched at the surface. So if someone fancies exploring it further, I'm certainly available.

"It's just been the stuff dreams are made of.'

I know a lot of actors will look at a villain and say, "You've gotta get inside that person's head and see their point of view." So in your point of view, is Kazi a good guy who has just done some bad things? Does Kazi think he's right?

I certainly think that his moral compass is skewed. Whether that's because of who he inherently is — is his actual internal moral compass skewed, or is that a result of the world that he knows as home? For most of his life, he's been a member of this organization, which is the only stable thing in his world, you know? He's fiercely, fiercely loyal to it, because they have protected him. I get the sense that the Tracksuit Mafia is comprised of displaced people from around the world. We've got a lot of different accents and genders and everything in there. It's such a fascinating side of the TSM, but I do get the sense that they're displaced, and I reckon Kazi was displaced as well and found himself there. So it's the only protection he's known, the only world he's known. That may have skewed the moral compass, because they are a criminal organization. They do bad things. But whether or not that means he is a bad guy, I'm not entirely sure.

We know for sure Alaqua is coming back for an Echo show. That's happening. You are very tied to this character. Not to spoil it, but would you — at least hypothetically, should the opportunity come around — would you come back for that show?

[long pause] Is this a trick question?

It is not a trick question! The show has been announced. I'm asking hypothetically—

Of course. Of course I would. I have adored playing this role and I have adored working with Alaqua and I have adored being a part of this world. It's just been the stuff dreams are made of. I would happily play this character for a very, very long time. So yeah, I'll keep my phone on and wait for that phone call.

"Hawkeye" returns with new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.