Moon Knight is finally out in the world for audiences to see. Reception to the show has been generally positive, and at the very least, it looks like Marvel Studios doesn’t have a flop on its hands. The show stars Oscar Isaac as both Steven Grant and Marc Spector, while Ethan Hawke plays Arthur Harrow, an unsettling cult leader. But those big names aren’t the only new faces.
Somebody else who has joined the fray is Lucy Thackeray’s Donna. The character is the boss at the museum that Steven Grant works at, with the two of them seemingly having known each other for a while.
Not much of their history is explored on screen, but there’s clearly something there. A dynamic is clearly in play, though it doesn’t seem to be too nice towards Isaac’s Steven Grant. The Direct sat down with the actress behind Donna and talked with her about the unseen backstory between the two.
Donna and Steven’s Unseen Backstory
In an exclusive interview, The Direct got to sit down with Moon Knight actress Lucy Thackeray to talk about her role as Donna in the new Disney+ series.
One of the first questions viewers may have had while starting the series was if the character, who is Steven Grant’s boss, had any comic history. Well, there is a character by the name of Donna in the comics who has a relationship with Marc Spector, but according to Thackeray, “it became quite clear that they’re not [the same characters]:”
“No, not really. I knew there was a character Donna, obviously, when I got the job I tried to find out who Moon Knight was. I mean, it became quite clear I think that they’re not [the same characters]. She’s not based on Donna [Craft] as far as I know… I didn’t want to drive myself mad by [looking too much into it]. So I just kind of did my own thing with it.”
As for the character, Thackery revealed that thanks to her sister, she was “sent a couple of Moon Knight comics” to help familiarize herself with the Marvel world:
“... Actually, my sister in Indiana works in a books store. So she sent me a couple of Moon Knight comics through the post, which I thought was very sweet. So I had a look at those. But I had to look up who Moon Knight was. My agent, when I got the job, said, 'So it’s for something called Moon Knight.' And I was like, 'Oh… okay. [laughs].’"
Thackeray went on and joked that “[she] thought it’d be Thor or something. I thought I was She-Hulk, but it wasn’t to be.”
Ahead of arriving on set, she did look up who the Fist of Khonshu was. The actress revealed, however, that after her “first sort of delve into the internet to find out who he was, [she] kind of left none the wiser:”
“So yeah, I looked up who he was. I mean, it’s quite complex, isn’t it, Moon Knight. So my first sort of delve into the internet to find out who he was, I kind of left none the wiser [laughs]. He’s everywhere; he’s many people. And I read the comics, but I kind of liked that I didn’t have any preconceptions. I think sometimes it’s just best to go in, play Donna, who tells him off, and then I think sometimes it’s best to have a look after and, you know, see what’s what.”
Thackeray also revealed a few tidbits of information regarding the backstory between Steven and Donna that viewers didn't get to see on screen. In her mind, “Steven has clearly worked [at the museum for] a while,” because Donna’s habit of being “freely horrible to him” wouldn’t make much sense otherwise.
However, the actress revealed that in the end, a lot of how the two characters interacted “came [to be thanks to her] and Oscar [Isaac’s] sort of chemistry as actors:”
“Well, Steven has clearly worked there a while. I don’t think this is a sort of new relationship because I don’t think Donna would be quite so freely horrible to him if he was new. You know what I mean? It was fun because I didn’t really know—a lot of what came [to be] was me and Oscar [Isaac’s] sort of chemistry as actors.”
Thackeray joked how Donna is “the master” while Steve is the “servant” in that relationship, something that “[she and Oscar] had real fun with." The actress also elaborated on why the relationship is so strained and awkward, explaining how Steven is to blame due to his "useless" attitude:
"It was just a lot of fun. To play this established relationship of: she’s the boss. I don’t just mean that literally. She is the boss out of these two. She is the master, he is the servant; that sort of dynamic. I assumed he’d worked there for a while. Creepin’ in, he’s always late. He’s useless. He speaks really quietly, which probably winds her up as well. But me and Oscar had real fun with that. And that sort of grew with each sort of day I was there, which was fun.”
Will We See More Donna Explored?
Obviously, Donna isn’t the main character of the show—but that doesn’t mean she isn’t interesting or fun to watch. Steven Grant’s boss may be the person who has known him the longest; there’s potentially a lot of character history to be uncovered.
Given how the first episode ended, the museum may not be where Steven wants to be for much longer. So how much more Donna will there be in the series going forward? Could she get mixed up in Isaac's crazy world?
Sadly, the answer to that is impossible to know just yet. But, given how great Lucy Thackeray is even in her brief screen time, hopefully, there’s plenty more to come at some point in the future.
Moon Knight streams weekly every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+.