I am totally engrossed in the world of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So when I was told that part of my recent press trip to Los Angeles with Disney | Marvel | ABC TV was a visit to the set of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I might have screamed a little.
Or a lot.
As much of a Marvel fan that I’ve become over the last few years with the incredible movies that have come out, I hadn’t delved into the world of Marvel on the small screen until just recently.
And once I had a taste, I was completely hooked. If you can’t tell, although my travel was free, ALL enthusiasm is my own.
I was beyond thrilled when we walked onto the set, but when I had the chance to sit down with some of the cast – well, let’s just say it doesn’t get much better than that.
When we met with Iain De Caestecker (“Leo Fitz”), Elizabeth Henstridge (“Jemma Simmons”), Brett Dalton (“Grant Ward”), Henry Simmons (“Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie”) and Adrianne Palicki (“Bobbi Morse”), I felt like I was sitting down with old friends (strange side note: I really did feel like I knew Elizabeth, and not just because she is on my TV so often).
Betrayal and Double Agents
One of the first questions that we asked the group was about their reaction to Ward’s betrayal last season.
Brett said, “I was very sad. And, no, I didn’t know before. They let me know the episode before and so there wasn’t a lot of heads up on that. I appreciate the Wikipedia entry where somebody said [that] they let me know in the beginning of the season, so I could subtly play it every scene. I don’t know who wrote that but I was like, oh, thank you for the credit in something I did not do. But, yeah, it was a big change but I think it really rounded out the character in a way. Because prior to that he had kind of a mask that he was showing to the rest of the team. And then after that you get this, all of the back story underneath it and all of the pain, danger in there. So it really fleshed him out. Made him really fun to play.”
Elizabeth piped in: “We were all mortified. We were shocked. And we could only speak to each other about it so we just had call up, be like, ‘How you doin’?’ ‘I don’t know, today’s hard.’ It was tricky.”
Iain admitted, “It’s still a pretty hard subject for me, so, I don’t want to bring back up [the] past.”
There seems to be a lot of betrayal and double-agent stuff going on since the end of the first season. I suppose that’s the nature of the job.
Henry joined in about his character’s involvement in the “other” S.H.I.E.L.D. While viewers might see Mack as on the “wrong side” he says, “I don’t see my guy as evil. I don’t. I think he’s doing what he thinks is best for S.H.I.E.L.D. The real S.H.I.E.L.D. But I guess evil people don’t see themselves evil.”
Brett’s character, Ward, seems a lot more black and white. However, Brett sees Ward as a good guy who has made some misguided choices along the way. “I feel that he’s (Ward’s) also not an evil guy. He’s just made certain choices along the way. And some of those choices…some people might frown on. But, I really think that this guy’s had a really hard life and he’s doing the best that he can to move his life forward, even taking some other people under his wing as well. So it’s not just me twirling my moustache and petting a kitten. That will happen next season…no, I’m trying to move other people’s lives forward.”
Adrianne talked about her involvement with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. “She’s torn. You know, she’s been part of this other SHIELD since the beginning and she’s been with Gonzales, I mean, she saved his life. But at the same time she cares about these people. And she doesn’t think Coulson is a bad person, she just is concerned about where some of his loyalties stand and his alien blood and all that.”
“So she’s definitely conflicted and she’s trying to find her path through all that but at the end of the day she’s a soldier and she’s been thinking that she’s been doing the right thing the whole time, so now she’s starting to feel like maybe these people aren’t being treated the way that they should be treated. And she’s a little concerned. I think you’re going to see that girl a little bit more.”
The Ward Intervention Meeeting
When asked if he thought that his former S.H.I.E.L.D. team would let Ward back into the fold, Brett responded, “I don’t know. I don’t know what their policy is. I mean, it wasn’t just some nondescript agents that I took out, either. I did take out Hand. She was up there on the list.”
The four of them joked about this interview turning into a Ward-intervention meeting.
Iain said, “Yeah, the relationship with Ward is is irreparable. As much as Ward would like to be friends once again it’s just not gonna happen.”
Brett responded, “Oh great. In front of everybody?”
Iain changed his focus to Mack, “With Mack, it depends what’s gonna happen exactly with that story line, I suppose. I mean ‘cause for example with Ward, I think the reason that’s kind of irreparable is because he’s done some unforgivable things. I’m just being honest. This is actually an intervention, Brett, this is an intervention. We need to get everything out. (With) Mack, maybe he’s been misguided or misjudged. He’s not gone out and killed someone in cold blood like you (Ward) have. I don’t mean to keep on going on about it. You have.”
Brett: “A couple of times.”
Iain retorted, “The first step is admittance.”
Brett continued, “He seems to be on, uh, his own path this season. We’re not sure exactly where that path is headed. Or why he’s doing the things that he’s doing. He’s making some choices along the way that will lead somewhere. And hopefully at the end of the season there’ll be a kind of clarity about why he went down to see his brother again. That’s why he did the thing with Whitehall. That’s why he shaved his beard. Ah.”
Elizabeth asked a question this time, “Do you think he misses the team? Think he misses us?”
Brett answered, “Yes. I do. Because his weakness, as Agent Garrett has always said, is that he has compassion. He is sensitive as much as he pretends that he’s not.”
Elizabeth added, “He always wants to belong, doesn’t he? ‘Cause he didn’t as a child. Right?”
Brett agreed, “It’s true. It’s true. And I’m glad that we’re getting this out. I think this has been really good so far.”
Elizabeth, “For everyone.”
Favorite Scenes in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I have several favorite scenes since season 1, but I have a hard time pinning down any favorites. I might have an easier time deciding which episode has been my favorite so far.
When asked about their favorite scene from either season, each actor had something different that had stood out to them. Brett had a favorite scene but couldn’t tell us about it because it hasn’t aired yet. I’m eager to see if I can tell which episode it is coming up.
Adrianne was passionate about her favorite scene, “My favorite scene of the show? Oh, that’s easy. When Fitz confronts Ward. I honestly think that he should be nominated for an Emmy for that scene. I, I bawl every time I see it, I think that Iain is one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with and that scene is just beyond for me.”
Elizabeth said that her favorite scene was very early in Season 1. “I think it was episode 2 or episode…could have been the pilot. We were all sitting on the back of the bus and we were watching the first O84 go up and explode. And that was the first time that, as a character and an actor, I was like, oh my God I’m here. Oh, this is happening. Like we’re filming a TV show. And it’s still my favorite. Don’t know what that says about this season.”
Iain said, “Dropping downhill from there.”
Elizabeth turned to Iain and asked, “Yeah, Iain, what’s your favorite? Is it one with me?”
Iain responded, “I mean you’re probably – top five. You’d be top five. Whether or not you’re number one is…I can’t think. Usually just every episode, I have a new favorite scene so, I couldn’t name one. There’s too many to name.”
Henry piped in, “The one that stands out is the first scene I had with you (Iain), the very first, I really liked that scene. Just because the way it was written. Not when we met, but when we were in the lab and you were talking to me and…”
Iain took over, “Oh yeah, that’s one of my faves – yeah, that actually that might be my favorite. The one where I think I was imagining you (Simmonds) being there and we were talking and you and you kind of fancied him. In my imagination you fancied him.”
Elizabeth agreed, “Oh! That was fun. ‘Cause I could do anything…”
In the end Iain admitted what his TRUE favorite thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is… “Henry’s arms. His whole, in fact, his whole body. His arm is bigger than my head, right? It’s like a pillow, man.”
Brett tried to have the last word, “He used to talk about me this way until Henry came…”
I loved seeing the easy and natural way that everyone interacted with each other. Did I mention how much fun these interviews were to do? Even those actors that came in to the established group in season 2, like Adrianne and Henry, said that the cast was like a family in just a short time. Adrianne said, “(Coming in to the show) was nerve wracking because (it’s like) you’re coming into high school second year and everybody is already friends and (you) don’t know people and it’s a huge cast, you’re like, I don’t know if people are going to be with me. And I honestly from day one it was the most giving loving cast. It was a table read (when) I met everyone and (there were) hugs everywhere, everybody was so genuine and sweet and happy to have me on the show. And I’d say probably it took me about an episode to feel like I had been there forever. And so now there’s so much trust here and friendships and I’m going to miss these guys for two months. You know. We’ll probably see each other anyway.”
I think I want to join the cast. These guys are so much fun!
“The Frenemy of My Enemy” – NEW Episode 18
Be sure to tune in TONIGHT for episode 18 entitled “The Frenemy of My Enemy.” We got to see the first 15 minutes of the episode on set and it looks like another amazing story. Yes, Ward is back….
About Episode 18:
“The Frenemy of My Enemy” – A dangerous new alliance is formed as Coulson and Hunter turn to the last person anyone would expect – Grant Ward! As the war between S.H.I.E.L.D. factions continues, Skye and Lincoln will find themselves drawn into this conflict, on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” TUESDAY, APRIL 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Lance Hunter, and Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse.
Guest starring are Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, Henry Goodman as Dr. List, Kyle MacLachlan as Cal, Jamie Harris as Gordon, Maya Stojan as Kara, Dichen Lachman as Jiaying, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell, Kris Lemche as Ethan, Staci Roberts as Paula, and Trenton Rostedt as Hoodie Guy.
”The Frenemy of My Enemy” was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Karen Gaviola. Don’t miss it!
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