Comic-Con 2015: The Agents of SHIELD Press Room — Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Adrianne Palicki, and Nick Blood
While not everyone here at The Geekiary was lucky enough to get to SDCC, The Geekiary’s intrepid SDCC crew was on the ground in San Diego, covering panels or in the press room with the people who create the shows we love and the actors who bring the characters to life. Admin Angel was there to chat with the cast of Agents of SHIELD about the forthcoming season 3. Of course, you can never be too careful with HYDRA around–here’s what the cast could share about what’s next.
Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Jemma Simmons, talked about what she is looking forward to most about the new season:
Elizabeth: Hanging out with each other. […] And just seeing what they’ve planned. Every season, it’s just got bigger, and the ideas that they have have been so complex and the way that they play out. I mean, we have 22 hours of television to be able to tell these stories […]
Iain: I mean, we don’t like each other that much.
Elizabeth: I think as an actor, any time you get some conflict or something “meaty” to kind of explore, it’s a gift. And we’ve been very lucky to be able to explore the all different dynamics. I found it quite difficult, though, when you didn’t like me for a while. It’s hard! It’s so sad. I get very emotional.
Elizabeth shared her thoughts on the shocking end scene of the season finale and seeing what happens to her character:
Elizabeth: At the time reading it, I thought, “Wow! This is so cool! Amazing!” and then I stopped and thought, “What does this mean now?” I mean we’re all cognizant and we’re all pleased with the story and we want the show to be the best it can be, and so you kind of think […] you just kind of see the bigger picture. Kind of exciting, really. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Fitz and Simmons start the series as friends, but some hints at romance have been developing–not without a lot of heartache. Here’s what the actors had to say about what they’d like to see happen:
Elizabeth: I want them to get together.
Iain: Yeah. At last. No, I think they’ve both definitely grown up a lot from the start of season one to now. They’ve thought a lot about bravery and what that means to them and […] overcoming complications […] I hope to see more of that […] And I hope they do more stuff together again […]
On their favorite moments with other actors for their characters:
Iain: I enjoyed doing stuff with Matt [Mullins, fight coordinator]. That was good stuff. His arm is bigger than my head. I’m not even joking.
Elizabeth: It’s true. Wait ’till you see it.
Iain: […] No, yeah, that was good. That was one of the best.
Elizabeth said her scenes with Adrianne Palicki, who plays Bobbi Morse, were a favorite:
Elizabeth: We both got to play that up really ballsy.
She also had high praise for Simon Kassianides, who plays Sunil Bakshi.
Elizabeth: I love him so much. […] having those scenes, it was such a different thing for Simmons to able to be involved in that, which is great. And he’s just, Simon is so different from his character. He’s a brilliant actor.
Clark: If I only had a hand. I’d like to get back my hand. I have reason to believe some of the technology available to SHIELD, it might be kind of an exciting addition to my […] repertoire. What do you hope for your character?
Chloe: Like a cool, sleek costume.
Clark: Oh, I feel like that’s eminently achievable.
Chloe: Maybe that’ll happen.
Clark: It might affect the design input.
Chloe: Would you?
On whether there was anything about last season that really shocked them:
Clark: Was there anything about last season that did NOT shock me? The fact that there was a shadow SHIELD operating right under our noses. That was kind of shocking.
Chloe: I mean, reading the finale was like, “WHAT? WHAT?” the whole time, but by the time it got to you losing your arm I just started laughing. Because I was just like, “Oh, okay, we’ll throw that in there”. It’s just everything was pretty intense.
As to what they enjoyed most about the past season:
Chloe: I always love Coulson and Daisy’s relationship.
Clark: I think they definitely focused on your real dad this year.
Chloe: Yeah, I think working with – the dynamic of having the two father figures, that was really fun, that kind of father triangle between Kyle is so, so fun to work with. He’s really fun to shoot with.
Clark: I’d have to say the family dynamic. These people don’t have real families. The kind of triumvirate of dealing with the kind of ongoing trust issues with May and the concern that Coulson feels for Skye now Daisy to take the one who recruited her in the search for the city that put her in danger. That tugged on my heart strings all year long.
Regarding Coulson’s transformation, between alien DNA and needing a new arm, and whether Coulson will be able to remain himself, Clark had this to say:
Clark: I think yes he is evolving into something else, every year. Because a guy who hadn’t really worked with any kind of channels for Nick Fury and kind of knew a lot of secrets but was a kind of company man. And the events of the last two years have really been about that all getting exploded and him having more responsibilities than he ever imagined having in a world where the Avengers [are] completely forcing him to think about things, including his relationships. So I think that at least is going to continue…I think he’s finding out who he is. It has to feel like there was a part of him that was turned off and that he kind of carefully avoided being shut off to. He tried to let who he’s going to be as director of SHIELD evolve from what’s there around him. You know what I mean? This is real. These things are real. This threat is real. Who I am now, that’s different, is real, and that’s who I have to be, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing that they do on this show.
Reflecting on who Daisy can trust, given that there are people who might want to use her new powers:
Chloe: I mean, Coulson for sure. I think after there was a few episodes in season one where there wasn’t the trust but there was, he’s been the rock for Daisy now.
On the name change for her character, Chloe added:
Chloe: This [having to think about her character’s name] is gonna happen for the rest of my life […] The writers actually have a box in the writers’ room, and half of it is a picture of Skye and half of it is a picture of Daisy, and whenever one of the writers refers to me as Skye they have to put money in the box. And there is like over a hundred dollars in there because they just keep forgetting. That’s gonna be weird. Has any other TV show just completely changed the name of a character in the middle of the show?
So, is she still Skye, or is her name now permanently changed to Daisy?
Chloe: … It’ll be Daisy, yeah. Skye is gone.
Brett Dalton, who plays Hydra sleeper agent Grant Ward, and Ming-Na Wen, who plays Melinda May, were on-hand as well to discuss their characters and the new season.
Brett: … He feels that he’s the hero of his own story. And in a strange way, him and Coulson both come from a similar place. And you’re gonna say, “What?” And I’m gonna say, “Yeah.” Because we’re dealing with crazy powers and all of this stuff, and I think that both of us want the same thing in a certain way but we’re both handling it differently. If that makes sense, it makes sense to me. I think he’s still interested in closure.
Ming-Na: I don’t think you’re fully convinced of that…You keep talking until you’ve convinced yourself that you are good. Because as a Hydra representative, it is all about being in denial and being delusional so that you can have the world domination that you truly, truly want.
Brett: I disagree. You don’t need to use that quote. I completely disagree.
On the idea of closure, Brett added:
Brett: That’s a good question. There have been certain defining moments in Ward’s life and he’s attempted to rewrite them. Some of the methods he’s used have been unsavory and not very popular, but it’s an attempt to move forward, to claim his own story, moving forward. And to be the master of his own fate. … Because like all of us, we want to be the hero of our own story – the captain of our ship.
Ming-Na: I definitely think that there will be room for Blair’s character, Andrew, because I think that’s going to be an element in season three, perhaps. I don’t know. We haven’t started production yet. But considering that Melinda May makes such a strong choice to at least even take a vacation during a very dire situation, leaving Coulson to handle the whole bulk of the Inhumans and various problems going on right now with Hydra still on the loose. She’s just trying to figure out what it is she wants out of her life, whether SHIELD is worth sacrificing for the way she has, or her own personal happiness and finding love again are just important. And yes, I would love to have Blair come back for a few episodes.
Adrianne Palicki, who plays Bobbi Morse, and Nick Blood, who plays Lance Hunter, also shared some thoughts on their characters and season 3:
Adrianne: Bobbi’s been drastically injured, so she’s kind of going to be stepping back and figuring out what she wants to do […] she’s in this situation yet again…
Nick: And Hunter’s kind of […] she’s kind of making him work for it […] no matter what he feels or wants to do …
Adrianne (on what she’d like to see for Bobbi): I’d love to see that vulnerability stay for a while. You see the little cracks happen more and more. Last year you got to see the characters put on this show of being strong and being tough, and you kind of see that vulnerability and than unease come out a little bit more, get to really know the character.
Nick (on what he’d like to see for Lance): I’d like to see Hunter do a pop music career. So you can see he’s practicing in the common area, and then maybe he goes on like American Idol or something.
On which they prefer, DC or Marvel:
Adrianne: Well, I’m currently with Marvel, so. [laughs] I really love playing Mockingbird. She’s such a dynamic character, and it’s really fun seeing where she’s going to go. It’s really fun …
Nick: Sorry, which one?
Got any theories about what happened to Jemma in the season finale? Are you ready to refer to Skye as “Daisy” from here on out? Any other speculations about Agents of SHIELD season 3? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Author: Dot R
Dot has been bouncing around various fandoms for many years now writing essays, episode reviews, commentary, and reporting news and conducting interviews, among other things. Along with being a Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Supernatural fangirl, she’s also a fan of fantasy and science fiction television shows, everything from Farscape to Killjoys to 12 Monkeys to X-Files to Wynonna Earp. Currently Fangirl at Large covering numerous geek culture related topics, convention news, casting spoilers, show news, and interviews.
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