I received the following information as a blogger via Walt Disney Publications. While I’m attending an expense paid trip by Disney to the press events for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Monkey Kingdom, and Agents of SHIELD, all opinions are 100% my own. Photos included in this post provided by ABC.
Hopefully you’ve been following along on my most recent adventure in California! You may have noticed that one of those days, I went on a social media blackout for several hours. That’s right… No Instgramming, Tweeting, or Facebooking from this momma. During that time I was visiting the set of Marvel’s AGENTS OF SHIELD, which airs on ABC on Tuesday 9/8c.
We had the privilege to sit down with Iain De Caestecker (“Leo Fitz”), Elizabeth Henstridge (“Jemma Simmons”), Brett Dalton (“Grant Ward”), Henry Simmons (“Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie”) and Adrianne Palicki (“Bobbi Morse”). One thing I can say for sure is that the group has great chemistry.
During this set of interviews, we first had a Q&A with Iain, Elizabeth, Brett, and Henry. Now if you’ve been watch the Marvel movies or television series, you know that Hydra is the evil rival of S.H.I.E.L.D… so of course we just had to find out Brett’s reaction to learning that his character is actually a Hydra agent in disguise. Brett admitted he was quite sad when he found out Agent Ward was Hydra. He noted he didn’t really receive a heads up before finding out. He literally found out the episode before the big reveal. He did feel however that it rounded out his character. After learning more of the back story, Brett found Agent Ward actually pretty fun to play! Elizabeth chimed in that the rest of the cast was “mortified and shocked” to find out his true identity.
(To Henry and Brett) What is more fun to play? The good guy or the bad guy?
Henry: 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. I don’t see him as being evil. But, you know, I guess evil people don’t see themselves evil.
Brett: Yeah, ditto. We’re playing these characters so we can’t go “Oh, this guy’s a jerk!”… I feel that he’s also not an evil guy. He’s just made certain choices along the way. Some of those choices some people might frown on. But I really think that this guy’s had a really hard life, he’s doing the best that he can to move his life forward… and 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!This season I’m trying to move other people’s lives forward in the way that I have as well.
A question directed towards Iain, asking him as far as Fitz is concerned, which of the 3 other actors’ characters can he see being repaired? His quick answer was Simmons, which Brett quickly quipped “Anything can be solved with a cup of tea, right?” (A nodd to the characters British heritage).
Iain: Probably Simmons. I mean he’s got the most history with Simmons… and Mack. Even when they fight and stuff, and they’ve fought a lot this season, quite seriously, I think. But I can’t ever see them being out of each others’ lives.
Elizabeth: We’d still like to see them come together in the episode that we’re showing on Tuesday. They’re back to working together and you see that they still have that relationship where they get how each others’ thinking. Fitz knew that Simmons wasn’t just doing what she said she was doing. She was giving him kind of coded messages through what she as doing, and him picking up the cue. You can’t just wipe out history with someone. These two have been together for years.
As for Fitz’s relationship with Ward? Iain think it is irreparable. However, in reference for Fitz’s relationship with Mack, Iain thinks it is an interesting one and he thinks it all depends on the direction of the storyline. Fitz sees Ward’s actions as unforgivable. Though with Mack, his actions can be seen as “misguided or misjudged,” and not going out and killing anyone in cold blood.
So does Agent Ward miss his team at S.H.I.E.L.D? Check out Brett’s answer…
Brett: Yes. I do. Because his weakness, as Agent Garrett has always said, is that he has compassion. It’s that he is sensitive as much as he pretends that he’s not. He does things that, his actions don’t exactly…
Elizabeth: He always wants to belong, doesn’t he? ‘Cause he didn’t as a child. Right?
So what’s more difficult? The scientific dialogue, or stunts?
Brett joked that he doesn’t do any stunts, so he would pick the scientific dialogue! Henry chimed in that he is scared of heights in reference to the heights. No worries though. He only had an issue once!
So is it hard to keep a straight face when playing someone possessed?
Henry thinks it is easy! He noted that since there is so much choreography that had to be done in terms of fight scenes, and the bombing, it was pretty easy for him to keep focused. He actually enjoyed playing his character when he was possessed very much! He thought it was a lot of fun.
(To the group), do you have a favorite scene?
Sadly, since Brett’s favorite scene hadn’t aired yet, he couldn’t tell us!
Elizabeth: I always remember the scene that was really early on in Season 1. I think it was episode 2 or 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. That was the first time 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.’ That, for me, is still my favorite.
Elizabeth then asked if Iain’s favorite scene was one with her. He jokingly noted that she is in his top five favorite scenes, but wouldn’t say if she was number one or not.
Iain: I usually he a new favorite scene every episode. I couldn’t name one. There’s too many to name.
Elizabeth: The one they showed on Tuesday was good. That one when we’re all in the command center and you were trying to explain something. That was a really fun one to shoot. You’ve seen that one, right? … No, you haven’t seen that one. You haven’t seen that one. It’s coming up. It’s coming up.
Henry: The one that stands out is the first scene I had with Iain. 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…
Iain: Oh yeah, that’s one of my favorites. That may actually that might be my favorite. The one where… I can tell you what my favorite part of the show is… Henry’s arms. His whole, in fact, his whole body. His arm is bigger than my head, right? I love Henry, he’s the best.
At this point Henry and Iain had the cast and us bloggers laughing at their “bromance” conversation! They cast mates then generously took photos with us bloggers (as you can see above).
After photos, Adrienne Palicki came out for interviews! First up we wanted to know about her character’s relationship with Hunter.
Adrienne: They’re this on again off again entity, as you know. She’s done a really big thing, which is, lied to him massively for a long period of time. So there’s definitely going to be a lot of mending before anything can happen (between them), but it’s a possibility.
So is your character really conflicted between the Real S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Adrianne: Listen, I have my own views but…she’s torn. She’s been part of this other SHIELD since the beginning and she’s been with Gonzales, I mean, she saved his life, you all saw that. 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 because of his alien blood. So she’s definitely conflicted. She’s trying to find her path through all that but at the end of the day she’s a soldier. She’s been thinking that she’s been doing the right thing the whole time. Now she’s starting to feel like maybe these people aren’t being treated the way that they should be treated. She’s a little concerned. I think you’re going to see that girl a little bit more.
Do you do your own stunts?
Adrianne: I do the majority of my own stunts. There’s stuff obviously I can’t do because there’s insurance problems, like jumping through a plate glass window – leaping through a door or what not. The fight stuff is definitely what I like to do. I love Garry Brown, our producer, and also our second unit director. He prefers that the actors are doing the stunt work, from every angle it is that actor. They can really get up close and personal with them in the fight. So for me it’s a ton of fun.
How do you train for your stunts? Any martial arts?
Adrianne: I did learn Jujitsu for [the film] John Wick. I take Muay Thai and box myself. I’ve been doing a lot of action shows, movies, for a very long time. So I’ve been very lucky to be trained by like Navy SEALS. I’ve gone through gun training and now it was the batons. I had never worked with those before. That was my new form of training for this.
You play a complex character. How many aspects of your character parallel who you are?
Adrianne: Well I don’t walk around kicking people’s ass even though I’d like to sometimes! That’s the thing I love about Bobbi is that she’s a real human being. She has real feelings. She’s a soldier. She wants to do everything right. But she does have emotion. She is a strong female but she’s still vulnerable. Any of those elements I definitely understand. She’s just trying to find, constantly as we all do as humans, the right path, and navigate it. So I kind of see that in her.
How does it feel being the newcomer this season?
Adrianne: It was nerve wracking because you’re ultimately you’re coming into “high school” second year. Everybody is already friends and I don’t know how people (and it’s a huge cast) are going to be with me. Honestly from day one it was the most giving loving cast. I met everyone at a table read, and everybody was so genuine and sweet and happy to have me on the show. I’d say probably it took me about an episode to feel like I had been there forever. There’s so much trust here and friendships. I’m going to miss these guys for two months. We’ll probably see each other anyway.
Favorite scene of the show?
Adrianne: When Fitz confronts Ward. I honestly think that he should be nominated for an Emmy for that scene. 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.
The Frenemy of My Enemy
Check out this teaser for tonight’s episode…
GRANT WARD MAY BE COULSON’S LAST HOPE, ON “MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.” ON ABC
“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.
Want to check out my quick chat with Chloe Bennet and my tour of the costume department with the show’s costume designer Anne Foley? That post is live now!
Want a glimpse back on my trip to Los Angeles? Be sure to check out my Twitter (@AshBG) and Instagram (@ashb4211), and look for the hashtags #AvengersEvent, #MonkeyKingdom, #LAZoo, #ABCTVEvent, and #AgentsOfSHIELD.