Q: What is it about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that sets it apart from anything else?
Chloe Bennet: It’s Marvel Studio’s first television show and that in and of itself makes it something to look out for because if you love the Marvel movies, it’s all that but just on a smaller screen. And it’s Joss Whedon. It has something for every single person. It’s funny, there’s action, there’s romance.
Brett Dalton: I think that it actually is a family show, in the best possible sense. It’s not too light, it’s not too dark. And the production values on this whole thing - it’s crazy! Yeah it really does have something for everyone.
Elizabeth Henstridge: I think it’s got a bit of everything. The comedic element, the drama, the big set pieces, and then the relationships which, as an actor, that’s what you’re really interested in. You want to convey the journeys they’re all going to go on and that there’s a reason they’ve all been put in this team. They’ve each got incredible strengths and but then they’ve also got weaknesses which mean that for some reason together they’re a lot better than apart.
Ming-Na Wen: It’s great family entertainment and it’s just great storytelling and Joss just infuses it with such humour and it’s not just one-liners and punchlines and slapstick, it just comes from the situation. And these are such extraordinary situations that we’re put in, so if you can’t laugh about it you’d run screaming into the other room!
Iain De Caestecker: It’s got universal themes, and it’s extremely exciting and full of action.
Ming-Na Wen: I think every human being wants to be entertained and wants that little bit of escapism and be able to share something with their family, which I’m looking forward to because I have kids. I’m so excited I’m finally in something they can watch!
Q: Tell me what else we’re going to learn about your characters?
Chloe Bennet: Ward and Skye are very opposite characters. I’m a computer hacker and a “people person” which is kind of a rarity, a computer hacker who’s personable. And Ward…
Brett Dalton: I don’t have people skills…
Chloe Bennet: Joss’ shows are about the characters and them growing and learning and being together and that’s what is beautiful about the show. And I think there’s some room for romance between Skye and Ward….
Iain De Caestecker: I think the prospect of Fitz and Simmons going out in the field is quite an interesting one. It’s something that’s completely alien to them, and incredibly scary and terrifying. And I think you’ll see a very, very different side to them if they’re ever put in that situation…
Ming-Na Wen: People get to see that Agent Melinda May is definitely a soldier, she’s Level 7, she’s a fighter, a pilot, a weapons expert, but she’s very guarded and mysterious. That’s the other part about her I love, exploring why she has all this pain she’s keeping inside her and not wanting to get back into the field. And for some reason Agent Coulson, perhaps they have a history of some sort we don’t know, maybe they’ve shared missions in the past, but he really wants to pull her out of it and that’s why he recruits her.
Q: How is the series different from what we’ve seen before from the Marvel movies?
Elizabeth Henstridge: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. focuses on the average, everyday person. None of them are superheroes, they don’t have superpowers, so it’s about what you can do as a human to fight for what you believe in or fight for good to beat evil. It’s more on a human level, of the everyday lives of people that are trying to do the right thing.
Iain De Caestecker: The size of it is a really big thing, the special effects are really just as good as you see in the movies. There are huge set pieces too, because it’s part of the Marvel universe. Also within that it’s got all those different elements of the different types of relationships, along with the comedy and drama element.
Ming-Na Wen: I think the Marvel movies’ main focus is on the people with the superpowers and those able to protect and save lives based on that. We are human beings with special skills and that makes us more relatable in the sense that we can die (except for maybe Agent Coulson….but you know, he needed just some patching up). But I think for the audience, they’re able to see some of the agents who’re highly intelligent but don’t have the skills that maybe agent May or Agent Ward have. They’re relatable characters in that way.