We spoke with the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as they headed into a screening of the season 3 premiere in Los Angeles last week and asked them one simple question: What is your character’s philosophy for dealing with the Inhumans? Not everybody was at liberty to discuss their motivations (and some people were having too much fun to try), but we did get some interesting insights into the new season, including a possible huge spoiler from guest star Constance Zimmer.
Chloe Bennett (Daisy Johnson)
Last year, we saw Skye come into her own as an agent. This year, she’s coming into her own as a super-powered agent charged with putting together a team of other superhumans. That’s a lot to put on one person’s plate.
“I don’t think she’s dealing with Inhumans. She is one and she feels for them all deeply and it’s just a really complicated situation because some of them probably aren’t going to be so great. Their intentions might not be where hers are. She’s really trying to sift through the different types of Inhumans that she comes across as she builds a team of secret warriors. It’s a lot of auditioning basically. She’s very eager get this team started and it’s not as easy as she thinks.”
Adrienne Palicki and Nick Blood (bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter)
Not everyone was taking the red carpet seriously. Palicki and Blood answered with an exaggerated disdain like their characters were bored teenagers at the mall rather than agents in mortal danger.
Nick: “It’s sort of like, ‘Here we go again.'”
Adrienne: “I know. 'There’s more of them.’ [rolls eyes] Jesus.”
Nick: “This is going to be a lot of work. We’re going to have to speak to S.H.I.E.L.D about our benefits. Maybe a pay raise.”
Adrienne: “Yeah, Bobbi’s over it. She’s pretending like she can’t heal her injuries because she just wants to stay in the office.”
Nick: “That Hydra thing, it’s all been dealt with and now we’ve got another problem. I think their retirement plan is starting to get arranged. It’s just exhausting – all these bad guys. Who’s bad? Who’s good?”
Adrienne: “You can’t tell. Sometimes you kill the wrong Inhuman. [shrugs]”
Nick: “It’s a minefield.”
Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge (Fitz and Simmons)
Henstridge was cagey, as we don’t yet know what’s happened to Simmons.
Iain: “You’ve got stronger ones than me, I presume…”
Elizabeth: “Yeah. We’ll, we don’t know what’s happened to [Simmons] or where she is or when she’ll be back, so I don’t know how she feels right now. Season 2, we ended with [her wanting] to save as many lives as possible, so she’s very cautious of Inhumans. But, I think now she knows Skye/Daisy is an Inhuman, she’s a lot more empathetic. But she’s definitely still very cautious.
Ming Na (Agent May)
Agent May’s emotional journey changed her more than any other member of the team last season. Now that she has some closure on the event that drove her to become the legendary agent that she is, could she be looking to retirement this year?
“It’s going to be an interesting journey for her because the Inhumans have such a strong impact on S.H.I.E.L.D. this year and it’s a bit a of a discomfort for her. For May, the danger of Inhumans — whether they can be doing good or bad with their powers — it’s so unpredictable that I don’t think she feels it’s something that should fit in with the S.H.I.E.L.D. environment. S.H.I.E.L.D. is all about going by a certain set of rules, and even though she breaks them, she goes outside of it, there’s still a certain protocol. With Inhumans, there is none… Now that they were able to bring [Daisy] back into the fold – because she had strayed and she had gone off to be with her mother and be with the other Inhumans and this new group – I don’t know that she’s willing to have the same type of relationship with her. We’ll see.”
Blair Underwood (Andrew Garner)
Andrew will bring some much needed help to the team, but could he also be the reason Agent May leaves?
“I would say his philosophy is have a wiiiide open mind. The thing we’re finding out now— as you can imagine — is that every one of these Inhumans has a different power, and nobody knows how to deal with it. So he’s trying to bring this traditional way of understanding psychology to this Marvel Universe and all these different powers. It’s a huge mystery to even a professional like him.”
Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson)
Nobody’s better equipped to deal with threats both internal and external than Coulson and Gregg’s response suggests he’d make just as good a S.H.I.E.L.D. director as his character.
“Well, it’s complex. If you mean the one who’s the head of his Secret Warrior team, Daisy Johnson? Listen to her, trust her, and watch her, because she’s probably still evolving. If it’s the new people that seem to be popping up out of nowhere, possibly as a result of the Terrigen Crystal-infected fish oil pills? That’s a whole different ball game. These are frightened people that don’t know who they’re becoming and some of them are going to become something that may not be so nice. Case-by-case basis, I guess… Everybody has different attitudes on what this means and if it’s good. It’s one of the things that I liked about the Inhumans in the comics and I really like that it’s on our show: The idea that you suddenly reveal that there’s this genetic capability within us for some of us to become very different — some of us think that’s a mistake that needs to be extinguished and other people think it’s an exciting new part of us. It feels very topical.”
Henry Simmons (Mack)
Nobody, with the possible exception of Gemma Simmons, has had as rough a time with Inhumans as Mack has. If anyone deserves to harbor a negative attitude towards them, it’s him.
“Don't’ trust them. The thing is, every experience he’s had with the Inhumans has been negative. He’s had friends killed, he’s had allies killed, he’s had a bad experience himself. There’s a part of him that just cannot embrace Inhumans – for good reason! But I think that dynamic works well with Daisy - Mack and Daisy work well together because she is Inhuman and she sees the good in them and she wants to embrace them and help them, whereas, I just see them as a threat. In the end, it works very well together… Daisy he trusts. He trusts her because he knew her before her transformation. But, at the end of last season, we can see that he was still skeptical. They’re equals and now they’re two leaders going out there trying to create this group.”
Constance Zimmer (Rosalind Price)
It’s no surprise that Zimmer’s first answer is, “Would it be crazy if I told you I’m not allowed to tell you yet?” Marvel could give the NSA lessons on keeping secrets. But she did offer an intriguing tidbit about a plot point that will probably drop somewhere around the sixth episode while we were talking about the challenges of acting in that secretive environment.
“Somebody just found out the other day that they were something that they had no idea they were. All of us were shocked and I imagine, for that person, they’re like, 'Wait a minute. So that means that everything up until now has been a lie!’ It’s so fun to live in that world of mystery — as the Marvel world should be!”
The season 3 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday, September 29 at 9 p.m. on ABC. And n Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. ET, our SuperFan Live: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Edition host Khail Anonymous will take us inside the Season 3 premiere episode, playing games, and discussing the episode with cast in studio.