As much as viewers are looking forward to delving into the new Joss Whedon-created, comic-book-inspired drama "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," its cast members are just as anxious to have fans see it. Especially the show's resident tech expert, played by British actress Elizabeth Henstridge. "It's one of those pinch-yourself moments. Everyone's having a lot of fun," says Henstridge, aka Agent Jemma Simmons, who, along with Iain De Caestecker's Agent Fitz — yes, they're Fitz and Simmons — makes up S.H.I.E.L.D.'s tech tag team. The actress, who also stars with Sylvester Stallone, Kelsey Grammer, and "The Walking Dead" star Lauren Cohan in next year's big-screen drama "Reach Me," is sure to be one of the fall season's breakout stars.
Henstridge gamely agreed to be the first "dater" in Yahoo TV's new feature Speed Date, where we introduce a fresh face to the public in a rapid-fire, speed date-style interview. How many questions can the TV newbie answer while the clock ticks down to five minutes?
1. Where did you grow up? In Sheffield [England].
2. Are you close to your family? Yes, very close. I speak to them … well, if it weren't for FaceTime and Skype, I think I'd be a mess. But yes, I speak to them all the time.
3. When did you realize you wanted to become an actress? From being about 13 and going to drama club at school. I was in denial about it for a while and finally decided to go for it when I was about 20, I guess.
4. What was the first movie you ever saw? "The Little Mermaid."
5. What was the last movie you saw? Actually, I'm watching "Thor" right now. I'd already seen it, but I'm watching it again right now.
6. Do you have pets? I don't. I grew up on a farm, so I grew up around a lot of animals, but I don't have a pet right now. I keep looking into getting a rescue dog, but I just don't know if I'm responsible enough yet.
7. What's the longest relationship you've been in? Three years.
8. Do you want kids? Yes, I want a million.
9. Have you ever had a roommate from hell? No.
10. What's your biggest pet peeve? Rudeness.
11. What did you do last Friday night? I think I worked!
12. What do you never leave home without? My keys.
13. Who's your best friend? My family; they're all in there.
14. What food can't you stand? I can't eat beef. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I like it, but I just can't eat it.
15. Do have any allergies? Beef.
16. Do you go out to eat alone? You know, I think it's really important to do that every now and again, so yes.
17. Do you go to movies alone? Yeah, I've been to the movies alone.
18. When was the last time you looked up an ex on Facebook? Oh gosh, I never do that. I'm not friends with any of my exes. Although my sisters, my friends, are [still friends with some of my exes], so I know I can get [info] if I really want to, but I generally don't.
19. Do you have any acting superstitions? No.
20. Who is your dream co-star? Anthony Hopkins. I'm just watching him in "Thor" right now and really loving him.
21. Do you play sports? Yes, horseback riding.
22. Have you ever seen a ghost? No.
23. Have you ever voted in a reality TV competition? Yes! [Laughing.] The very first season of "Pop Idol" in England. I must have been about 12 at the time, and I remember using up all my phone credit on voting, and getting into trouble.
Meet all the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.":
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.