If you could sit down with the cast and creators of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., what would you ask them? This question has been ringing in my brain for weeks when I found out we would have the privilege to attend a round table interview for the show.
You have to assume they get tired of hearing the same questions at conventions, so would you mix it up and throw in a wildcard question? Or would you be riddled with nerves and unable to speak at all? Since this was my first ‘round table’ experience I had no idea what to expect or how I’d react.
As the sun set into the ocean on Friday evening, press and media outlets from all over the country gathered in the Hilton Bayfront Hotel to get up close and person with our Marvel TV idols. As our guests of honor entered the private room, people turned on their video cameras and set out their audio recorders. The panelists paired off into groups of two and rotated their way around the room; first up was Ian De Caestecker (Fitz) & Ming-Na Wen (May). Instantly star-struck, I could feel my heart begin to flutter. As the other people began to ask questions I could feel my nerves start to ease. It wasn’t too long into the discussion before I convinced myself that they truly are normal people and I had no reason to be nervous. Once I arrived at this realization, I dove straight into the conversation!
I complimented Ian on his portrayal of Fitz’s recovery from a brain injury and asked what it was like to adapt the character. Ian gave most of the credit to the writers, but explained that the feedback he’s gotten from fans that have suffered from a similar experience has been extraordinary. Fitz’s character has truly matured through the seasons, with every experience Ian has done a tremendous job in embracing the subtle changes.
The next pair to visit our table were the real life ‘FitzSimmons’ and show co-creators Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon! With the new season a few short months away they were hesitant to give out too much information about the direction the show is going, but were candid that we may see some darker themes in Season 4. Jed explained that since they are 66 episodes in, the characters have had enough time to experience pain, and with pain comes darkness. With Bobbie and Hunter’s no longer on the show (or on Marvel’s Most Wanted) will we see them again? Jed replied, “well… once an agent, always an agent.” Sooo… he’s saying there’s a chance!
Jeph Loeb (executive producer) and Jeff Bell (writer/producer) came by next, followed by Henry Simmons (Mack) and Clark Gregg (Phil). Both cast and creators seemed to be in consensus that the Season 3 finale wrapped up a lot of story lines and allows Season 4 to start with a clean slate. Clark elaborated and said their characters would be “rebuilding in a different way” and “learning from their past mistakes.” Curious to see what he means by that, and how it will effect the character’s relationships to one another.
To save the best for last, Elizabeth Henstirdge (Simmons) and Chloe Bennet (Daisy) were our final group. By this point in the evening my nerves are completely out the window and I’m having a blast getting to know these actors better and hear their perspectives on making the hit TV show. I asked Elizabeth what it was like to film in Trona (in my opinion, one of the grossest cities on earth) and she gracefully responded with complete poise and professionalism. Chloe went on to discuss her character’s arch and going rogue, similar to her days as Sky in the van. I asked her if the gothic/emo appearance was a permanent change or just a disguise, to which she replied it’s a little bit of both. The character of Daisy is going through a transitional time right now and in the process of becoming Quake. Do you think she’ll stay away from S.H.I.E.L.D. long? Or will the pain of Lincoln’s sacrifice change her good? So many unanswered questions!
All in all, this round table experience was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Sure, I ‘fangirled’ out and took selfies with the cast, but I will never forget how humbling the entire experience was. These actors and show creators are truly passionate about their work and their involvement in the Marvel universe. They were all down to earth people who looked you in the eye, laughed with you, and wanted to share in the joy this show brings. I know I’m hooked!
Join me in watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 which premieres September 20th at 10/9c on ABC.