Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. MCM Comic Con Roundtable


Hollywood News Source headed to London for MCM Comic Con and we had the chance to sit in on the Press Event for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Joining stars of the show Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Luke Mitchell is Lotte Verbeek who played Ana Jarvis in the second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Verbeek joined the panel late hence the lack of answers from her until late in the discussion.

QUESTION What was your first major job as an actor before joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Elizabeth The first major one? This show was my first major job.
Nick I suppose the first big thing I did was a series called Material Girl with Lenora Crichlow.  I had like one episode on a show before that and then that was my first regular role.
Elizabeth But you’ve done a lot of theatre though.
Nick Yeah I have done a lot of theatre work some in big theatres and some in small (laughs)
Luke The Tomorrow People was my first big American thing but then that only lasted a season.
Elizabeth Thank God! Thank God because now you’re in this.
QUESTION OK let’s talk Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. what has been the highlight this season for each of you?
Elizabeth God I just feel like so much has happened in this season. Probably for me the highlight was when I was given the planet episode (Season 3, Episode 5 – 4,722 Hours) just to have the challenge of (Luke interjects)
Luke That was the highlight of the season for me as well, as I had a whole episode off.
Elizabeth Everyone left me! (laughs)
Nick Yeah I think I went back home that week
Elizabeth Yeah that was for two weeks. I think it was the most challenging thing I have ever done and I just really enjoyed it but I did miss being in an ensemble. There is something about that feeling then all of a sudden you’re on your own like a billy no mates. It was really good to do it but I was glad to get back with the others after.
QUESTION What are you all doing at the moment? Are there any solo projects?
Elizabeth I’m on holiday in Sheffield. Glam, Hollywood to Sheffield.
Nick I’m trying to decide on something at the moment but I won’t say what because otherwise if I say no to it then.
To Nick Give us a clue.
Nick (Deadpans) It’s an acting job.
QUESTION Does that mean you won’t be coming back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Marvels Most Wanted not being picked up?
Nick Who knows? Who knows? You know if I did know I couldn’t tell you anyway
Elizabeth That might be the job you’re deciding on.
Nick Yeah


QUESTION Elizabeth I was in the room in Ballroom 20 when you came out on stage for the first panel at San Diego [Elizabeth: Oh my goodness] and the look of shock on your face when you saw that room was just insane. Obviously you would have been told by Marvel that this would change everything for you. What has the show done in terms of your expectations of what has happened since your casting?
Elizabeth It has been gone above and beyond – none of us knew what would hit us we got sat down before we shot the Pilot and had a big pile of comic books plonked in front of each of us, and Jeph Loeb from Marvel sat us down and said your lives are about to change and told us to look after each other basically. We really have taken that with us and I think that for me has been the most wonderful and surprising thing about the show is that we’re a family and Clark Gregg is the head of it.
 QUESTION Who is the mama hen? Is it Ming Na Wen?
Elizabeth Well I mean Ming is the mother hen (Nick interjects)
Nick I wouldn’t trust Ming to babysit.
Elizabeth Yeah she leads us astray. Clark has kept a really tight ship he said from the outset that we had to talk to each other and look after each other, if anyone had any issues or troubles we would come to each other. I come to him for advice most days which I’m sure he’s regretting (laughs) now when 1 o’clock in the morning I call, “Hey, so wanna talk through that scene?” but he really has just made it a family which makes it great to go to work.
Nick The showrunners also really help to set the tone between them and Clark they really run a good ship and keep everybody happy.
 QUESTION With it being such a family, how does it feel when certain characters don’t make it through?
Nick It feels like someone has kidnapped one of your siblings
Elizabeth Yeah there’s nothing you can do about it.
Nick Or they’ve gone to college or they have gotten married and no one’s told you. So it is all just part of life really.
Elizabeth You know when you sign up for something you know that maybe not everyone is going to make it to the end but it still comes as such a shock everytime when you find out at the last minute because that is the way it has to be. It is like suddenly you lose a limb.
QUESTION So you share that with the audience?
Elizabeth Oh gosh yes, we get script to script, page to page sometimes as you’re filming… like this actually happens now.
QUESTION For the events of the season finale, what was the time frame, when did you find out about that, was it literally days?
Elizabeth Oh yes
Nick A week before if you’re lucky but if you get in with certain people on set. I think it was mine and Adrianne’s last episode and the heads of department had got the breakdowns for the episode but we had no idea what was happening. I went up to the 1st Assistant Director who had just got the script, but we would not see it for another week and I was like, “Have you seen the script?” and he said, “Yeah, have you?” I responded with, “Yeah it’s good, isn’t it?” the AD said, “Yeah yeah” then I asked, “so what was your favourite bit” and then he told me (laughter from the press core).
QUESTION With Phase 3 or the Marvel Cinematic Universe in play, are you hoping that they are going to choose to crossing over with the TV series a bit more in the run up to the big event movies?
Elizabeth That would be great, we just sort of go where they tell us to. I think logistically it is just so hard we film for 10 months out of the year and it is just crazy, really long hours and we pack a lot in, so I think logistically it is kind of a nightmare but we would be up for it.
Nick Those films take like the best part of two years to make so that makes a crossover really, really difficult.
QUESTION If you could be in any of the films which one would you go for?
Nick Any of THE films, do you mean any of the films ever made? (laughter)
 QUESTION Any of the Marvel ones?
Elizabeth Imagine if you were like DC (more laughter). I don’t know, I’d like to be in the lab with the Hulk or something.
Nick I’d like to be in the Fitsimmons film which is a rom com about them getting married.
Elizabeth You could be part of a love triangle?
Nick Oh! alright
 Elizabeth I wonder what Bobbi would have to say about that,
Nick She could join in (laughter) bring her batons.
 QUESTION Is the new relationship between Fitz and Simmons awkward?
Elizabeth Oh well Iain and I get along really well and we’re really good friends, but if you’ve ever tried to kiss a friend, those scenes are so awkward and as soon as you get it out of the way then it is fine, but we did have a lot of conversations around, “hey dude this is weird, yeah it is weird, OK cool as long as we’re both in agreement about that.”
 QUESTION Was the relationship dropped on you late on?
Elizabeth They all said no you’ll just stay friends, you won’t be together and if you are together no one will know. And then you read it and you go “OH, I’ll guess everyone will know”. I love them as characters though and I love that they got together. I was happy about that as an outsider, but when you come to film it things are kind of weird, like he knows my boyfriend, “Alright dude. Just going to kiss your girlfriend tomorrow.” I’m happy that they got together and I hope that they can stay happy but it is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and nothing really stays happy for long so we’ll see.
QUESTION What has been your favourite day on set so far?
Elizabeth I like the days when we are all in.
Nick The last episode of the season or the last episode before Christmas are good. On Christmas the caterers do a huge spread with all of the departments coming down. The end of season 2 was a fun day because everyone came down to the set.
Luke That was my 30th birthday.
Elizabeth And you realise how many people work on the show, hundreds and hundreds.
Nick I reckon a lot of people see the catering and go, “I’ll think I’ll have a bit of that”. We were shooting in downtown this one time and I watched this woman, this tourist just wondering around with a camera and there was the catering, all the craft services at the front of this building and she just wanders up to where all these donuts were and starts picking some out and the security guard asks, “What are you doing?” and she says, “Oh I’m just getting a donut, what does it look like?” I do think that if I was homeless in LA I’d just look for those signs that say “Location” and just wander around and get food.
Elizabeth Or just out of work as an actor. What better way? It is free food isn’t it?
QUESTION It is nice to have a Plan B if this doesn’t work out in the long run. Going back to Simmons I am curious, apart from that relationship, how do you feel she has evolved as the series has gone on as we are definitely starting to see a different side of her?
Elizabeth I’m just really proud of her really, in kind of a strange way I think her and Fitz needed to separate to get to know who they were and I’m glad they are back together again now more as individuals who have chosen to be in a relationship rather than needing each other and kinda grasping hold of each other. He got more feisty, she can look after herself, she’s survived, she is not by any means an amazing fighter which I’m quite grateful for because it means I don’t have to be. I’m proud of her and she’s also had kind of a doggy relationship with Inhumans, and now she’s coming around to the fact that things aren’t always so black and white but I think she will always go on the side of science which gets her into some tricky spots with her friends who happen to be Inhuman.
QUESTION There has been a lot of discussion about the presence of women in the MCU and in comic books generally. How far do you think the show has gone to address that and how do you feel about that in a wider sense?
Elizabeth What’s great about our show I think or one of the things, it’s just never mentioned what Agent May is a brilliant agent, the best agent, the most amazing S.O. happens to be a woman. It’s never put out there that THIS is what we’re doing, that to me is the best form of feminism that it is equal and it is not a big deal. It is something that we are all really proud of, not just that women can be really strong but that gay people can be strong or it doesn’t matter what race you are or what your background is, or your nationality. We’re judged on our merit and that’s the most important thing. We have a really diverse show and a diverse crew and we’re really proud of that, and I think the best thing is that it really works.
Nick It doesn’t feel like it is imposed.
Luke It’s just easy
QUESTION Talking about women in the MCU, what did you feel when Marvel’s Agent Carter wasn’t renewed for the third season?
Elizabeth I just still don’t believe that, I don’t believe anything that comes out, I just hope that it gets put somewhere else but what a strong series and what an amazing lead. She did amazing and well maybe there will be an Agent Carter movie. I always think there is some conspiracy theory going on that it didn’t get picked up because they’re actually making a movie but that’s not official.
QUESTION Much of the action on the show is physical and I don’t just mean the kissing scenes (laughter) how much of that do you want to do yourself and how much are you ok with a stunt double doing?
Nick I’m completely happy with stunt doubles doing my stunts. Adrianne wants to do everything, but I’m like you can’t do that love.
Luke (Agreeing) Yeah you will die if you do that.
Nick She just wants to do everything. I’m quite happy to let them… at the end of the day you want the final product to look as good as possible so I’m happy to get there whichever way is possible.
Lotte Verbeek arrives at the roundtable.
Luke To Nick Yeah you’re ready to put your hand up and say yeah I’m not capable. Me, I like getting my hands dirty like if there’s a running scene, well I’ll bloody well run. (laughs)
Nick Good on you, you trooper. How about walking?
Luke Well walking, yeah sometimes I’ll walk
Nick How about skipping? Or would you get a stunt double for that?
Luke It depends on how vigorous the skipping is.
Nick Did you actually train for the running? I actually had to learn how to run for a scene where I was running in slow mo. (Luke: Like Baywatch) Yeah so I had to get trained by this guy who trains athletes so I wouldn’t look like an idiot when I was running with like my lips flying around all over the place.
Luke Is that how you run? With your lips flying around?
Nick Well it is slow motion but I did feel like a bit of an idiot. Saying to this guy, “So you think I can’t run properly?”
QUESTION If you could play any superhero – who and why?
Nick Bananaman
Elizabeth Oh good one, that’d be an awkward outfit though.
Luke Captain Planet
Nick (Responding to a question)The banaman film hasn’t been done yet. I’m just hedging my bets.
Elizabeth I’d probably be Black Widow. Maybe I could just be her stunt double? Never gonna happen.


QUESTION How does it feel to be the spearheads for the Inhumans in the MCU?
Luke Nerve wracking. Look I didn’t really know anything about Inhumans to be perfectly honest. When I was cast, I wasn’t even sure that my character was Inhuman. So it was a very fast education for me into the rich history of the comics. I don’t know I guess it is a really cool thing to be one of the first representatives to introduce people who haven’t read the comic books, who aren’t familiar with Inhumans, kinda similar to X-Men but not really.
To Luke Do you think you’ll make it into the Inhumans movie?
Luke That would be cool but who knows?
QUESTION What were your thoughts when Kevin Feige was on stage and made the announcement of the Inhumans movie. What were your first thoughts?
Luke Very exciting obviously and there is a small part of you that hopes maybe I could be a part of it, and then there is the logical part of your brain that goes shut up you idiot there’s no chance.
Elizabeth But you are a part of it though regardless (everyone goes Awwww) but it is true though that’s what we can do as a TV show is say how other people feel about Inhumans and the difficulties and the struggles and stuff, and we’ve got to know you over hours and hours.
Nick (rolling his eyes) HOURS AND HOURS
Elizabeth So that’s cool that regardless of what happens you’re the foundation.
 QUESTION Before you (Talking to Lotte Verbeek) arrived, we were talking about Agent Carter not getting renewed for another season. What did you feel about that, what do you think are the chances of it getting picked up by someone else?
Lotte Well I don’t know, it is obviously a real shame that it didn’t get picked up. I had a great time working on it and I think we all did. So yeah we’ll see, I think there is a petition online so who knows.
 QUESTION What was a highlight of the show for you?
Lotte It is just a really fun world to be in. The costumes are really fun, and that era has a huge appeal so that was fun to be in that world.
 QUESTION How was it to move from Outlander to Agent Carter?
Lotte Well Outlander was obviously way back that time in Scotland was pretty grey and brown toned, and so it definitely got more colourful in Agent Carter so I liked that. I like both actually. I love being able to dip into both worlds.
QUESTION How was doing the accents in both shows?
Lotte With Outlander it was intimidating as a non-native English speaker being from Holland, so then Scottish I couldn’t even think of how it sounds so I had to study the accent but I liked it, it was fun. Then on Agent Carter with the Hungarian, I have spent a lot of time in Hungary filming The Borgias so I know what it sounds like. It is never a subtle accent which is what they wanted for the show, so that doesn’t really exist so I ended up doing something in between.