The 2-hour season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. if finally here, who else can’t wait to see what happens tonight! Last month I had a chance to visit the set of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and interviewed the cast. I shared my first cast interview a few weeks ago, today I have some fun things to share from our interviews with Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Jed Whedon, and Jeff Bell.
1. We held the interviews on a soundstage NEXT to “the bus.” Lola was parked on the back it! Naturally we asked about the sets they shoot on, if they had a plane interior, etc.
Clark : It’s a great question. It’s very similar to the films only with about a tenth of the time and resources. The short answer is you see Lola, you this plane. That thing really goes up with those cars on it. That’s a practical hydraulic. And, you know, if it’s gonna be coming out the back of the plane suddenly this will be surrounded by either green or blue. And the sky and the wind machines and everything, it’s a blend of practical and digital. Mark Kolpack and his amazing team.
2. We asked if any Avengers make cameos on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Clark : I’m always happy when those friends come to play. I’ve always felt that Coulson was kind of the crazy uncle of the Avengers. And he never likes to choose favorites. It was very nice when in this episode last year, the 22nd episode when director Fury showed up and handed me this spectacular cube… I love whenever Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders comes to play. We’ve had Lady Sif a couple of times. Robert Downey and Jeremy Renner have been really cool online saying how much they wanted to come play. They’ve been a little busy doing this independent film that you guys saw the other night. 😉 At some point I’d love to see all of that.
3. Is snarky lines, Coulson’s super power?
Clark : I have ad libbed a couple of them, but not a lot of them. My god, I’d love to claim more of them. But a lot of them are our terrific writers…One of the reasons they I think brought Coulson back to life is that to their surprise in a super hero movie like the first Avengers and the ones leading up to it there was something that the audience really connected to in the super hero world, someone who was quite vulnerable, who, you know, this was kinda their job. Like, oh, God, what does this guy have for a super power? And I got to have some kinda snarky lines. It’s always been something that people really responded to about Coulson. And they give me some great ones. They’ve accepted the fact that at the end of most scenes where that’s appropriate I’m gonna do one extra pass and throw in a couple. “Boo-ya” might have been mine.
4. We laughed about seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron before Clark and Ming-na did. They were headed to the world premiere the next week.
Ming : You did not! (we laugh) Okay, well, let us ask you questions then. What happened?
Clark : Okay, be honest. Am I in it? 😉
I won’t tell you if Coulson is in it or not because I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.. but what are you waiting for? I’ve already shared 5 fabulous reasons on why you should see Avengers: Age of Ultron!
5. We also sat down with Executive Producers Jed Whedon and Jeff Bell. The Marvel Universe is a complicated one and they are in unchartered waters with new stories and characters. This was harder in the first season, than the 2nd season.
Jed : I think that the big advantage we have now is that people know the characters. A huge disadvantage for us was that they were original character which most Marvel properties launch with something that you are familiar with. That was new for all of Marvel and new for the Marvel fans so I think that initially people reacted to that. They were saying okay, well I’m not seeing things I know of and this has a big Marvel flip at the top of it. but as time goes on and you get to know the characters you start to become familiar with them and, you know, Sky becoming who she became was more rewarding because you spend a year with her getting to know her and it wasn’t like the first episode, here’s this character you’ve heard of. You had to spend some time with them but I think there was a little barrier to entry because these were new names, new faces.
Jeff : And from our perspective though part of that was we’re an ABC network show. We’re not a sci-fi show. Our mandate was not just to do a show for hardcore Marvel fans. Our show was to try to make, get as many people in as possible and so it was an opportunity for a lot of people to come in, characters they didn’t know and so if you’re not a big Marvel fan you don’t know that Sky or Ward were not part of that cannon but for the diehards they’re like well if Mike Peterson isn’t Luke Cage we don’t like him. And then we go oh, but we’re building him to death lock and you have to be patient to do that because we’re doing 22 episodes and they were like oh, that’s cool.
Jed : So our approach hasn’t really changed. It’s just been easier. You know, you don’t have to spend the time. Initially, you have to spend time introducing the characters and now you can just throw them into trouble. Everyone goes oh now they’re making their way into comics. you know, FitzSimmons are now in the comics which to us is so fun and, you know, it starts to just weave together and who knows where stuff started and where it ends.
I think it’s super cool that FitzSimmons are in the comics now, they are two of my favorites on the show!!
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Finale
Don’t miss the 2-hour season finale tonight on ABC at 9pm ET!
Disney hosted me in LA while I attended the #AvengersEvent press trip which included movie screenings and interviews. As always, all opinions and experiences are my own.