PODCAST: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. At Paleyfest


Some of the cast and executive producer attended Paley Fest at the Paley Center to screen an episode and have a lively Q and A. Here are my red carpet interviews.

First is Chloe Bennet who plays Skye

Tony Tellado: Talk about those scenes between Skye and Grant. Kind of a Silence Of The Lambs kind of moment.

Chloe Bennet: It’s a little creepy isn’t it ?

Tony Tellado: Yes

Chloe Bennet: Chianti, fava beans..Clark can tell you about that. It’s weird because Grant has almost taken a literal approach to it.So it’s different because we don’t see each other as much as we did last season. So when we really get into these scenes it is a little creepy. It’s a weird dynamic.It’s kind of heart breaking a little bit because there’s so much history. I really do believe that he is really is telling the truth and he won’t lie to me.He does have a good intention now.I don’t think..What ever he did last season was because that he was loyal to Garrett . He was almost brainwashed by Garrett in a way. I really do think that he really loves her in his own weird F’d up way.


From Paley Fest, I speak to Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet,Ming-Wa Wen, and executive producer Jeph Loeb. Special thanks to ABC and The Paley Center.Bonus interview Sean Pertwee of Gotham from Paley Fest.

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Tony Tellado: And for Skye, this year she definitely has skills

Chloe Bennet: Yes. She’s a lot different.May has been her SO and I think that’s clearly rubbed off on her.She still has that Skye in her but she’s matured a lot.It’s been nice to play that.It’s like completely different character this season.

The man in charge of rebuilding and saving what is left of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Special Agent Coulson now the head of the organization played by Clark Gregg who spoke to me next.

Tony Tellado: What is cool this year that Coulson is a bit rogue this year but is also trying to get the band back together. We also know that he doesn’t like to fly economy. What is it like to play this side of Coulson ?

Clark Gregg:   I didn’t realize how much I was missing it.There’s something as I said odd about being the representative of a giant super secret organization even though so much of what Nick Fury stands for and what Coulson believed about Nick Fury was protecting people from threats that they didn’t even know about, was clearly something was wrong there.To be made the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. by his mentor , the incomparable Nick Fury at a time where there is no S.H.I.E.L.D. and all I have is a George Foreman grill and a couple of pop guns.There’s a lot that’s bad about that but there’s definitely something pure about that mission that works for him. You said it best there’s something fun about going rogue.

Tony Tellado: And he’s also working with mercenaries. That’s a new wrinkle

Clark Gregg: It’s hard. He knows that some of them have been driven to that point by how much S.H.I.E.L.D. has let them down.But on the other hand, they are very different than the people that are doing this because those people believe in the cause. That has always been at the root of the whole thing.

Tony Tellado: Talk about some of the guest stars you have this year. It’s great to see Adrian Pasdar.

Clark Gregg: Adrian Pasdar has been killing it with is kind of J.J. Jameson-esque General Talbot. I just starting doing some scenes with Kyle MacLachlan. They’ve written this incredible character for him as Skye’s dad who has more secrets that Chloe knows about.Henry Simmons, I’m a huge fan of.And a lot of the young actors who are part of the show as regulars Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, and also B.J. Britt, at a certain point are playing characters that no one knew. But they were known by Marvel for thirty, forty years. So it’s a real task to be done b y those actors and writers to introduce themselves and get the audience to know and care about these characters. When I got to see the last episode screened at New York Comic Con, it was very rewarding because people were really concerned about Fitz. You realize how much that character has landed.They’re (fans) are really worried about Agent Simmons in the belly of Hydra.It’s really nice how the audience has embraced those characters. It makes our job easier this season.

One of the executive producers, Jeph Loeb chatted with me about the second season.

Tony Tellado: What is the mission for season two. The show seems more action oriented.

Jeph Loeb: I’m not sure if there was a different mission but certainly in talking with our show runners, Jeff Bell, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon, the idea is to keep up the momentum and the urgency.It really is a different show in the sense that last season S.H.I.E.L.D was this giant…Jeff Bell likes to talk about it like ” How do your root for the NSA ?” This secret organization that can tap any phone, get any where and do anything. Basically oversees any kind of law enforcement agency. But now if you have been watching the show, we’re the underdog. We’re hunted. They’re branded as terrorists.There is a giant organization called Hydra which is doing nothing in order to help that image.So it’s keeping that going that I think gets people invested in the show.And when you have a leader like Clark Gregg who is now the director and running the operations for it, I think what we’re really finding out is heavy is the head that wears the crown.It’s not easy to run that and that’s the reason why Nick Fury did make some questionable choices so is Coulson going to be faced with those kind of choices this year ?

Tony Tellado: I would assume with this being a shared universe that there is some coordination with the movie people making Captain America 3. Do you talk to them so you know where they are going with their plot ?

Jeph Loeb: It’s so funny because when people talk about Marvel, they see us a this giant octopus that is swallowing up the universe.( It’s probably where we are…) But in fact we are still very much a small organization. In fact when we’re working on Agent Carter which is the first show that we are working in conjunction with the studio, so Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito who are the co-presidents (Of Marvel) talk all the time.Everyone who works on the show has a clear picture of where they are going in the motion picture division. We know where we are going in the television division. And both of us follow back to Dan Buckley , Alan Fine and Joe Quesada in the publishing division so it is a place where we do hand off things right and left . There little moments that we planted in the show that isn’t going to pay off until down the road because you haven’t seen the movie yet and the movie is coming out in a year and a half.It’s kind of sharing that shared universe.It’s something that ‘s very important to us. I think it’s really helped our audience to be invested in our characters in a way that is unique and can only be done at Marvel.

Lastly one of my favorite actors on the series, Ming- Na Wen who is Melinda May

Tony Tellado: What I love about her is that she just kicks ass. Talk about that scene with the motorcycle.

Ming-Na Wen: Oh I loved it.To have Harley Davidson make a SH.I.E.L.D. motorcycle for us was incredible.

Tony Tellado: How long did it take to shoot that ?

Ming-Na Wen: Like any other stuff that we do, we have nine days at the most to shoot each episode. That took a day, half a day to do.We had to get off the road in a while because we only had that stretch of road that we were able to rent before rush hour.

Tony Tellado: As we found out last year, she was really on the team to kind of watch over Coulson. And she’s still doing that. Talk about that aspect of the character and is that going to change this year now that they are all rogue ?

Ming-Na Wen: I think she has always watched over him,this new season especially because he can change for the worse.This alien blood in him is sort of like a disease . You don’t know where it’s going to go and how it’s going to change him. I think for her she is filling Coulson’s old shoes since Coulson is filling Fury’s old shoes.She takes that job seriously because they’re trying to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.

Tony Tellado: You’re all rogue. You really don’t have anyone to watch your back. You’re on your own.

Ming-Na Wen: Yeah but that’s how S.H.I.E.L.D was founded on I think. With any large organizations that get a little too big, it loses its fundamental values and beliefs.It allows full corruption to come into play.That’s what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. And now it’s kind of like cleaning house, going back to basics. And hopefully we can rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. having learned from our mistakes because Hydra is an evil large opponent to deal with.

Special thanks to Marvel, ABC and The New York Paley Center

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