Hayley Atwell talks agent Carter : Season 2, Peggy’s move to LA and more

Marvel’s Agent Carter is back for Season 2 this Tuesday, in a new season that brings Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to Los Angeles, to help investigate a bizarre murder - while re-teaming with fellow Los Angeles transplants Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), now heading the LA division of the SSR, and Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), who has joined Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), as he launches a Hollywood film studio.

Along the way, she’ll meet new allies and enemies, along with once more encountering 1940s Black Widow Dottie (Bridget Regan) and with other familiar faces.

On the set of Agent Carter, Atwell discussed where we find Peggy in Season 2, what she makes of both Dottie and new character Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) — known to Marvel Comics fans as the villain Madame Masque — and more on what to expect.

Question : How is Peggy different in Season 2 ?

Hayley Atwell : I think she’s in a very different place emotionally because she’s let go of the grief she had of Captain America. So her heart is a bit more open to possible romance, and so she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle out here. And there’s the visual aspect of it being shot in LA with the light. Everything’s a lot lighter. Her clothes are slightly different. Her hair’s longer because she’s embraced the glamour of Hollywood a little bit, and I think that also reflects how she is emotionally. She went through a period of kind of struggling to find her feet in the SSR or fighting in a very subtle way the sexism she found in the male dominated environment. She, at the end, doesn’t necessarily win everyone’s respect. Jack Thompson, for example, takes the credit that she probably deserves, but she actually says she knows her value, so she doesn’t need that praise. So I think the first season is not so much that she actually is able to establish herself to everyone as an equal, but yet, for herself, she uses it as a source of strength for her own worth. So in that respect, she’s a lot more confident. So I think she’s coming out into this new world of Hollywood, met at the airport by Jarvis, her dear friend. And she can embark on something a little lighter. But of course, given the nature of this genre, it’s going to go dark very quickly, but she’s a little bit more quick this season to deal with it with an open heart.

Question : Comic book fans know to be suspicious of the name Whitney Frost. What does Peggy think ?

Atwell : She’s never met a famous person before, so I think she’s star struck. I almost feel that Whitney Frost is the other side of the same coin in that she’s very bright. She’s very successful in her own field, but she’s also probably had to overcome a tremendous amount of obstacles to get where she is. And she’s ambitious in her own way. And that’s something that Peggy can relate to. So the fact that Whitney has just gone down an abuse of power, the road that actually is much darker, but essentially a kind of parallel to the things that Peggy would have had to go through, that formed her character… I think there’s something quite intriguing about that for Peggy. And I think probably quite refreshing that she’s got another powerful woman around. She might be the nemesis, but at the same time, I think there’s an absolute respect for Whitney’s mind and her ambition and what she had to overcome to get the success that she has in the movie world.

Question : Are we going to see more of a leadership role for Peggy or is she out on her own ?

Atwell : She develops a very subtle and witty way of defending herself and standing up for herself in the Season 1 that was also treading very carefully of making sure that she didn’t end up fired, which she did, but she came back. So she’s got a skill set. She knows how to handle people in positions of authority over her that are also stupid. And she does that in a way that’s very elegant. And I think she has that skill set now that she’s learned from Season 1. So in Season 2, she doesn’t suffer fools, and she doesn’t have to pander to anyone. And she’s very, very straight with Chief Thompson. She’s not even trying to make smart comments. She’s just saying it as it is. So I think she can be a little straighter with how she presents herself and how she defends herself. And she’s probably quite bored of it and tired of it by now. She just kind of wants to tell them to go away and not have to do it in a way that uses irony, which they wouldn’t understand so she can get away with.

Question : Which new character are you most excited about ?

Atwell : It’s not a new character, but Dottie, actually. I just thought the reveal of who Dottie was in the woman’s hotel, kind of residential thing, where she suddenly becomes Black Widow, I thought it was so brilliant. And Bridget [Regan], I think she’s a fantastic actress. But I didn’t have much to do with her, really. This is a different relationship. In some ways, without spoiling everything, I need her. And also, I get to have scenes with her, which are like a chess game. So as an actor, that’s incredibly exhilarating because a lot of the scenes between us are, they’re filled with subtext. And on the surface she’s got this very soft spoken, elegant voice. And yet, you know that she’s an assassin, and it’s a very potent mix. And so in the actual, as an actor, I’m loving my scenes with Bridget.

Question : Is it fun to shoot at these LA locations ?

Atwell : I saw "A Rebel Without a Cause" again this year, knowing that we were going to shoot [at the observatory]. And I just wanted to see it on film. And it felt very iconic. And a lot of these places, Peggy will know about as well, so there’s that excitement of like for me ten years ago when I first came out here and saw the Hollywood sign for the first time. And you just think, it’s so exciting, that first hit of it. And I think Peggy, she doesn’t really have much interest in the Hollywood world, per se, but I think it’s very much in her psyche because it’s part of the culture of her day to have that kind of golden age of Hollywood. And she looks immaculate every day at work, so I think that’s kind of in keeping with the fact that you come to Hollywood which is so visually driven, and it’s all about appearances and creating this glamour, but of course, there’s an undercurrent of darkness. And that’s a lot to do with the gangsters and the serial killers that were rife back then. There seems to be these famous cases, and we’ve touched upon those a little bit. And I think it adds a more of a film noir feel to it, and it does make the whole thing a little bit more filmic. And it’s great because we had to film so much inside last year to hide it being the fact that we filmed in LA. That this year, we’ve actually been able to get out and see the sunshine, which has been lovely and easier to light, obviously.


Question : Are we getting any more adventures with you and Howard Stark ?

Atwell : Yeah, I think there’s a new comfort level between Stark and Peggy. Because of what they went through the in the first season, why he betrays her… And she realizes how kind of fragile human beings are, and she comes around to his way of thinking as to why she was betrayed. And because of that, they’re on a bit more of an even kind of level. She respects him hugely, but also is not afraid to comment on his lifestyle choices and how disgustingly misogynistic that she finds him. But again, I remember the greatest compliment I ever got was from a guy who was at school with me, and he was a real misogynist. Just the way that he would talk about women and his conquests of women… And I remember him coming up to me once, and we had to do this exercise – it’s really so drama school – we were like, “Go one at a time and compliment each other.” It was something so ridiculous because our egos were very fragile at drama school. You’d say something that you kind of acknowledged about that person, and this misogynist said to me… He just used the word equal. He said "equal." And that had so much more of an effect on me than, "Oh, she’s fabulous." Or she’s this, that, or the other. Coming from him, given his perception and view of the word, being so alien to mine, and in fact, actually quite insulting to me, the fact that he saw me as an equal was quite a big deal.

I think Howard and Peggy’s relationship is that - that he has these kind of floozies around, and he does kind of use women as probably a form of escapism for him in his Dionysus ways. Actually, when it comes to someone like Peggy, he doesn’t see her as big boobs and red lips. He sees her as someone he can actually have a proper conversation with, which probably scares the hell out of him as well because he’s very confused by it all. But then also, at the same time, she’s living at his house. So he’s graciously opened up his doors to her, which also means that she’s more privy to how disgusting he is. [Laughs] So it kind of works both ways. But again, I’m very lucky on this because I have Dominic [Cooper] and James [D’Arcy], who I’ve known for so long, that there’s an actual ease when we work together. And we can go to those places because we’ve known each other for a long time. We know how to push each other’s buttons and how to make each other laugh. And I think that helps to create the rapport between the characters. IGN Logo

Marvel’s Agent Carter : Season 2 premieres Tuesday, January 19th at 9:00pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes.

Source : IGN du 17/01/2016 par Eric Goldman

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A propos de Hayley Atwell, actrice britannique
Hayley Atwell, née le 5 avril 1982 à Londres, Angleterre, est une actrice britannique. Après plusieurs téléfilms, elle obtient son premier rôle au cinéma dans Le Rêve de Cassandre de Woody Allen aux côtés d’Ewan McGregor et Colin Farrell. En 2008, elle apparait dans The Duchess avec Keira Knightley. En (...)
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