With everything the team has to deal with now, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is forcing the agents to decide what’s most important to them. No longer able to keep powered people out of the public eye, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Mack (Henry Simmons) are working to track down Inhumans for a team of Secret Warriors whose mission it is to train and protect powered people, all while the existence of Inhumans is polarizing public opinion. At the same time, Hive (Brett Dalton) is pushing forward with his plan, the motivations and goals of which are still unclear.
Collider (along with a handful of other outlets) was recently invited to the top secret set to try to pry details out of the cast and executive producers about where things are headed. Even though that’s a difficult and risky proposition, we got a few tidbits from actors Chloe Bennet and Brett Dalton, who talked about how Daisy feels about Hive, just how straightforward of a villain Hive actually is, Daisy and Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), Inhuman allies vs. enemies, and where there characters might fall in the Team Iron Man vs. Team Cap debate. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Question: What will Daisy’s reaction be, emotionally, when she sees that Hive has the face of Ward?
CHLOE BENNET: Your pants will be filled with shit when we get done with this season. You know what, I don’t think we made much of a meal out of it because there’s so much stuff going on that it’s kind of, “Well, of course, that would happen.” You know? Of course! It’s almost like, “All right, well, that’s funny, almost.” It’s weird, but it’s not him. I don’t think Daisy is that upset by it. I think she’s onto the next with problems that are going on because things go crazy.
From what we’ve seen, Hive seems to be a very straightforward villain, unlike with Ward, where there was always an element of grey to it, even when he was doing reprehensible things. Are there shades of grey to Hive?
BRETT DALTON: It’s always a conversation between your performance and the writers. I don’t know if I agree that he’s a straightforward villain. He’s certainly a re-invention of the character, but you will see that he actually does have a philosophy about what the world could be now that he’s there, and it’s quite inclusive, actually. It’s not about taking over the world and doing all of that stuff, as cool as that is to do. There actually is something there that might be in a shade of grey.
Chloe, did Coulson reveal what he did to Ward, off-camera?
BENNET: I actually don’t know that. I think it happened off-camera and it was more that word may have gotten out, but I don’t know if Daisy and Coulson have really had a conversation about it. That hasn’t played out yet, on camera. I think it has gone without being said. That’s how I have been playing it.
Brett, how awful was it to be covered in honey for that final scene in Episode 12?
DALTON: I was all for it, up until it happened. I’m a good sport about all these things. I’m like, “Put me in, coach. Let’s do another!” I said, “This is the best idea you’ve ever had. This is amazing! Let’s do it!” And all throughout the day, they were telling me how they were warming up this goo, and they had vats of it with different viscosity. There were three. There was one that was really slippery, and there was one that was kind of thick. It spreads a lot. They would put a bucket of the stuff on me, and immediately, I wanted to be in my trailer.
How long did it take to get off?
DALTON: It took forever.
BENNET: Did it get up your butt?
DALTON: It got everywhere you’d imagine goo would go.
BENNET: You had a gooey asshole.
DALTON: It got everywhere. It was crazy. And it took forever to wash off. I was in the middle of this pool, and they couldn’t help me out, so I was putting that stuff on my head and my body. It wasn’t just something that was one of those inconvenient things. It was as close to a nightmare as I’ve had on this set. But, I’m glad that it came off well.
Chloe, how will Lincoln and Daisy hooking up change their dynamic?
BENNET: I think with any relationship, if you work together and you’re in a relationship, whether you’re an Inhuman or in S.H.I.E.L.D., or you’re (showrunners) Maurissa [Tancharoen] and Jed [Whedon], there’s going to be problems just because you’re with each other, all the time. And I think it gets a little bit bizarre because Daisy is more of the leader of the team. Women in the relationship are usually wearing the pants, and I think Daisy probably wears the pants. I think it causes a normal amount of problems.
DALTON: She’s got 99 problems, but this isn’t one.
BENNET: Yeah. I think overall, it’s probably a good thing. Being Inhuman and being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, it’s not just work, it’s so personal because it’s her blood and it’s who she is. I think having him on the team helps her open her eyes to seeing other aspects because he’s been an Inhuman longer and he’s not as sensitive to it, or he’s maybe used to the criticism and is able to handle it in a less emotional way.
How does the question of what to do with Inhuman allies and Inhuman enemies impact Daisy, as she assembles her Secret Warriors team?
BENNET: I think it’s really just about being weary about who she picks for this team. Obviously, they have a few trust issues with some people.
DALTON: It doesn’t seem to affect you hooking up with Lincoln!
BENNET: We were on a break!
DALTON: I’m just a guy, standing in front of a girl . . .
BENNET: Murdering her friends and family!
DALTON: Telling her how much I love her.
BENNET: I think it just makes it harder to find people who are going to be able to fit the team vibe with the stress levels. She wants to weed out the bad out people. But when they’re happy, I’m like, “I can’t wait for the next fricking table read” because we’ve got 22 episodes a season to fill. I’m a little nervous about certain relationships.
Since Civil War is coming, where do you think your character would stand, on Team Cap or Team Iron Man?
DALTON: He’d stand up over the title Civil War. That’s personally where I think he’d stand. I actually am not as familiar with the Civil War movie until I see it. I know that there are teams, so you have superheroes fighting each other. It’s a Civil War. I get what a Civil War is, but I’m not sure exactly who’s on Iron Man’s team and who’s on the Captain America/Bucky team.
Iron Man is for the Superhero Registration Act, and Captain America is not.
DALTON: Thank you for explaining it. Well, then, I’d have to side with Cap, as Brett. I don’t know where Hive stands with that whole thing. He could just be like, “Oh, the humans are fighting again.” I think he’s above that. This guy has been around for centuries, so he has a scope and a perspective that is well beyond what a normal person would have. A century to him is nothing.
BENNET: Daisy would be Team Cap because she’s Inhuman. We’ve had some tough, hard-hitting scenes about, what does accepting people with powers, who are mutants or Inhumans, mean? And we equated it to the LGBT community. They are people that lot of people might not understand, and some people don’t agree with it, but it’s who they are and it’s the way they were born. It’s their blood. But at the same time, it brings in the debate over guns because these are also people who have very dangerous powers, and they can be dangerous, obviously. So, it’s a really, really tricky situation and both sides have the right to their opinion, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. It’s not black and white. It’s a little tricky, which is hard to play sometimes. It’s hard to figure out where we stand, but I think we’ve accepted that there is no black and white. Picking sides isn’t as easy as it might seem.
Do you see a potential future where Daisy would take her team and break from Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.?
BENNET: Daisy is forming her own little team and becoming the leader of her own little team, and Coulson is the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. As much as they might butt heads about certain issues, they definitely balance each other out. It’s the same reason Mack and Daisy are partners. He was the most weary of anything supernatural with superhuman powers. He was like, “What is going on?”
DALTON: Yeah, he’s Dana Scully and you’re Fox Mulder.
BENNET: Exactly! So, to put him with someone who is Inhuman was a great move on the writers’ part, and also a great way to balance out opinions and keep both of them in check. I’d like to think that both Coulson and Daisy know that. But I think the loyalty, overall, isn’t necessarily to S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s really to Coulson. From the beginning, it’s really about their connection, and that’s why she’s a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. What she believes in is her relationship with Coulson.
Are we going to see a push to track Lash down?
BENNET: I’m a little nervous to answer that question. He’s definitely a threat still.
Brett, this is the third time you’ve reinvented the character you’re playing. What’s that been like to do?
DALTON: I just keep going back to how lucky I am that I’ve had the chance to play three separate characters, essentially, on as many seasons of our show. I don’t know what’s happening in the fourth season, but we imagine it’s either a dinosaur or a robot.
BENNET: A robot dinosaur is what he’ll be playing next year.
DALTON: The good news is that the writers have infinite faith in my abilities, which is great.
BENNET: As they should because you’ve really done a great job. You’ve done such a good job of reinventing him and taking on the mannerisms of each new version of Ward.
DALTON: This was an opportunity that I really wanted to take to reinvent the character because this is a character that has existed in the comics before. It’s our version of Hive. Obviously, I’m not walking around with all the tentacle stuff. I am on the inside, but not on the outside. So, I really took this as an opportunity, as a character who looks like Grant Ward and is walking around in Grant Ward’s body, but is not Grant Ward, at all. He’s not fueled by the same things that Grant Ward is. He didn’t have a troubled childhood.
BENNET: Did Hive even have a childhood?
DALTON: I don’t even know if he had a childhood, but he’s used to being worshipped as a god. He’s completely different than Ward, so I couldn’t just have a caved-in chest and call it a day. I wanted to change the whole thing, and thankfully, the writers have been really responsive about that and allowed me the creative freedom to do that because I guess maybe I’ve proven myself before, or they’re just crazy and gave me carte blanche. I don’t know. I shudder to imagine what’s going to happen in Season 4.
Did the writers give you any sense of the long-term for Hive?
DALTON: Selfishly I certainly hope that they will find some way to keep me on the show, in some other version. I don’t really know. I will say that this guy has existed for a really long time and I’m sure has had many an enemy along the way, and he seems to have survived all of those threats until now. I think he’s a worthy foe. He’s not just a villain-of-the-week. So, we’ll just have to see how that plays out. Your guess is as good as mine.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights on ABC.