One of the great things about the Television Critics Association is if you’re in the right place at the right time, you could land an exclusive with a big star. That happened when I ran across Hayley Atwell at the ABC party, where the cast of Marvel’s Agent Carter was mingling. So I got a on on one with Atwell, albeit a brief one as it was late and she had to be back on set in the morning.
Marvel’s Agent Carter is set in the ‘40s after Captain America: The First Avenger. Peggy Carter (Atwell) is still dealing with the loss of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and helping keep Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper)’s inventions out of enemy hands. Agent Carter wraps up its limited run Tuesday nights at 9 on ABC before Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns.
Nerd Report: Peggy has started to deal with her grief over losing Steve Rogers, but that won’t be over in one episode, right?
Hayley Atwell: No, it’s a pivotal part of the plot for the next few episodes.
Nerd Report: Has it been sort of a relieve to not be so tied to the present day Marvel universe?
Hayley Atwell: Yeah, there’s a freedom to kind of create our world as we see it in this time period and it means that this is a very standalone show that you can’t really compare to anything else on television.
Nerd Report: In the pilot, how much of the fight on the car were you able to do yourself?
Hayley Atwell: It was all me. I would do it. The stunt double would show me what to do so then she would film it, and then I would film the scene myself. Then they would cut if they felt there were certain drops that she was having to do that were a little bit more dangerous looking or better, so they would insert her. But I do all my own work as well.
Nerd Report: So were you harnessed onto the car or was it moving very slowly?
Hayley Atwell: It’s not moving. It’s stationary and it’s behind a green screen.
Nerd Report: How about the fight against the big guy in the second week (episode 3)?
Hayley Atwell: That was all me as well, even the bank against the light shade.
Nerd Report: How big of a comic book fan were you before Marvel?
Hayley Atwell: I wasn’t at all. I think it makes Peggy Carter that much more accessible to people who don’t know anything about the world.
Nerd Report: Before you knew you were getting your own series, how much did you miss Peggy Carter?
Hayley Atwell: I missed Chris, I missed working with him. I missed working with the people, but I’ve done this now for 10 years and I move on to different parts and I let them go. I never pine after a character. I kind of see them as you put them to rest and you move onto the next thing, so it’s lovely to reprise the role. I’m going to miss her a lot more when I wrap.