×

‘Agents of SHIELD’ Postmortem: Chloe Bennet on Lash, LGBT Characters and Simmons’ Fate

Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen the Season 3 premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” titled “Laws of Nature.”

“Agents of SHIELD” crammed plenty of twists into its season premiere, introducing us to Constance Zimmer’s enigmatic Rosalind Price, head of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, and two new Inhumans — potential ally Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba).; and the destructive Lash (Matthew Willig). The episode’s final moments also revealed that Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is still alive on a mysterious planet after being swallowed up by the Kree Monolith in last season’s finale.

Variety spoke to “SHIELD” star Chloe Bennet (aka Daisy Johnson) about her character’s dynamic with Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), suspicions about Rosalind and what’s ahead in episode 302.

Do you think Daisy is going to be torn between her loyalties to SHIELD and the Inhumans at any point, or is she pretty firmly on the same page as the rest of SHIELD now?

She has a really interesting perspective because she is a SHIELD agent and she’s an Inhuman, and she feels a loyalty to both sides. I think she feels very strongly for both; that’s gonna be the biggest struggle for her this season — at least that’s what I’ve played so far. I think she feels a responsibility because her mom, as crazy as she was, was trying to protect Inhumans and trying to help these people, whether they’re kids or adults who are turning into something that they’re not necessarily ready to be, or they’re automatically turning into something different and society isn’t ready for it. That can be hard. I love how relevant that is now with LGBT rights and people feeling different … and the acceptance of that and learning to be okay with yourself. I think she feels strongly on both sides, so it’ll be an interesting season. Loyalty hasn’t shown more on either side so far, so that’s gonna be up to the writers.

Speaking of LGBT rights, the show introduced its first openly gay character in Joey. He’s struggling with his new Inhuman abilities and obviously has a different perspective from Daisy, but also perhaps some common ground because they’re both used to feeling like outsiders. What can you preview about their dynamic and what he could potentially add to the team?

Joey is the first person that she really feels like could be part of the team; they have to go through a certain level of assessment before that happens. As for him being gay, I was really, really happy to see that, and I am mostly happy to see how nonchalant it was and how subtle it was and how no one made a big deal about it. That’s the kind of reference to someone being gay that I like to see; it doesn’t affect the storyline in any way — it’s subtle, and I thought that was really good on the writers. Just like when people ask what it’s like to play a strong female character and it’s always a little frustrating…

Right, they’re just people.

Yeah, why don’t you ask Clark (Gregg) what it’s like to play a strong male character? I don’t know what that means. It’s just normal, so I like it when it’s subtle like that and they did a really good job.

Lincoln was pretty reluctant to join Daisy and Mack (Henry Simmons) in the premiere — how important is it to her to bring him into the fold?

He is gonna be a tough little cookie; I don’t think it’s gonna be as easy as people think and I’m pretty happy about that because often TV tends to be very easy in how things happen very conveniently. It’s definitely not gonna be convenient getting him on the team or convincing him to work with us. We have different views on what we should do with the Inhumans, he has a different view on what it is after the aftermath of Afterlife; he and I disagree a little bit on it and it’s gonna take a little negotiating on Daisy’s part. But at the same time, I think we like each other, so that will also play a part in him potentially joining the team. We’ll also see a darker side of Lincoln and a bit of who he was before we were introduced to him in Afterlife, so there’ll be a lot of nice layers pulled back on Lincoln. Luke Mitchell plays it so well, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about him and I think everyone else will love it too. Plus I think Daisy deserves a little action, don’t you?

I think so — someone who’s not a homicidal, torturing… 

…Psychopath? Yeah!

Poor Ward (Brett Dalton).

I know, poor Ward.

Or not poor Ward, because he was a torturing psychopath…

I know, people are very adamant, they go “he had a hard childhood!” (Laughs) … But all of the team probably didn’t have an easy childhood either in the show — I don’t think everyone’s had it as easy as you’d think. He’s definitely a murderous sociopath, so I think it’ll be exciting to see him at the head of Hydra and doing his bad thing. He does it very well.

Do you think Daisy has written Ward off, or is there a part of her that would still want to save him despite everything he’s done?

I wouldn’t say she’s completely written him off, no. I think there’s a level of “okay, you’re totally crazy” and she would never say it out loud that she’s not totally written him off, but I like to think that deep, deep, deep down, she doesn’t quite buy this evil s–t.

We also got our first look at Lash in the premiere, which was suitably terrifying. What kind of threat does he pose to the team aside from his physical power?

The Lash situation is going to be one that’s gonna really mess people up. I can’t really say much else, but it’s not what it seems, is what I’ll say.

Rosalind Price doesn’t seem particularly trustworthy, given that she’s also hunting the Inhumans, if not blowing holes in their chests. What’s Daisy’s take on her?

She doesn’t want her as a stepmom, that’s for sure. (Laughs.) It’s a little too convenient; she’s right to feel a little bit of iffiness, she doesn’t trust her — she thinks she has a separate agenda from what she’s saying to Coulson and I think the audience will see pretty quickly what that is. [Daisy’s] just trying to make sure she keeps Coulson in check, like… “don’t go sleeping with the enemy any time soon!” I think it’ll be interesting. We’re only on episode 7 and it’s already pulled all of us around; we don’t know which way it’s gonna go, so I’m excited to see what happens with that.

The final moments of the premiere proved that Simmons is still alive — what can you preview about next week’s episode, which sees the return of Peter MacNicol as the Asgardian warrior formerly known as Elliot Randolph?

We’re all gonna be pretty adamant on seeing what happens with Simmons, so the team is gonna go to great lengths to try and get her back.

“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

More TV

  • UTA

    UTA Launches Sports Division, Invests in Klutch Sports Group

    UTA is diving into the sports arena through an investment in Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents LeBron James and other stars. Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul will serve as head of the newly created UTA Sports wing in addition to running his own banner. Paul launched Klutch Sports in 2012 in Cleveland. UTA [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky

    Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky Cinema After Management Shuffle

    Sarah Wright, Sky’s top acquisitions exec, will take on responsibility for Sky Cinema after a management shuffle at the pay-TV giant. Wright fills a role vacated by Ian Lewis, who recently left Sky after 20 years. He was one of several Sky staffers to leave after its takeover by Comcast. As director of Sky Cinema [...]

  • Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer

    Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer on Matthew Modine Slate

    Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content