When a panel starts with a failed Instagram story and ribbing from cast mates, that’s the one to be at, even when it’s unclear if you’re part of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, or the Framework. Also, if you didn’t understand why Hydra lost to S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s due solely to the fact that Brett Dalton, as an evil double agent for Hydra, can’t figure out how to use Instagram or his phone’s video function.
A packed Marriott Atrium Ballroom audience on Saturday at 4 PM took sides and asked the agents and LMDs (Life-Model Decoys) Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Mallory Jansen, and Ming-Na Wen all about the good, the bad, and the naked moments.
Last season’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saw several agents trapped in the Framework, and in that simulation, many of our favorite deceased characters were alive and mostly well. When asked what the cast’s favorite part of the Framework was, Dalton quickly exclaimed, “I’m alive!” Without missing a beat, Wen jumped in with, “And he gets to be a hero!” For Jansen, it was the scene where she got to flip out on a more attractive version of Fitz, much to Henstridge’s dismay that Jansen gets the sexier version of Fitz.
The Kaleidoscope Track held “Jr. Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Training,” and several of the new recruits came armed with questions for their senior agents. One such trainee asked which character is each actor’s favorite. Dalton quickly held a Fitz-head-on-a-stick up. Jansen replied with May, not because Wen was sitting at the table, but because she’s “so kickass.” Henstridge added that Wen’s laugh can be heard from miles away, and that she is also a machine when it comes to doing stunts. To which Dalton joked that May, unlike Wen, is coordinated, and without missing a beat, Wen added, “(May’s) coordinated and smart.”
An audience member remarked that the S.H.I.E.L.D. actors Instagram pictures are full of puppies, except for Dalton. He was asked what it was like to be on set with all dog people. Dalton answered with that he’s an animal lover in general, but he wasn’t able to take his cat to set. That answer was met with a resounding “aww” from the audience. Dalton exploded into mock outrage “How did I get more sympathy for me not being able to bring a cat to work than I did me dying on a planet after Coulson had pushed his robot hand through my chest?”
On the set of S.H.I.E.L.D. it isn’t all heroes, puppies, and Hydra losing though. On occasion, it requires losing some clothes. When Jansen filmed the scenes where LMD Aida was getting a “human” body, it required her to work on a closed set and wear a nude suit, but not being completely nude. She explained that made for awkward moments and conversations with the crew who were shielding their eyes. Wen said that being naked on set is the worst. Well, what is the absolute worst is not when someone walks in, sees the nude suit, and embarrassingly covers their eyes, but if they walked in, saw the nude suit, and groaned “ewww.”
While each actor’s experiences are unique, there’s one thing to be learned from the agents: It’s always time to pick on Brett Dalton.
Well, except maybe not when he’s Hive.