Marvel.com interviews with both Ming-Na and Nick Blood:
Marvel.com sat down with Nick Blood for this exclusive first interview to learn more about Lance Hunter before he debuts next week, so keep reading to learn more about the new team member’s reasons for joining up, what it’s like to join the established cast in its second season and much more!
Marvel.com: We don’t really know much about Lance Hunter at this point aside from the fact that when he comes in, he’s a mercenary. He’s not really in it for the cause, he’s in it for the money. What can you say about his role?
Nick Blood: Well, I’m not going to tell you much, because I want you to watch it. [laughs] He’s based on a Marvel character, Lance Hunter, who in the comics was the head of S.T.R.I.K.E., which was kind of like the British equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But that’s not necessarily [the direction we’re going in] “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He’s British, he’s got military background, as did Lance [in the comics]. He kind of comes across the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang and ends up joining them. You’ll have to tune in to find out.
Marvel.com: When we’re introduced to Lance, he has a very strong relationship already with Lucy Lawless’ character, Isabelle Hartley, and her team. What is it about her the he respects so much?
Nick Blood: Yeah, they’re a real tight crew. There’s a couple of characters, Izzy and Idaho, and these guys have been through everything together. They’ve been together for a while, trust in each other explicitly, and they know each other inside out. They know what each other’s going to do before they do it. I think with that, with the experiences that they’ve gone through, comes a huge amount of love and respect for each other and a sort of deep caring for one another. So with Izzy, they’re thick as thieves. It was nice because my first few [scenes] were with [Lucy Lawless] and that was really nice to have somebody who is kind of new as well, but she knows the city really well and she’s done lots of work over here so she kind of [had that on me].
Marvel.com: Building on that, what’s it like to toy with some of the pre-existing dynamics? Because obviously, so many of these characters from the first season had so many dynamics with each other. Now you’re a new character changing things around.
Nick Blood: It’s really nice because each different character, the original characters, has a different kind of response to [Hunter]. Generally I think they’re slightly wary, a little bit suspicious, [but also] a little bit amused by him. Because the nice thing about him coming into this group is that Lance doesn’t really care that much of what people think of him. So he’s very much himself and very comfortable in it. He doesn’t bow down to the etiquette of the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy. He’s quite fun to be able to play with that. He treats Director Coulson just how he would treat Skye or Fitz.
Before the season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” next Tuesday, September 23 at its new time, 9:00 p.m. ET, we talked with Ming-Na Wen about what the future holds for May as Coulson and his team embark on a new journey through uncharted territory to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel.com: Towards the end of last season, May and Coulson’s relationship in particular got a little rocky before it became a lot better. Going into Season 2, how would you define the dynamic between the two of them?
Ming-Na Wen: I think they’ve patched things up, and they respect and understand each other enough and have a strong enough friendship where both understand why she had to follow orders. So they’re in a good place. I don’t know how much of this I can give away. What’s really great is [now] that Coulson has new duties as Director in rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s got his hands full in coordinating and recruiting S.H.I.E.L.D. members that he feels he can trust. So May is now his right hand man, or I guess, his right hand woman, I should say, in dealing with the ragtag gang of S.H.I.E.L.D. members we have left and in conducting missions. I love the fact that May now has a lot more duties and she really, truly, is in the field, which is a thing that she didn’t want in the beginning. She’s completely immersed in it and she understands why she has to be.
Marvel.com: Another thing that’s coming up is I know that beginning in the new season, May has sort of taken Skye under her wing as well.
Ming-Na Wen: Yeah, very much.
Marvel.com: I was curious what it was that May sees in Skye. At the beginning Coulson obviously saw something in her from the get-go, but some of the other characters, it took a little bit more for them to really accept her. At this point, what does May see in Skye that leads her to become her new supervising officer?
Ming-Na Wen: May does see the potential in Skye. She’s proven herself many times over the course of the last year in certain missions, [especially with] how [Skye] had to handle Ward when she found out he was Hydra. She’s really proven herself under stress. However, I think the other layer is that both Coulson and Skye share this mysterious blue formula that’s in their system. Being her S.O., I think, is something that serves several purposes. One is that she can keep an eye on Skye, she can get to know her better, and if there are any changes that happen in her she’ll be able to pick up on it much quicker. At the same time, she’s a real asset to the team as far as being able to go into the field, and we need every single member that we can get and Skye is someone that she can trust. It’s just a matter of also keeping an eye on her.
Marvel.com: That vigilance and watching over others, is that one of the key things that you feel keeps May around with S.H.I.E.L.D., or is there also that belief in the bigger idea of what S.H.I.E.L.D. is and can be?
Ming-Na Wen: I think so, because May’s friendship and loyalty to Coulson runs so deep. I find that relationship so fascinating and so fun to play between the two of them. But it’s basically her loyalty and her love for Coulson. Maybe not romantic [love], it’s just really--it’s hard to describe--it’s a bond, it’s unbreakable, and she will watch over Coulson and take care of him and help him through whatever he needs to at this point in his life because he has a lot to deal with on many levels: Physically, mentally, and emotionally. She wants to be there for him, and if it serves S.H.I.E.L.D., that’s just more or less a side effect, really.
"Making Friends and Influencing People" - Coulson and his team race against HYDRA to get to Donnie Gill--a dangerous gifted with the ability to freeze objects--while Simmons is caught in the crossfire on Tuesday, October 7 (9:00-10:00 p.m.ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons and Nick Blood as Lance Hunter.
Guest starring are Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie, Reed Diamond as Daniel Whitehall, Dylan Minnette as Donnie Gill, Simon Kassiandes as Sunil Bakshi, Adam Kulbersh, as Kenneth Turgeon, Maya Stojan as Agent 33, David Diaan as Elias, Jarrod Crawford as Lead Hydra Agent, Nicholas Roth as Second Hydra Agent, Mo Darwiche as Ship's Captain, and Jesse D Goins as Theo.
"Making Friends and Influencing People" was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Bobby Roth.
Actor Brett Dalton at the MEN'S FITNESS 2014 GAME CHANGERS event at Palihouse on September 17, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.