#AgentCarter Season 2 Exclusive Behind The Scenes Interview & Set Secrets
Tuesday night at 9:00 on ABC it’s lights, camera, Hollywood as Marvel’s Agent Carter returns for a dynamic second season of adventure and intrigue, starring Hayley Atwell as the high-heel wearing, unstoppable agent for SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Dedicated to the fight against new Atomic Age threats in the wake of World War II, Agent Peggy Carter journeys from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous – and bizarre – assignment yet. The business of saving the world from destruction may be a serious one, but when we paid a visit to the set that serves as the headquarters for SSR last month to sit down and talk with Haley Atwell who stars as super agent Peggy Carter, along with Jarvis himself, the one and only James D’Arcy and executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the serious undertones quickly gave way to an afternoon of nonstop frivolity and laughter from start to finish. The future of the world may be in their hands, but off camera, these acclaimed actors and producers are quick to share why this show works. The partnership that is there onscreen doesn’t’ just stop when the cameras stop rolling and the friendships and bonds formed between the cast and crew is one of the very reasons the show works and leaves the rest of us clamoring for more. The days may be long and grueling, but with the pranking that happens out of the eye of the public and a well-placed flamingo here and there, these super sleuths managed to get the job done day in and day out. So just what’s in store for Carter, Jarvis and the rest of the SSR this season and will we see Howard Stark? Here’s an exclusive look of what you can expect from the new season of Marvel’s Agent Carter.
Los Angeles Means a New Look and Feel:
Executive Producer Michele Fazekas set the scene for the upcoming season : “So you already probably know that the story moves to Los Angeles where Sousa is running the West Coast SSR. Things happen, which are terribly exciting, but they all take place in L.A. so instead of being a sort of New Yorky, dark, dingy vibe, now it’s bright sunlight and palm trees and sort of thing. We were talking about film noir, which is one of the things we’re doing in the 1940s. L.A. is a real natural location for that. I think it’s kind of nice to be in the same city where all you have to do is worry about making it go back in time. It was also exciting to put things in a new location, to have a little bit of a different look, down to hair and makeup and wardrobe and even how the show is shot. It really infused a different style into the show that everyone really seems to like. This season’s move to Los Angeles opened up the possibility of incorporating the city into the show.”
New Coast Means New Characters:
Michele continued to share some of the backstory of what led to the move: “Howard has moved his sort of base of operations to L.A. because you have sort of the burgeoning scientific field. He’s doing some government contract work and he’s also opened up a movie studio on the side and Jarvis is setting up his Beverly Hills estate out here. Howard does make an appearance, and Dottie Underwood comes back, in a fun way. You know, that actually you’ll see Agent Thompson and Agent Sousa but then there’s a whole bunch of new characters that we bring which are really-really fun. Kurtwood Smith comes and plays a new mentor for Thompson and potentially a little bit of a foil for Peggy. There’s a wonderful actress Wynn Everett who plays Whitney Frost and the main antagonist for the season. And what I love about her character is her arc and where you kind of see her start and where she ends up. I think that’s a really fun foil for Peggy. Currie Graham plays her husband but the way we sort of designed that relationship, Whitney Frost from the comic books is Madame Masque and we instead designed our own character and we designed their relationship as a bit of a Macbeth thing. Whitney Frost is a sort of scientific genius but to the public she’s an actress. If you know anything about Hedy Lamarr she was this beautiful actress who was also like an inventor, and invented a thing called Frequency Hopping, which basically is a way to control torpedoes with radio waves, which are very easy to block. We sort of based Whitney on that, where she to the public is this sort of very glamorous actress but she’s really sort of the brains behind her husband’s corporation which in reality they design bombs and stuff like that. Ken Marino who plays Joseph Manfredi, who’s sort of like a mob boss within the Marvel world, we’ve also worked with Ken on Reaper and he’s both really funny and a psycho all at the same time. “
Love Is In The Air For Peggy:
James D’Arcy was happy to fill us in on the fact that fact that there’s love on the horizon for Peggy: “She gets out and about this season, doesn’t she? She does. There are a few gentlemen callers and not just one but multi, would-be Mr. Carter. And as for taking up Sousa on his drink offer from the end of last season, the thing is when you first, without giving too much away when you see them reunite after Season 1.” Atwell went on to further explain: “They’re so awkward around each other that they just ruin it the minute they see each other because they want it so bad. Because it’s six months later, stuff has happened. And it’s also the first time they meet and it’s a huge misunderstanding because Peggy has been told that he’s asked her to come out. She gets out there and she’s like “I’m here.” And he goes, “What are you doing here?” That immediately makes her feel a little bit rejected and taken back again. They’re kind of back to their awkward stage, really, so they have again this kind of long way to go. And in the mean time, this sexy, hunky scientist comes along, so she’s like well, you know. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) is the scientist helping Peggy throughout the season. When they meet, each of them instantly sees something in the other.”
There’s More Marvel:
Executive Producer Tara Butters was excited about the prospect of further connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe during Season 2: “You’ll see a lot more Marvel this year. There’s a lot more of the kind of visual effects that you associate with Marvel, even more so than in the first season. That was really fun for us to play with. But it’s all science based which I think is what Marvel does very well – it’s not just a magic thing – there’s a somewhat scientific explanation to it. Although much of the show is creatively ours, as our show tends to exist outside of the Marvel realm as it were, you can expect to see more Marvel comics this season, including Darkforce. You’ll be learning more about that as the season goes on but they stumble upon what people in the Marvel Universe will know as Darkforce, but because they’ve never seen it before they just name it Zero Matter. That’s our tie-in to the ‘Doctor Strange’ universe, and also to ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ because you’ve seen it in ‘S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.” There will also be more Easter eggs and tie-ins to the cinematic world of Marvel throughout the season.”
Has Peggy Finally Let Go Of Cap (Captain America)?
Tare continued “What I love so much of what happened in the second season is it’s an evolution of the show and you see these characters not treading water but moving into new parts of their lives, because obviously where we left Peggy at the end of season one. It was sort of an emotional place where she realized in order to really move on with her life, she had to let Cap go. So we do move on. And I think that it means that she’s open to new relationships and so we kind of explore that with Peggy throughout the season. And it also means she’s seeing where she works in a different light and realizing that maybe that she has a very similar moral compass as Cap where it’s being challenged. Because she’s seen that not everybody is like her. And so she faces all these new things, which I think are really fun, and kind of have been really fun to explore. As we also said, on a personal level, we get to see a little romance for Peggy, I think because she’s sort of put Cap’s memory to rest that she can open herself up to and explore a couple of different options.”
According to James D’Arcy Flamingos Are Not Easy To Work With:
One of the highlights and funniest parts of our sit down with them was when James D’Arcy retold the story about his encounter with the flamingos that were brought in :“I did have to chase a flamingo around for a bit because Howard has obviously decided to open a zoo. So they brought some flamingos onto the set and they brought 4 flamingos in various grades of rage. This one was very nice. Simon, and there’s two in the middle and then there’s on at the end called Cannibal. And Cannibal was the one they used. And I thought it was very funny when I read it. Oh, this is great. He takes the flamingo and the flamingo chases him, blah, blah, blah. And then when we got to shoot it, for some reason the guy insisted, –the flamingo handler, wrangler–insisted on calling me Cowboy. Don’t know why. Don’t know why. And I said, “Ah tell me, is this flamingo, is it, is it dangerous?” And he goes [Western American accent]: “Oh, yeah, Cowboy, that thing will pluck your eyes out.” And then he got his wife, the other wrangler, to put her arm out, at which point Cannibal went bananas like jabbing away at her arm, and she was like “Oh, ah, uh!” In the end we went with Simon, the nice one. Even Simon is not going to give you a cuddle, but it turned out that Cannibal really liked me. I think I’m sort of a human flamingo, and I think Cannibal recognized the kindred spirit animal. Cannibal recognizes the kindred spirit in me and didn’t want to peck me at all. Just wanted to sort of stand there and, you know, maybe do something with its neck. A little neck cuddle.”
And Now Here’s A Sneak Peek At Season 2 of Agent Carter:
Agent Peggy Carter journeys from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous – and bizarre – assignment yet. East Coast SSR Chief Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) sends Peggy to work with newly appointed West Coast SSR Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) to explore a strange homicide involving a body that glows and emanates cold. Upon her arrival, Peggy reunites with Howard Stark’s (Dominic Cooper) butler and her loyal partner-in-crime, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), who welcomes her to the Hollywood life and sets her up at Stark’s mansion. There, Peggy meets Ana (Lotte Verbeek), Jarvis’ free-spirited and devoted wife to whom she takes an immediate liking. Eventually, the odd investigation leads Peggy to quirky yet charming scientist Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), who quickly becomes an ally — and sparks fly. As Peggy continues to find clues in this peculiar case, she is introduced to the machinations of Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett), a movie starlet, brilliant physicist and the true power behind husband and senatorial candidate Calvin Chadwick (Currie Graham). Calvin, a politician who will do anything to get to the top, befriends Vernon Masters (Kurtwood Smith), a veteran of the War Department with a keen understanding of how to work the system. Peggy soon discovers that corruption seemingly runs deep, making it hard to distinguish the good versus the bad. The search comes full circle when Russian spy Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) returns into Peggy’s life in a new and unexpected way. But even as Peggy discovers a new city, both old and new friends – and potentially a new love – she’s about to learn the bright lights of post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect.
Next week, we’re taking you to an exclusive top secret look behind the scenes of Agent Carter as we share with you what it was like to tour the set and see up close and personal the costumes that bring this show to life, and share what it was like to be able to try on Peggy’s Red Hat, and a little bit more about the famous flamingos. But for tonight, don’t touch that dial-grab the popcorn and get ready for the two-hour premiere of everyone’s favorite Marvel’s Agent Carter returns.
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Disclosure: I have been invited by Disney to cover this media event. All material and expenses for this event have been provided courtesy of Walt Disney Studios but all opinions my own.