Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 premieres on ABC tonight at 9 PM ET. Peggy Carter has moved to Hollywood for her most dangerous assignment yet, and a love-triangle that will leave someone brokenhearted. I sat down with Marvel’s Agent Carter stars Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) and James D’Arcy (Jarvis), along with Executive Producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas to get the juicy details on Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2!
(I was provided with this opportunity by Disney/ABC/Marvel/LucasFilm.)
Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 Brings More Marvel
We are getting More Marvel on Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2. No, I don’t mean The Avengers are stopping by, but what you will see is “there’s a lot more of the kind of visual effects that you associate with Marvel, even more so than in the first season” according to Executive Producer Tara Butters. I have to agree with Executive Producer Michele Fazekas when she said “it’s all science based which I think is what Marvel does very well too. It’s not just a magic thing. Like there’s a somewhat scientific explanation to it.” I have a feeling a lot of this “More Marvel” has to do with one character….Whitney Frost (played by Wynn Everett), the main antagonist for Agent Carter Season 2.
Whitney Frost from the comic books is Madame Masque, and we sort of designed our own character. 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. She designed it with a composer and said they used a mechanism from a player piano, and a piano is eighty eight keys. So basically it randomly jumps between the eighty eight different frequencies. You can’t block it, because you can never sort of hone in on that signal. So we sort of based Whitney on that, where she to the public is this sort of a very glamorous actress, but she’s really sort of the brains behind her husband’s corporation, which is a scientist. They design bombs and stuff like that. They had this very sort of Lady Macbeth relationship, where she manipulates from behind the scenes, but he’s the public face to it. – EP Michele Fazekas
In what ways is James D’Arcy like Jarvis?
Last year we got to know Hayley Atwell and Peggy Carter pretty well, and this year? We are getting to know James D’Arcy and Jarvis even better! He’s is a fun character to watch on Marvel’s Agent Carter and it sounds like he’s getting more screen time in season 2, which I love! Jarvis is one awesome guy, but in what ways is James D’Arcy like the character he plays on Agent Carter?
I think Jarvis is really kind, and I think he’s like one of the world’s first feminists, particularly in season 1 when, you know, all the men just dismissed her (Agent Carter). They didn’t even bother hating her. They just, she just didn’t even count. Jarvis was like the only person who saw her as a fully rounded three-dimensional human being, and I love that about Jarvis and I do identify with that actually. He’s a bit of a Wally, isn’t he? I guess I identify with that. He’s not afraid if his inner Wally, Jarvis. He’s not afraid to be uncool. I am afraid to be uncool, but I am just uncool. – James D’Arcy
I really like Jarvis. He’s my favorite character I’ve ever played, because he’s so, he just plows his own furrow. He really doesn’t care if people don’t like him. He has his way of doing things, and he’s totally at peace with that. And I personally, I don’t know about you guys, but I respond really well to anybody who is just very comfortable being themselves, you know, even if they’re nothing like, I like people that are nothing like me, but they’re really comfortable in their eccentricities. I, I’m really good at that. I’m like, oh yeah, great. Actually, I think I should have a mustache like that, too. That would look really good on me. You know, I’ve become very susceptible to that. I sort of fall in with it. – James D’Arcy
You get a sense he’s very happy in his home life, too, I think. – Hayley Atwell
You do. – James D’Arcy
That and you’ve just got a very strong marriage, which is I think is quite exciting for Peggy in a way, ’cause she’s had such bad luck with men, that to see it demonstrated, a loving relationship between two people who respect each other, I think it makes it possible for, in her imagination. So I think she admires Jarvis’ home life. – Hayley Atwell
Too much really, ’cause she gets out and about this season, doesn’t she? She does. There are a few gentlemen callers. No, there are. That’s not a spoiler! That’s been announced. There are not just one but multi, would- be Mr. Carters. – James D’Arcy
Any guy with three-and-a-half legs. – Hayley Atwell
What? – James D’Arcy
Three-and-a-half legs. Or five legs. Yeah. – Hayley Atwell
Depending on how you look at it. No, that’s, that’s too much of a spoiler. – James D’Arcy
Peggy Carter’s Love Triangle
As you can tell, we’ve moved right on into the love portion. 😉 Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 1 left us with Agent Carter turning down Sousa yet again. Carter says “oh I’ve got something to do, but you sort of see that little smile on her face like she’s sort of considering that” said EP Michele Fazekas. I remember that look and it told me she didn’t mean no forever. But is it too late? Word on the street is that Sousa is about to be engaged, but maybe that doesn’t matter because there isn’t just one option for love on Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 We’ve got a love triangle and and the other point is pointing at Dr. Jason Wilkes (played by Reggie Austin) aka Dr. Handsome!
Well, it’s, you, ah, the thing is when you first, without giving too much away, when you see them reunite after season 1, they’re so kind of, they’re so awkward around each other that they just ruin it the minute they see each other because they want it so bad. – Hayley Atwell
Six months or a year or something from the end of season 1 to season 2, so stuff’s happened. – James D’Arcy
Yeah, stuff happened. – Hayley Atwell
They’re a bit off in the middle. – James D’Arcy
And the first time they meet is a misconception, because Peg has been told that he’s asked her to come out. So she’s like ‘oh, oh my God!’ and she gets out there and she’s like I’m here. And he goes, ‘what are you doing here?’ That immediately makes her feel kind of a little bit rejected, and back-footed again. They’re kind of back to their awkward stage really, so they have again this long way to go. In the mean time, this sexy, hunky scientist comes along, so she’s like well, you know… – Hayley Atwell
Howdy Doody. – James D’Arcy
A Howdy Doody. – Hayley Atwell [LAUGHING]
Hayley Atwell on Being a Female Role Model
One of the reasons I loved interviewing Hayley Atwell for Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 1 last year, is because of the role model she was going to become. I could tell that day on set so many months ago, that Peggy Carter was exactly the character girls and women needed on TV, and still do. Agent Carter makes you smarter, I will always say that. Hayley Atwell said “It’s a very humbling experience, and it’s always a shock to me, ’cause I’m like, well, women are strong. They’ve just been underrepresented.” I couldn’t agree with her more, or these three other messages she shared….
- Forge Your Own Way and Your Own Path as an Everyday Hero: “My mum went to a school where everyone became housewives or hairdressers or secretaries, but she was like no, there’s got to be something, there’s something, there’s always something else. And she at age 17 moved to London and became a nanny, and then she kind of worked away in different things, but she’s very adventurous. I found that she’s has a natural leadership quality about her. Although she didn’t become a politician or a high-powered businesswoman, in her own way she was a leader. And this is someone who came from a working class background, and I see my mom as I see many people in her kind of situation, given the resources that she had, of forging her own way and her own path as an everyday hero. With natural qualities of what a hero was.” – Hayley Atwell
- A Heroic Quality is Getting Out of Bed and Getting It Done: “I also found that the one thing that I think is great that people can relate to, is that Peggy doesn’t have these superheroes, and she’s at fault, and she makes mistakes, and she’s terrible in love, and she’s trying to sort things out. But she has this drive and she has a determination and she has this kind of tenacious desire and purpose to get things done, and to endure, and despite the situations that she finds herself, to get up every morning and put her curlers in and put her red lipstick on and get out there and be a part of the world and to engage in the world. I think that’s something that’s a very appealing quality for especially young girls, to see that despite whatever circumstance or situation or position that you’re in your life, whatever your background, whatever your socio-economic position in society, that heroic quality of just getting up in the morning and doing what needs to be done is very appealing, and completely underrepresented in this industry.” – Hayley Atwell
- Force for Good in the World: “I love the fact that here we have this kind of superhero franchise, which loves to put women in cat suits and look really sexy. Great, fabulous, I have no problem with that, but can be slightly over-objectified and over-sexualized. And I was like why, just as an actor, I have no interest in that. I remember from a young age as going “No.” I had no authority to say yes or no. I didn’t have the power of choice. I still don’t to a large extent, but I know what I won’t do and that’s something that I feel that undermines how far women have come, how committed I am to the work that I do and what drives me. Which is why a role like Peggy, I can revisit again and again and again, because I feel like ultimately she’s a force for good in the world.” – Hayley Atwell
Marvel’s Agent Carter and the Marvel Universe
Marvel’s Agent Carter does tie into the larger Marvel Universe, but you don’t have to know about the whole universe to enjoy the show. That’s one of the other reasons I love it, because Agent Carter is doing her own thing. 😉
I do feel that because it’s 1940’s, and because we do exist in our own world, really, that it feels unrelated. This show has it’s own tones, very different from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for example, and because of that, there’s a freedom, you know. I kind of signed up for Peggy, I didn’t know she’d end up here, and I don’t think anyone did. There was no expectation. You see the reaction of the fans, and we were interested in that. And me feeling that I could find different things to explore in her, but it felt like kind of, against my stubborn single mindedness, that it had to be more on my own terms as an actor of what I feel like I could do. What I could bring to it that was outside of the fandom because I wasn’t familiar with Marvel, and I wasn’t familiar with the comic book world. So I thought, well, if I’m not and I’m not in the center of my own little microcosm of that, then it’s got to feel relatable to people who are outside the fandom. So I approached the characters as I would any other job, which is: commit to finding some kind of depth or some kind of psychological story behind what drives her and then commit to it in the best way that I possibly could so that, you know, from the biggest, avid fan of comic books to my granny, there’d be something in it. It turns out, it was the costume. – Hayley Atwell
If you miss one of the (Marvel) films, you feel like, ‘ah, now I’ve screwed it up. Now I have to watch, I need to see everything in order to understand.’ What’s great about this (Agent Carter) is you really don’t need to know anything else. There’s, you know, we do pre-date all the other stuff that comes along, with the exception of the first Captain America film, so you can watch it kind of in it’s own…bubble, you know, in a double-bill with Parks and Rec. – James D’Arcy
Cannibal the Flamingo and Stunts
When it comes to stunts on Marvel’s Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell does her own stunts as Peggy Carter and said “I do, you know, I played rugby at school and I was quite a tomboy, so I had that in me.” When it comes to Jarvis, James D’Arcy said “I do all my own stunts. You can put that in your article. Ask me how many stunts I have. None.” He’s a funny man I tell ya! He does have a move called the The Tortoise of Fury though, and we can look forward to seeingD’Arcy and Cannibal the Flamingo to give us some stunt action…..
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. The nice one was called 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. 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. 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. And I said, ‘ah, tell me, is this flamingo, 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!” That’s obviously now tremendous and 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. Recognize 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. – James D’Arcy
Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 in Hollywood
We know Marvel’s Agent Carter has moved to sunny Los Angeles. We know Peggy Carter is tackling her most dangerous case in Hollywood, with Agent Sousa who is running the West Coast SSR. What else do we need to know about Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2?
Howard Stark. The nice thing about Los Angeles is we really wanted a way to organically include Jarvis because their relationship was so great. And L.A. really provides a nice way to do it. Because we’ve said well Howard has moved out, moved his sort of base of operations to L.A., because you have sort of the burgeoning scientific field. So he’s doing some government contract work and he’s also opened up a movie studio on the side. Jarvis is like setting up his Beverly Hills estate out here. Howard does make an appearance, and Dottie Underwood comes back in a fun way and actually becomes somewhat integral in the case that they’re working on. – EP Michele Fazekas
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. I love Kurtwood Smith who comes and plays a new like mentor for Thompson and potentially a little bit of a foil for Peggy – EP Tara Butters
That role ended up sort of beefing up because every time you see him in any scene, he’s so right and brings such gravitas to the scenes. – EP Michele Fazekas
What I love so much about what happened in the second season is it’s an evolution of the show, and you see these characters not treading water and moving into new parts of their lives, because obviously we left Peggy at the end of season one in 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. It also means she’s seeing where she works in a different light and realizing that maybe that’s sort of her. She has a very similar moral compass as Cap, where it’s being challenged. Because she’s seen sort of, you know, 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. – EP Tara Butters
Well and 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. She has a couple of different options. one of them is played by Reggie Austin, Dr. Wilkes. It’s funny, when we were pitching it to the network, we didn’t know who he was, we were like he’s Dr. Handsome. Then we found out who he is and we were like, oh he is Dr. Handsome [LAUGHTER] uh, he is, um, lovely and charming and he plays a scientist. We also get to explore what it’s like for an African American man in 1947 and he’s a scientist and he sort of explains why/how he got there, it’s like, you know, through the Navy he sort of got the experience. Then he says, I came back and applied to sixteen different companies and Isodyne was the only one that hired me…. We see how Peggy reacts to sort of blatant racism, spoiler alert, not well. So we kind of sort of get into that issue- EP Michele Fazekas
In a way that we tried to use the historical elements of the time to also drive story. – EP Tara Butters
Peggy Carter’s Fashion in Season 2
I don’t want to say too much about Peggy Carter’s Fashion in Season 2, until my Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 Costume and On Set Post next week. What I will tell you is, according to EP Michele Fazekas “the red hat sort of makes an appearance. But part of it is different.” I fell in love with Peggy Carter’s Signature Hat during season one and finally have one of my own and will share pics in next week’s post as well! 😀 What I will tell you now is that there is a little more color, things are a little brighter, and for the most part, there are no coats. It is Los Angeles after all. 😉
It’s hard to imagine Hayley looking more beautiful than she already looks, and she looks more beautiful. – EP Tara Butters
Don’t miss Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 Premiere Episode, “The Lady in the Lake” airing tonight (Tuesday, January 19th) at 9 PM ET on ABC!
“Marvel’s Agent Carter” returns for a second season of adventure and intrigue, starring Hayley Atwell in the titular role of the unstoppable agent for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Dedicated to the fight against new Atomic Age threats in the wake of World War II, Peggy must now journey from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous assignment yet. But even as she discovers new friends, a new home – and perhaps even a new love – she’s about to find out that the bright lights of the post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect. In the season premiere episode, “The Lady in the Lake,” Peggy moves to the City of Angels to help Chief Daniel Sousa at the West Coast Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) investigate a bizarre homicide involving an alleged killer and Isodyne Energy, and reunites with some familiar faces.
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