Agent Peggy Carter is about to leap back into action tonight for a second season of post-WW2 intrigue. But expect new characters and a change of venue as tonight's two-hour premiere kicks off with Peggy, Jarvis, and the SSR hitting the bright lights of Hollywood on Marvel's Agent Carter, said English actor James D'Arcy in an exclusive interview with Blastr. Marvel's Agent Carter's premieres tonight at 9 PM ET on ABC.
D'Arcy, who plays Howard Stark's loyal if fussy butler, Edwin Jarvis, promises, “If you enjoyed the first season, then we have been faithful to that. And if you're new to the show then I think we can offer something that is exciting and funny and actiony and all the stuff that you know that Marvel does the best.”
Last season, Peggy, Jarvis, and the Strategic Scientific Reserve (or SSR) gang battled post war baddies in New York City who strove to use Howard Stark's stolen inventions against the U.S.A. This season, it will be a new dangerous adventure for Peggy and Jarvis in Los Angeles as a sinister threat arises.
“What I love about the line that I think Marvel treads so beautifully is they manage to integrate very fast paced action/adventure with also quite a good dollop of humor. And L.A. does lend itself to a lot of fun, which we explore,” said D'Arcy.
As the season opens, “We've all moved to L.A. with varying degrees of comfort. Obviously from Howard Stark's perspective, he loves it. It's great for him. From Jarvis's perspective, it's a misery. He doesn't like L.A. much at all. And from Peggy's perspective, like always, she handles the situation beautifully.”
One huge difference this year for Jarvis will be the introduction of his wife. Four new characters will be introduced, including Mrs. Ana Jarvis. Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek plays Ana, the free-spirited wife of Edwin, who befriends Peggy and helps her adjust to life in Los Angeles.
“When we shot the first season, I would keep asking the writers, 'Is this going to be like Niles's wife on Frasier? We're going to talk about her for as long as the show runs, but never actually see her?' It's lovely to give Jarvis a fully dimensional character, not that I didn't feel that he was that in Season 1,” he said.
“One of the lovely things that came out of the first season was that people genuinely seem interested about Mrs. Jarvis. And now, they're going to find out about her. And she's great. Lotte Verbeek, the girl who plays her, was wonderful from the first day she walked on the set. She's a delight,” said D'Arcy.
Also joining the cast are: Reggie Austin as Jason Wilkes, a quirky scientist who tries to charm Peggy; Wynn Everett as Whitney Frost, a Hollywood actress and brilliant inventor from the comics; Currie Graham plays Calvin Chadwick, a high-powered businessman and Whitney's husband; Ken Marino as a volatile mob boss named Joseph Manfredi; and Kurtwood Smith as Vernon Masters, a veteran of the War Department with a keen understanding of how to work the system.
According to D'Arcy this season will bring “a slightly lighter tone...Howard Stark is trying to open up a movie studio. We get to explore that world and the Hollywood of the 1940s,” he said.
"One of the things about these limited runs of eight to ten episodes is you get to tell one story over the course of that many episodes. I think when you're into doing a full season of 22 episodes it's very difficult not to tell a story of the week. It's just too difficult to sustain a story over 22 episodes. I wouldn't want to even try. And that's what I think is great about the fact that we shoot 8 to 10 episodes is that you can have these self-contained stories. Peggy works for the SSR and the SSR is all over the place. So, it's completely legitimate that they could be in New York and Los Angeles, and who knows, maybe they could be in other places,” he said.
“Honestly, I think these are the most wonderful group of writers I've ever had the good fortune to work with. Literally everything that they write, I love. Whatever area they choose to explore when they when they go for the heavy dramatic moments, they do it amazingly. When they go for the comedy, it's hysterical. When they go for the action, it's really exciting. I feel very, very blessed to be a part of their world at all,” said D'Arcy.
For the actor, “It's all really good fun and like playtime. We do our very best to execute what the writers have in their heads. And they're very, very generous...I wake up in the morning and I notice there's a big smile on my face. I look forward to getting to work,” he said.
Marvel's Agent Carter airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 9 PM ET.
Here's a look at the second season's two-hour premiere event: