Call me a con man, or a mod man, but I live a good portion of my professional life on stage at comic conventions. As a hired host and moderator, I've attended about a dozen cons in 2015 alone (and easily two dozen last year) and have had the fortune of leading hundreds of panels. In an effort to continue the conversation, I wanted to share some of the highlights from these appearances.
Most recently, I attended Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, where I joined Hayley Atwell and Lyndsy Fonseca from Agent Carter on stage (as shown in the photo above, courtesy Review St. Louis). What follows are some highlights from Atwell on what she hopes to see in the second season of the recently renewed show, and how the new Los Angeles setting may alter the show -- as well as her revelation that she couldn't help but grab Chris Evans' boob the first time she saw him topless.
On who she prefers working with more, James D'Arcy (who plays Jarvis) or Chris Evans:
"Oh, God. I'm going to get in such trouble. I've known James for about 10 years, so we had that kind of whole history of being friends in London. We have a lot of fun on the set, and do lots of pranks. ... But when I worked with Chris, it was Captain America: The First Avenger, and the early days for him as that character. He was working out really hard, taking the job very seriously, real quite nervous about it. He was quite serious on set, but off set we would play a lot of charades and computer games. It's really hard to gauge. I would take Chris Evans physically. See, now James is going to hate me. I've just lost two friends."
On starring in the first female-led [Marvel] superhero show:
"I think it's the support of the fans saying they want that, and more of it. It's a dialogue between audience and the industry, saying, 'This is what we want, this is what we're ready for.' I feel Marvel took a risk by creating a show based on Peggy, and Lyndsy's character as well, and having a strong female friendship. ... I do hope it will start a quiet revolution for more female-led shows. The audiences clearly want it, and I think it's time."
On the direction of Season 2:
"It is really hard to say, because they're just in the process of mapping out the whole arc of the season, so we haven't filled the details of what is actually going to happen. What is exciting, because it is going to be set in L.A., and set a year later, Peggy is in quite a different place. She is not grieving as much, it is not as raw for her to have lost Steve. So within herself, she is in a much stronger place. We can think more light, warmth and humor in who she is as a person. There is also something that reminds me of L.A. Confidential, kind of film noir, kind of glamorous L.A. life with a dark underbelly of L.A. life in the '40s. There will be a depth of characters. We were just talking backstage about how Angie and her are now in a place where Angie knows who she really is, and whether she can truly confide in her now that they're on the same page. It will be developing the characters and introducing new ones."
On Dominic Cooper (who played Howard Stark) and his role in Season 2 now that he's been cast in Preacher:
There has got to be elements of Howard there, but I'm not sure to what extent. He plays a pivotal role in her life, and on the show. And also, in order to justify Jarvis being in the season ... He works for Howard Stark, so there has to be some reason why he's in the season, and it will be based on Howard's presence. Hopefully we'll get Dominic. I'll text him and see if he's available."
On her favorite scene with Chris Evans:
"The kiss, obviously! Duh! He was so soft, and he smells so good. I think it was that, and also obviously the big reveal of his body ... I had never seen him with his top off before that moment. And so -- I'm sure they did this on purpose -- I had to rush up to the pod when he comes out and goes, 'Oh God, I'm so tired.' He comes out of this pod looking like Adonis, and so I impulsively just grabbed his boob. And so they kept that in there. That was the highlight of my life, let alone the actual scene."
On her on-screen friendship with Angie (Fonseca):
"Hopefully, now that she's able to confide in Angie, and being able to open up, this is the beginning of a true friendship. It is so nice to have a friendship between two women on screen that is not competitive, and not negative, not centered around the love interest or a man. It is really refreshing, and something Marvel was keen to promote. That's also one of the reasons I think it's such great writing. People are represented in a much more interesting, realistic way. Based on that, we'll want to pursue that more."
On bringing more diversity to the second season:
"It's a conversation that is happening, and a conversation important to the showrunners. What is great about it is they brought it up, instead of me going, 'All right, guys, come on.' It was them saying, 'This is what we're thinking, and what do you think about it?' It is really exciting, and I hope they can follow through."
When did she find out about the renewal?
"Because of the time difference between the U.S. and the U.K., I was fast asleep. I woke up to the whole world knowing before me. So that was quite exciting. You find out literally the time it is announced. ... It was a frustrating waiting game."
Does she feel a freedom in operating as a character lesser known in the Marvel universe?
"Yeah, I did. Hugely. There was also a feeling of collaboration when it was being written. Some of the times I would see the writers in the corners of their eyes staring at James D'Arcy and I, and going, 'I like how stupid and silly they're being; let's write that in.' So, they created a lot of the dialogue based on our kind of natural banter. It felt like they were playing to the strengths of the characters. ... There was a freedom to that, because you're not responsible for creating a character so defined and instilled in the minds of the readers."
On Peggy's reaction if she found out Steve was dating Sharon Carter:
"She'd have a few words to say to Sharon. Sharon's her granddaughter, right? Or niece. Either way, it's wrong! I think she'd lock her in her room, and ground her. I would be like, go find another family! Go away from mine."
If you want to check it out, here is an entire video of the panel.