It’s been one heck of a journey, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet is getting ready to say goodbye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — along with the superhero role she’s occupied in it through her formative years to boot.
SYFY WIRE chatted with Bennet about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s final season, and she opened up about everything from time travel to Coulson’s return as a Life Model Decoy. We also hit her up about those rumblings she’ll return in a Disney+ series (they’re just rumors, though she’d definitely be game if Marvel actually asked). With this show coming to an end after seven seasons, Bennet opened up about the journey she’s taken and just how much her character has changed along the way.
“It’s such a change. First, I got cast as a computer hacker named Skye who lived in a van, so then my job description the second season really changed all the sudden with a very physical transformation,” she explains, as her character “Skye” was eventually revealed to be comic book character Daisy Johnson, aka Quake. “But what I love about that is it wasn’t quick. The transition happened on and off screen, and I feel when I first signed up for the show, I had no idea how much this experience was going to mean to me, and how much a part of my life this show would be. I grew up on the show.”
Bennet went on to explain how she sees a lot of herself in Daisy, having grown up along with the character these past several years: “I started when I was 21 and I was 27 when we wrapped and those are pretty formative years. I feel like I’ve been growing alongside her this whole series,” she says. “To have her go on this journey of discovery and to get superpowers herself and realize with great power comes great responsibly — but also a lot of really weird crap you’re not prepared to deal with. That’s probably my favorite line of the whole show [Laughs].”
So how is that evolution reflected in Season 7? According to Bennet, Daisy has finally reached a “calmness” and “understanding” with the person she wants to be. She’s even brought some of that Season 1 personality back to try and bring some closure to the arc as the series bids farewell.
“I feel she’s a lot more at peace with who she is and where she is. There’s no more resentment. She’s not emo like Season 4. There’s a lot more groundedness within her,” she says. “I tried to inject a bit more of Skye in her in the last season like as a full-circle moment. She’s just a little more comfortable in her skin, comfortable with her powers, and she has a little more fun this season.”
Turning to the series as a whole, Bennet says she believes S.H.I.E.L.D. found so much success because it was given time to find its legs — to tell stories well beyond that first season when fans were still trying to figure out exactly what this early MCU TV offshoot was going to be. Put simply, it took a while for fans to get more invested in the show itself than the hope of big-screen cameos: “There’s 130-something hours of content with these characters in people’s homes every week,” she says. “It’s a real privilege to be a part of something that’s been on for so long.”
“The first season, really, all of our interview questions were about if we’re going to get an appearance from Iron Man, or Captain America — just which Avenger will be visiting you guys? How much will the MCU be a part of it?” she continues. “But as the years went on those questions are pretty much nonexistent now, because people want to know what will happen with Fitz and Simmons, what’s the relationship now with Daisy and Coulson? How are Yo-Yo and Mack doing? People have just spent so much time with these characters, and that’s because we’ve had the most time.”
The show also hasn’t been afraid to get meta and dense with its mythology and cross-references, a move Bennet says is a nod to fans who have stuck with the show from the jump.
“We’re kind of a rare show that I truly feel like gets better every season. I think for the fans in particular, we have such an incredible fanbase that has been so loyal and so patient with our storylines and understanding it does get better with time,” she says. “There are so many built-in jokes that, if you were watching it with someone who had never seen the show, you kind of realize, ‘Well this is a Season 4 reference,’ and ‘This is a Season 6 reference.’ It really rewards someone who has been with us since the beginning.”
Though the show is one thing, Bennet is sure to credit the fans for their role in keeping the show alive and reminding them all just how much the show means to people — and how those fans grew up with the show, just like Bennet did.
“Like in our first season at Comic-Con, I remember meeting someone who was so young, and now they’re in college,” she says. “To be able to grow alongside the fans has been really fun. To be a special piece of people’s lives like that, of families watching it together. That’s a special thing to know we’ve been a staple that long. It makes it really special.”
Episodes of the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Wednesday nights on ABC.