Cobie Smulders has played the (now former) S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill since The Avengers in 2012. But if you thought spending seven years in the MCU across a half-dozen films and a TV series would mean she'd get some advance knowledge on her character, well... you'd be wrong.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home's post-credits scene (spoilers, obviously), it was revealed that Hill was actually Soren the Skrull (Sharon Blynn), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was really Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), both of whom were previously introduced in Captain Marvel earlier this year. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Smulders talked about that shocking twist, and how it retroactively influenced her performance in the film.
"It was a surprise to me," Smulders said about the twist. "I bumped into Kevin Feige at a party and he said, 'I gotta tell you something about what’s happening.' I was excited, but I was also confused. I asked, 'Well, where is she? What's she up to?' You can use your own imagination to figure that out." She later added, "Kevin said that he didn't want me to watch the movie and be like, 'Oh!'"
Despite the big Skrull reveal not coming until the film's end, fans had noticed a shift in both Fury and Hill's personalities. In retrospect, there's the obvious reason why, but Smulders said she had a different motivation in mind when portraying Hill this time around.
"When shooting this movie, I liked playing around with the idea that she was just over it," Smulders explained. "She's so exhausted, and she just came back from this blip to a mountain of paperwork on her desk. She has so much catching up to do, and she has to figure out who this Mysterio guy is and try to convince this kid to come along. I was actually excited because once you go through the blip, what else is there? What are you worried about? You kinda died already. So, it was a fun energy to play somebody who just doesn't care as much. 'All right, I guess we'll go after these elementals.' I actually found it to be the most personality I've been able to show of hers."
Smulders also addressed the fan theory that Hill has been a Skrull since she first showed up in The Avengers. While she personally rejects the idea, she did admit that, in the MCU, "anything is possible."
"They could change it to be that way, but in my mind — no," she continued. "I don't know where she is, but my hope is that she's on vacation somewhere. In this world, she's probably just on some other mission. This world has suffered an utter chaos, and it's about picking up the pieces.".
So, Smulders might not be in the know where the real Maria Hill is, but aside from the post-blip stress, she doesn't seem terribly worried about her well-being in the meantime.
"It’s cool because it is the constant shifting of this world," Smulders explained. "I don’t know where they’re going to go with it, or if that’s a tease for what’s to come. I just love that it was another layer of the film that was going on, potentially the whole time."