Dove Cameron's debut on the newest episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has major ramifications for our beleaguered team of spies.
"All The Comforts of Home" marks the first appearance of Ruby, a character shrouded in secrecy who will become deeply involved with the Coulson and Co. We can't reveal much about Ruby — yet — but we do know she's the daughter of General Hale (played by Catherine Dent), the cold-blooded officer trying to hunt down the team. "It's a tough relationship," Cameron said about Ruby's relationship with her mother. "In a lot of ways it's like every other mother-daughter relationship." Because of the nature of the character, Cameron understandably was cautious about revealing too much about her role.
SYFY WIRE chatted with Cameron to get more details on her big debut, including why Ruby has a special interest in one particular member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. We also tried to score some scoop on Cameron's other gig, as Mal in the smash hit Disney Channel movie franchise The Descendants.
Check out the interview below to read what she had to say about the just-announced third Descendants film. And come back tonight after Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs to get a full breakdown from Cameron on the massive developments that take place. Seriously folks, tonight's episode is big and twisty and full of surprises.
Ruby is a secret agent kinda, sort of, maybe, but with a twist. I know you can't say much right now, but what is she about?
Ruby is a... I wouldn’t call her a secret agent. She’s definitely a very interesting girl. She’s a very intense girl. It’s going to be a very big season for Ruby. You’ll see what I mean as the episode unfolds. I think people will be very surprised with what happens.
Ruby’s relationship with General Hale is very interesting. It’s obviously not your standard mother-daughter relationship, and there seems to be some lingering animosity there.
Yes, it’s a tough relationship. I think in other ways it has its own unique perspective. You’re going to have to see how it unfolds. I wish I could say more, but there’s a little bit of animosity because of something that will be revealed at the end of [tonight's] episode. But there’s also a lot of love there. I do think their relationship is a pivotal one as the season unfolds. I think fans will be shocked at where it goes.
What about the obsession that Ruby seems to have with Daisy? What's behind that?
Well, I think that the relationship and viewpoint that Ruby has of Daisy is that, she’s her biggest fan. She’s a great admirer of Quake’s abilities. I think [Ruby] feels that Quake’s powers are undeniable. She’s very impressed. I think that Ruby considers Quake to be our generation’s, our nation’s, greatest hero. She thinks she’s the greatest hero of our time. But adoration, if it is very intense, can quickly turn into, not a great situation. There’s a thin line between intense love and hatred. And Ruby is kind of the last person you would want to have fixated on you (laughs). You don’t want Ruby to be your biggest "anything." We’ll see how that goes for Daisy later on, but that’s all I can say right now.
How did you land the role? Did the Marvel TV team contact you about it?
No, actually I auditioned for it. I auditioned and I think I came in twice for it. I really wanted it. But I auditioned like everyone else. I didn’t really know anything about the character. I think a lot of people think that when an actor gets to a certain level, they work enough, that all of their stuff just gets offered. But I really kind of chased this role, I would say. Marvel TV and I have been trying to work together for a while now. This just happened to be a really good fit.
I didn’t know much going in, because they never tell you anything before you get the role. Which totally complicated things when you audition for something you don’t really know anything that you don’t know what it is. [Laughs.] I had a take on it. I knew what I wanted the character to be, and so I went in and portrayed that. I think that [executive producer] Maurissa Tancharoen and [Marvel Television chief] Jeph Loeb have said in interviews that when I went in and auditioned, their idea of the character changed. Then they wanted to do something else, based on what I had done in the audition room. So I don’t think any of us knew what Ruby was going to be specifically. As the season unfolded it kind of came to life and we really fleshed out the character. And that’s always fun to do, to evolve into the part.
That’s quite the compliment, that their idea of a character changed because of your audition.
I agree. But I think that’s, I think that’s what good TV is about. You don’t really know what you want, and then someone comes along and shows you what you want and then, from there, the actor and producers are kind of able to get behind it. I always think it creates better TV that you’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that we wanted that.’ I think it makes it more exciting and natural.
My daughters, Alexia and Talia, will kill me if I don’t ask you about your other gig, playing Mal in The Descendants movies on the Disney Channel. They’re dying to learn anything they can about The Descendants 3, which was just announced. We know from that new teaser video that Mal’s dad is in the picture. Spill it, Dove!
Honestly, this is coming from the bottom of my heart, with every ounce of truth, there is no lying here: I have not read a script. I know just as much as anyone else. They don’t have a complete script to show the actors yet. I’m fully in the dark along with everyone else. But what I can tell you is that I know we are going to outdo the first and second films and… look, it’s the third film. We didn’t know we would ever get the opportunity to do it, so we know that we are going to be pulling out all the stops. And your daughters will be very, very happy.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC.