S.H.I.E.L.D. star reveals what it's like to play the team's secret traitor

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Apr 18, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally getting good, and a big part of that turnaround revolves around a shocking twist that found a main cast member betray the team. So what does the secret HYDRA agent have to say for himself?

Spoilers ahead for recent episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

As anyone who has been following the series knows, Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) left a few million jaws on the floor a few weeks ago when he pumped three bullets into Agent Victoria Hand in one of the most cold-blooded scenes the show has mustered all year.

It turns out Dalton is a big fan of his new arc, and not surprisingly it’s a lot more fun to play evil. Here’s what he told HitFix:

“You know, bad guys are so much more fun. That's the bottom line. Certainly as an actor, what it does is make this character so much more complex and that's so fun to play. I think what the writers do a really good job of is -- I can't really tell you too much other than, it's not like the writers flip a switch and all of a sudden, Ward is evil and I'm twirling my mustache and I'm petting a cat for the rest of the season. I think they do a really good job of fleshing that out and possibly explaining things.

I think they do a really good job of developing the character so that it's not a switch for pure shock value. You do understand why he is the way he is. I just think it's so fun to play and to have all of my scenes -- many of my scenes -- with Bill Paxton, it's so much fun, and I can't remember having that much fun on set. There's a certain freedom to that. Something about when you don't have to follow the rules -- think about how much fun pirates must have! Geez! It feels like that. It feels like suddenly, this other character that's been there all the time, and that person gets to come out, and there's a freedom in that.”

Though the twist has marked a brave turning point for the series, Dalton admitted it’s also caused a bit of weirdness on set. That makes sense when you consider that the guy's character essentially betrays them all:

“Chloe [Bennet]'s first reaction was, ‘I kissed you, you bastard!’ And she hit me! [Laughs] Everybody -- and I think Ming[-na Wen] was -- when she watches a movie, she'll be one of the most verbal ones out there, you understand exactly what she's feeling at any one time, it's fantastic. I do believe she was quite shocked. There's this weird thing where when you're sitting with a character for that long, you can slip into it so easily, your relationships are all bound up. 

You're with this character for so long that you feel sometimes that you are that character. What happened with this thing is, in a weird way, I betrayed them. I didn't do anything! It all happened in the story that I was excited to play and excited to take that opportunity to make that shift. As an actor, that's awesome. But in a weird way, I felt like I betrayed them. It was a weird thing where all of our personal feelings were coming up, even though it was our characters that did it or something that happened in the writing. But all of us took that quite personally, whether we wanted to or not.”

For fans of the series, the full interview is well worth a read to get a peek behind the curtain.

New episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are currently airing Tuesday nights on ABC.

(Via HitFix)