In the ultimate season of the ABC sequence Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. discover themselves shifting by way of totally different eras, as they work collectively to succeed at their newest mission. If they fail on that mission, at any level, not solely may it have an effect on their current, but it surely may additionally imply catastrophe for the previous and way forward for the world.
While the actors are saying goodbye to their characters, Collider acquired on the cellphone to talk 1-on-1 with actress Ming-Na Wen about how the present has developed over seven seasons, what made the Season 7 model of Agent May a problem, what she loves about MaYo (the May/Yo-Yo team-up), the May-Coulson relationship, saying goodbye to working with this solid, the mementos that she acquired to take dwelling from the set, and whether or not she thinks followers can be glad with the sequence finale. She additionally talked about why it’s a childhood dream come true to hitch the Star Wars universe together with her position in The Mandalorian, and the way a lot she knew about her character’s backstory.
Collider: This began as a seemingly easy present about brokers working in a world the place superheroes exist, and now there’s time journey and robots and house. What’s most shocked you about the place issues have ended up, from the place they started?
MING-NA WEN: Pretty a lot every little thing. We have had the chance to see our fellow actors play different characters and undergo unimaginable dramatic experiences, and it’s been actually difficult and enjoyable as a result of it’s not only a common motion present. There are so many tales about household and loyalty and mistrust. I don’t suppose we’ll ever have one other alternative to be on a present, the place we’ll get to play so many various components and work with our fellow actors, enjoying totally different components.
May is just a little bit further proper now, and she or he’s even been known as “an unfeeling killbot.” What did you take pleasure in about attending to play this aspect of her?
WEN: It was troublesome as a result of, as an actor, you need to have the ability to emote and do issues. Instead, for the ultimate season, they made me much more stoic, which I didn’t even suppose was potential. It was a extremely troublesome problem. I truly needed to have Joel [Stoffer] assist me as a result of he performs Enoch so fantastically. But even Enoch has extra expressions and feelings than the present May does, so it was actually difficult to attempt to convey both slight humor or one thing scary about her whereas not exhibiting an oz of emotion by way of the eyes or how she speaks. I hope I rose to that problem. Our writers and producers are actually intelligent and superb, to maintain issues fascinating, so it’s not the identical boring, battle the unhealthy guys plot level that would have occurred. We positively get to decorate in a different way and undergo totally different time-traveling experiences. It’s been loads of enjoyable
When I lately spoke to Natalia Cordova-Buckley, she informed me that she loves the May and Yo-Yo moments — the team-up that’s MaYo. What do you most take pleasure in about these dynamics and about attending to work together with her?
WEN: I really like Natalia. She is such a dynamic, enjoyable particular person and so gifted. We name ourselves MaYo as a result of that’s our delivery title. It’s nice as a result of we’re two ladies of shade, and to exist in an enormous franchise and be capable to play these beloved characters, after which be capable to be collectively and simply kick ass, it’s a lot enjoyable. They’re ladies that assist one another and know the place their strengths are. I really like that about these two ladies.
Because it was such an vital dynamic to the present, what did you most take pleasure in about attending to work with Clark Gregg over the run of the sequence, and attending to discover that May-Coulson relationship?
WEN: It was shocking. Because it was Coulson that recruited May, to start with, and also you solely later came upon that it was truly the other and that Nick Fury was the one which set it up and wished May to keep watch over Coulson. And they have been on the Academy collectively. They’ve at all times had this unimaginable historical past collectively and friendship. It was ever-evolving, and the followers truly had a say in instigating the Philinda motion. It was such a enjoyable synergy. Clark is nice. He is aware of this world so properly, and he’s such a fanboy about it, like I’m. We share that nerd love for what we do. It was simply a lot enjoyable, discovering increasingly more layers of our relationship as time went on.
One of the issues that has been very clear from the start is that this solid could be very shut with one another and are actually simply as a lot of a household as their characters are. What was it wish to be part of that, because it developed and developed, and what was the final day on set like, while you all needed to say goodbye?
WEN: It was robust. We know that we’ll nonetheless keep in contact and hold knowledgeable about what’s happening with one another, however on the similar time, I’ve been across the block just a few occasions. For Chloe [Bennet], Elizabeth [Henstridge] and Iain [De Caestecker], this was their first main sequence that was ongoing, for therefore a few years, however I’ve been on just a few, so I do know what to anticipate. It’s by no means going to be the identical, coming to work every single day. It’s like college. You’ll by no means have that power and be capable to say good day to those self same folks [again], but it surely’s okay. It’s a part of life. We’ve all graduated, and we’ve got loads of enjoyable and fantastic reminiscences. I can’t actually speak concerning the final day and what occurred as a result of it should give stuff away, but it surely was fantastic. People got here out and applauded, and it was a celebration.
Were you capable of take dwelling any props or mementos from the set of S.H.I.E.L.D., that you simply personally really feel represented your character and that dwell with you now?
WEN: I’ve May’s sun shades as a result of she’ll at all times be a pilot. I acquired her badge, which was additionally actually vital for me. And I acquired a few her iconic outfits.
Where do you retain stuff like that? Do you will have any of it hung up, not directly, or do you will have a particular place for it?
WEN: That’s a superb query. We’re about to transform, in order that’s a extremely good query. I do know some actors put their mementos right into a framed surroundings. I simply must see if I’ve sufficient partitions. It simply hangs within the closet proper now. It’s not like I’ll ever like put it on, until I’m going to cosplay myself. For me, it’s simply that I’ve lived and breathed in a few these outfits for years, and sweated in them and fought in them. I simply really feel like there’s loads of power within the materials, in any case of these years, engaged on the present. For me, that’s a extremely nice souvenir.
Since it’s clearly unattainable to make everyone proud of the ending of a TV sequence, particularly one which’s been on for therefore many seasons, do you’re feeling like followers will at the very least be glad with the place issues are left, on the finish of the season?
WEN: Yeah. It’s unhappy as a result of, on the finish of Season 5, we actually thought that was the tip. We hadn’t gotten a pick-up but, and so, we had this very emotional scene the place we have been mainly saying goodbye to one another and actually pondering that that was it. And then, once we acquired Season 6 and seven, and 13 episodes every, it was an enormous shock and a bonus. We already had our cathartic goodbyes in Season 5. Season 7 was unhappy and emotional, however many people have been additionally able to strive one thing else. The means the storylines finish, I feel the followers will find it irresistible as a result of they finish, however they don’t actually finish. I feel it is going to be very satisfying.
I really like that you simply’re additionally attending to be part of all these totally different facets of the Disney household, from animation to live-action, to Marvel, to Star Wars. What was the good facet for you, personally, attending to be part of the world of Star Wars now?
WEN: When your childhood dream comes true, the place do you go from there? That was an actual huge one for me. It as superb to be within the Marvel universe, however for me, I used to be actually a Star Wars child. The Force was my faith, apart from Buddhism. I’d pray to God, Buddha, and the Force, once I was a child. I truly nonetheless do, every time I get on a airplane. So, to be part of that universe, I’m only a comfortable child in a sweet retailer. It’s been fairly a whirlwind, and I’m nonetheless pinching myself about it.
When it got here to your character in The Mandalorian, what sort of backstory have been you given? Was it just like S.H.I.E.L.D., the place you didn’t know the place issues would go? Did it’s a must to invent your individual backstory?
WEN: Well, as a result of she was solely within the one episode, and she or he is available in in the direction of the center of the episode, it was vital that I knew extra about why she turned an murderer and how much an murderer she was. Is she heartless? Is she a mercenary? Well, she’s a little bit of each. It was actually nice to speak with John Favreau and Dave Filoni, and get to the core of who she was. And so, even when you won’t have seen it, and it wasn’t proven or divulged, for me, as an actor, it was actually vital to know the place she was coming from.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Wednesday nights on ABC.