Grant Ward and Lincoln Campbell each have complicated relationships with Daisy Johnson on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Ward was her teammate — and potentially more — before he revealed himself as a traitor loyal to Hydra. Lincoln arrived as Daisy’s Inhuman powers emerged, helping her come to terms with a brand new status quo. In Season Three, things have even taken a turn for the romantic.
But despite circling in close proximity to Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Ward (Brett Dalton) and Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) have yet to encounter one another on the show. The actors behind the fan-favorite characters met up at WonderCon to speak with Kiel Phegley in the magical CBR Tiki Room to discuss the events of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season Three and the major changes their characters have undergone since fans first met them. Mitchell explains what it was like being one of the first super powered characters on the ABC series while Dalton talks about how he has altered his performance now that Ward’s body is being inhabited by Hive. And both actors discuss their romantic futures on the show, including potentially revealing a brand new couple for fans to ‘ship.
On whether Dalton had any idea what was ahead for Ward when the series began:
Brett Dalton: I wish that I could say that I knew all this was happening and I essentially just pulled a magic trick and I was like, “Hey, look over here!” And then, boom, I’m actually here. No, that’s not it at all. They let me know — as is the nature of TV, I think they have a ton of ideas when they start the season, here’s where the characters might go. And then [“Captain America:] The Winter Soldier” comes out and S.H.I.E.L.D. is sort of… disintegrated from the inside out and so it was a time to really shake things up on our show, I guess. So I didn’t have any heads up to play this character and all the sudden, I don’t know, I took this suggestion and ran with it.
On whether Dalton would have played his character differently had he know what the writers would come up with for Ward:
Dalton: I think we would have tipped our hands too much. I think it would have been Skye would have left or I would have maybe had a look or something that’s a private moment that the camera would see and [viewers] would go, “What’s that? What was that?” I think there would be a little too many “that was weird” moments for 17 episodes, ’cause that’s something that there’s no real indication of it. I think that’s why the impact is so stark is because it comes out of nowhere it seems like.
On what it was like for Mitchell to be a super powered character inserted into a more grounded world:
Luke Mitchell: The show has evolved throughout the three seasons an coming in Season Two it was less about the character and more about the story and being a part of the story and introducing the Inhumans. But Season Three is obviously I’ve got to play and kind of grow this character and that’s been really cool. I don’t know, I think adding the super hero element to the show has given it more depth but not in an Avengers kind of way, more in a — because we’re dealing with Secret Warriors and it’s more the underground-type stuff — I just think we’re going in a direction [in which] the possibilities are infinite.
On whether Dalton approaches his performance differently now that Hive has taken over Ward’s body:
Dalton: I just took it as an opportunity to sort of be — he can’t be Grant Ward. This is a creature that’s existed for centuries. As we saw on Maveth there’s monuments built in his honor, this guy’s been around for a really long time and existed on the resources on Maveth — that’s nothing. He’s a pretty resilient guy. And I think he thinks globally, he thinks in pretty big terms. Grant Ward is like “Vengeance. Coulson.” He crosses those things off on his list. “I’m gonna go back and I’m gonna get retribution, I’m gonna rewrite my history, I’m gonna get my brother to admit he pushed me down in the well” and that whole incident. It seems like he’s very focused on one thing at a time. Whereas Hive thinks… it’s completely beyond. It’s not the moves on the chessboard, it’s like, “What room are you in?” [Laughter] Like, so much bigger. It’s been fun. It’s another opportunity and I feel like the writers, I guess, trust me, for better or worse at this point, to reinvent something. So I took it and ran with it, tried to change his voice and his posture as well. All that stuff. And it’s evolving as well. You know, a lot of this stuff existed before in the comic book universe, but as you can see that guy looks like the Kraken from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. You know, we’re not doing that particular version but we’re doing our own version of it so this is our interpretation of it. A lot of this stuff it’s like, yeah, that’s a reference to the comic stuff but we’re finding it with the writers and directors. It’s a team effort.
On whether Lincoln and Hive’s separate threads will weave together by the end of the season and if Daisy will be caught in the middle:
Mitchell: We’re actually here to make an announcement that there’s a new relationship on the show. [Hugs Dalton] Lincoln and Hive. Or, Live. [Laughter]
I don’t know. I would like [Lincoln and Hive’s stories to connect]. I think that would be really cool.
Dalton: I was wondering where you were gonna go with that. [Laughs] I was just gonna piggyback on you. “Yeah.” [Laughter] “He got it right.”
Mitchell: I think it would be really interesting if that were to happen.
Dalton: And both of us know Daisy/Skye in different ways — I don’t even know her name is Daisy, because Ward didn’t. I know a different version of her, and you know a different version of her, too. Before Ward and after Ward. I think it’s gonna be interesting should those storylines ever come together.
Again, I think as you said, the more interesting storyline is the tension between Lincoln and Hive is just…
Mitchell: It’s just bubbling beneath the surface.
Dalton: It’s electric, if you will. [Laughter]