When the show started, Bennet’s character was known only as “Skye,” a hacker intent on exposing S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secrets. Now she’s discovered her real name is Daisy Johnson, an adaptation of the Marvel Comics character of the same name, also known as Quake. Along with that, her dormant Inhuman powers have been activated, and she’s not got the handy (and potentially destructive) ability to generate earthquake-esque seismic waves.
With the third season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” starting next Tuesday, CBR News spoke briefly with Bennet earlier this week at the red carpet premiere of the show’s season premiere, “Laws of Nature.” Bennet talked her character’s important new role in S.H.I.E.L.D. in seeking out fellow Inhumans, moving from Skye to Daisy Johnson and everything that comes with it, and the importance of being an Asian-American woman playing a superhero in the massively popular live-action Marvel world.
CBR News: Chloe, going into season three, it sounds like your character is playing an even more vital role within S.H.I.E.L.D. — maybe more of a leadership-type position?
Chloe Bennet: I think it’s a little bit different. Coulson’s obviously still the director, but Daisy’s definitely his right-hand lady. She’s been put in charge of finding new Inhumans. She’s definitely taking that task very seriously. I don’t know what else I can tell you. [Laughs]
Probably not much!
Yeah, where’s Marvel? They’re here watching.
You’ve been playing this role for a couple years now, and it’s evolved from you wearing flannel in a van —
No more flannel!
— and now you have superpowers, a costume, and this new role in S.H.I.E.L.D. What has the experience been like in getting to this very different place over the past couple of years?
She’s always been really fun to play. She’s just a lot different. When your mom tries to kill you, and deceives you, and tries to choke you on top of a boat, things get difficult. When your day is Mr. Hyde, things get tough. She’s definitely a little edgier, and she’s a little harder, she’s a little bit more serious, but I make sure to try to keep the season one Daisy weaved through the new, badass Daisy.
It’s all the same character.
It is, but she’s changed a lot. Literally, she’s changed a lot. She went into S.H.I.E.L.D. hating organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D., and now she’s the epitome of S.H.I.E.L.D. She believes in everything that they believe in.
As a fellow Chinese-American, it’s very cool to see an Asian-American with powers in this massive superhero world — it’s very rare to see that on screen, if not entirely unprecedented. For you, on a personal level, how much does that mean to you?
I don’t know why that’s not talked about more. Not because it’s me, but in general. I am the first woman in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] to have powers, besides Scarlet Witch — but I had powers before the movie came out. And I’m Asian-American. That’s progress. And I’m really proud to be representing the Asian-American culture in America, as a superhero. It’s kind of awesome.
The third season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29 on ABC.