Hayley Atwell On How Agent Carter Almost Came Back – And Still Might

Peggy Carter's future -- or, actually, past -- adventures may have to take place somewhere other than ABC after the network cancelled "Agent Carter." But star Hayley Atwell, who still has a home at the network with her new series "Conviction," tells CBR that if things had worked out slightly differently, she might have been headlining both shows.

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While promoting her new series, in which she plays a scandal-plagued former First Daughter who finds herself blackmailed into heading up an elite legal unit exploring possible wrongful convictions, Atwell revealed to CBR that ABC actually came very close to keeping her on for another mid-season mission as Peggy. She also indicated that if the opportunity to revive her most famous role were to arise in the future, she's ready to re-don Peggy's now-iconic red fedora.

CBR: What can you tell us about saying goodbye to Peggy Carter?

Haley Atwell: Aw! Well, I don't feel like I've said goodbye to her. She does still seem to live on a lot for the fans. And Marvel is still such a big part of my career, especially my professional family, that I would absolutely not rule out the idea of going back to Peggy at some point, seeing her in other avenues. I love her, and I hope that she has a life elsewhere at another time.

When everyone wasn't sure if "Agent Carter" was going forward or not, what was that time period like for you?

It was unclear if Agent Carter would go ahead... It was always one of those much-loved but kind of little places that it had in the world of ABC, and it was very much up in the air. I kind of was able to let that go. I'm quite good at letting go of that which is not in my control. Once I have no choice, I just get on with it. I was back to being an actor for hire, and that's how I've always been. That's how I'll always see myself, and that also means that I'm always starting again. I'm always learning new things.

So when this pilot came about, ABC said, "Well, this is not where we're cancelling 'Agent Carter.' This is a great new project. We really want you in the center of it. We want to see if it's going to go." And then, there were talks of, "Do we do an ‘Agent Carter’ special? Does [‘Conviction’] not get picked up, and ‘Agent Carter’ does? Does the opposite happen? Does neither of them happen? Will I be completely, like, jobless come summer?" All of that was a possibility, and you can only really focus on what's right in front of you.

But if "Agent Carter" did happen, how was it going to work?

I think they would have figured something out in terms of making a special, or waiting until we finish this season, and then we do something else with another network, perhaps. All I'm saying with that is, it's still a much-loved show for the people involved in the making of it, and we know that the fans, it has a special place in their hearts. I would be very happy to go back to her if she became available.

A special is still on the table?

I would love it to be. I hound [Marvel Studios co-president Louis] D'Esposito on a regular basis, saying, "Give me a movie!" I think the great thing about Peggy is, we know from "[Captain America: The] Winter Soldier" that she lives a long life, so she can come back. I'm banking on, when I'm in my fifties, I'm like, "This is the time. Let's see what Peggy's up to in this decade."

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