Agent Carter Panel At Wizard World St. Louis


While at Wizard World St. Louis this past weekend I had the chance to attend an Agent Carter panel with Lyndsy Fonseca and Hayley Atwell. I made sure to record the panel so that I could transcribe the best of it for our Bam Smack Pow fans.

More from Conventions And Shows

During the Q&A, there were, of course, some of the standard questions you would expect fans to ask of Hayley Atwell, like what was your favorite scene to shoot with Chris Evans, what was it like to kiss him, etc. But there was also some great discussion about the gender inequalities in the 1940s, the possible future impact of Agent Carter as a show with a strong female lead on Marvel and the rest of the entertainment industry, and more. Both Lyndsy and Hayley had a lot of great things to say, about their characters’ friendship, and how Marvel took a bit of a risk with a show like Agent Carter but that the reactions from the fans clearly show that this is what we want and we are ready for a female driven show.

The following is a transcription of some of the best questions and answers from Hayley and Lyndsy.

Question: So Agent Carter is the first female led Marvel show, with a lot of really strong female characters, I’m wondering how you guys (Lyndsy Fonseca and Hayley Atwell) feel that will impact future shows that Marvel will do?

Hayley Atwell: Well, I think it’s the support of the fans saying that they want that, they want more of this, and it’s a dialogue between the audience and the industry saying, “this is what we want this is what we’re ready for.” I feel that Marvel took a risk ceating a show based on Peggy, and Lyndsy’s character as well with having such a strong female friendship. But I feel like the audience was saying we want this and we’re ready for it. I do hope that it will start a kind of quiet revolution of female-led shows, because the audience is there, and they want it, and I think it’s time.

Question: So you mentioned the three tropes that most women are categorized in in media, but with Peggy, Angie and even Dotty, you have three very strong and different, complicated characters. How much of that was the writing versus what each of you were bringing individually to the roles?

Hayley Atwell: Well I felt like it was a collaboration. When we were kind of testing for Angies, there were lots of girls who came in and did very different things with the same script. And so when Lyndsy came in and she had this ability to completely make it her own and have a strength in there, but also a twinkle of humor, and it just clicked. It’s more a question of finding the right cast that clicks with what’s already written so you can go further beyond the script and then find a way of making it work.

Lyndsy Fonseca: Well thank you Hayley. You know the creators are women, and there’s men (incredible writers) on the staff as well, but there’s an incredible voice, an incredible writing that I think that you know you’re just reading the page going, “oh my God, it’s so juicy,” you just love it. So you know really incredible writers and I just feel like, “oh, thank you.”

Question: Now that Season 1 is over, what new directions do you two see your characters going into?

Hayley Atwell: Well it’s really hard to say. I mean. they’re just in the process of mapping out the whole arc of the season, and so we haven’t yet filled in the details of what’s actually going to happen. But what I think is exciting is that because it’s set in L.A., and it’s going to take place a year later, Peggy is in quite a different place. She’s not grieving as much; it’s not as raw for her to have lost Steve. So within herself, she’s in a much better place. So I think we can see much more light and warmth and humor in who she is as a person. But then I also think that there’s something very … kinda it reminds me like of L.A. Confidential, very film noir, very glamorous L.A. life, and that kind of dark underbelly of L.A. in the 40s which we’ll see more of. And there’ll be a depth of characters, like we were just talking about how Angie and her are now at a place where Angie knows who she really is. So this could be the beginning of a much more interesting friendship where they can truly confide in each other, because they’re on the same page. But I think it will be developing the characters and introducing new ones, so there will be a lot to do. The show runners have been very excited about what we’re going to do, and I think it’s gonna fulfill the fans expectations.

Question: Can you talk a little about your characters’ friendship on the show? There’s a moment where it could have so easily you might not have revealed the truth about yourself, and you could have continued to lie. Were there any plans about the being maybe one alternate path of Peggy continuing to lie? Could that friendship have continued under that pretense, do you think?

Hayley Atwell: Well I think it’s kind of absolutely crucial that to have an arc of their friendship, there has to be a change, and the change comes from when Peggy needs Angie. And it’s through that need, when she’s on that ledge and Angie covers for her, that’s the turning point in their friendship — when her cover’s blown, and she realizes that all this time, she could have been confiding in Angie, because she would have been there for her. She had her back. And in that brilliant moment, she (Angie) decides she knows exactly how she can help Peggy. So I think it was very important to the growth of the scene and the growth of the friendship to be able to have that turning point.

Question: Do you think there’s any lingering sense of betrayal on Angie’s part that she didn’t know and she thought she knew this person?

Lyndsy Fonseca: I think if anything, I think Angie would feel proud that Peggy let her guard down. I think Angie is someone who also needs friends and been having kind of a girl crush on you (Peggy) and being like, “be my friend,” and Peggy just putting her guard up. And at the end, having Peggy say who she really is, I think Angie’s just like, “Finally! Hey, I’m here for you!”

Hayley Atwell: Isn’t it nice to have a friendship on screen between two women that’s not competitive, and it’s not negative? That’s not centered around a love interest or a man? I think that’s really refreshing, and I think that’s something that Marvel were very keen to promote, and that’s one of the reasons that I think it’s such great writing. People are represented in much more interesting and realistic ways. So I think based on that, they’ll want to pursue it (the friendship).

Question: Agent Carter did such an amazing job calling out the gender inequality that was so ingrained in the era, what would you love to see discussed or brought up in the coming seasons in regards to gender inequality?

Hayley Atwell: I think probably most interesting to bring up is how Peggy balances her private romantic life and her work. I think that’s a very relevant topic, even today, “How do women do it all?” And I think it would be nice to see Peggy tackling that. So she has something for herself at home, but that doesn’t stop her from being able to achieve what she wants in the workplace and vice versa. But being 1947, I think any of the socially relevant issues of that time would be kind of exciting to explore. I think it will be very exciting to have her (Peggy) side by side with all the issues of the time.

Lyndsy Fonseca: I’d like to add one thing about in America how women are not given a lot of time for leave when they have a child, or men for that matter. But you know there’s this idea of women working and what they’re kind of forced to do that’s happening right now. And what I love about Peggy on the show is how she doesn’t tell us as an audience how to do it, she does it by example.

Question: There has been a big debate going on in the world about how women are repressed in other parts of the world. We’re very fortunate that we get to see women of power in our country. Is there a push to get Agent Carter to the rest of the world so that more can see women in positive female roles that aren’t sexualized?

Hayley Atwell: I’ve got something I want to share with you, because it was a very humbling and very important moment in this whole experience. I was invited to the Middle East, and I went to Dubai. I saw a woman, and she was in a full burka, and she asked me, “Could you write ‘women can be heroes too’ on my picture?” and I just burst into tears. I thought it was the most beautiful thing, and I think what’s wonderful is I’ve been able to travel all over the world meeting people, especially young people, boys and girls alike, and to see the positive impact of the message that Peggy has of “to know your value” has made. I think it’s something that people need to hear and people need to be reminded of, and I feel very proud and privileged to be a part of that message.

Neither actress was ever a comic book fan before working for Marvel, Lyndsy admitted that Angie has secrets she hasn’t told Peggy, and Hayley described how soft Chris Evans’ kiss was, but by far the above transcription was the best of Lyndsy and Hayley’s panel at Wizard World St. Louis 2015.

More from Bam Smack Pow