On Set with ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: ‘Hey, You’re a Robot!’

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opened its doors to reporters to talk about the second arc of this season, “LMD”. We spoke to the cast about where they’re headed — including tips on how to be a robot, and what to do if it turns out you’ve always been one.

Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) Gregg’s view of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s LMD crisis is both philosophical and frightening. “It raises issue of what consciousness means. And that’s an issue that’s coming our way; if you listen to Steven Hawking, it’s the most dangerous thing that’s coming our way. Like all really good sci-fi premises, it makes you think differently about what it means to be human. That’s certainly what happened in Ex Machina, the film, and it’s what I’m watching play out on Westworld in ways that I find fascinating, and we’re doing own version of it on good ol’ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Dr. Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) “He’s not doing it out of badness, as such,” says Hannah about Radcliffe’s actions. Rather, its a single-minded devotion to the pursuit of knowledge, no matter the cost. It’s the sort of moral ambiguity he’s attracted to as an actor. “To be honest, I don’t know where that goes yet, but I’m starting to get the impression that, as he is removed form the core of S.H.I.E.L.D. and works on the periphery — sometimes with Fitz and sometimes not — that it’s becoming slightly interesting again,” he says with a sly smile and air quotes around “interesting.”

Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) When the cast found out that Agent May was an LMD, that set off rampant speculation. “Everybody thought everyone was an LMD!” she recalls. And the producers have strongly hinted that there almost certainly will be more robot versions of the characters we know and love. “The great and terrifying thing on this show is — like Season 1, Brett Dalton was playing Grant Ward straight. And then they say ‘You were a double agent all this time,’ and you say ‘Oh my god!’ So you never know when someone’s going to say ‘Hey, you’re a robot. Just to let you know, you’ve been a robot for four years,'” says Henstridge. “I can’t confirm nor deny somebody said that to me, but you never know on this show.”

Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie (Henry Simmons) The spirit of vengeance may be gone, but his effect on Mack is still being felt. “Every person that’s inhabited by Ghost Rider — obviously there are residual effects afterwards and that’s going to be interesting to see,” says Simmons. “It opens wounds. It opens doors that people have tried to close for a long time.” And after, “I I have issues I have to deal with and because of those issues, it affects other relationships I have.”

Related: Watch All Six Episodes of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot’ For Free on Yahoo View

Aida (Mallory Jansen) How does one go about becoming an android? Well, you start by trying not being human. “I focused firstly on the movement,” says Jansen. “Everything is very fluid; there’s no itching or tossing hair or anything like that — which I usually do. I have very human responses to things.” There’s also an element of naiveté, of “trying to figure out what it’d be like to do everything for the first time again.”

Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) “There’s no superhero ‘woe is me’,” in Yo-Yo, says Cordova-Buckley. There’s no angst about her powers because she believes they were given to her to help people — which can put her at odds with her team. “They belong to doing good. They don’t belong to S.H.I.E.L.D. They don’t belong to the government.” So it makes sense that after signing the Sokovia Accords, she immediately set about violating them. “I hope she stays that a rebel, an outsider,” says Cordova-Buckley. “I love that about her.”

Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) Though Daisy brings out a maternal streak in May, it’s not all drama and tough love. “It’s always fun to be the two badass women out there fighting. She’s got the super powers… and I just get hurt,” Wen says with a huge laugh. “I want some super powers! I just want to be able to [thrusts hands forward in a Quake motion] and call it a day!”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of MAOS for free on Yahoo View.

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