Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Chloe Bennet On Playing A Computer Hacker & Working With Clark Gregg

Chloe Bennet leaps into the world of fanboy/girl love tonight playing hacking superstar Skye alongside Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC.

“He’s incredible,” Chloe told of her co-star, who makes the leap from the big screen (where he’s back following what appeared to be his death in “The Avengers”) to the small one.

“He’s the on-screen leader and the off-screen leader and he sets the tone really well and he’s such like a really cool uncle figure,” she added.

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In the series, Skye is a hacker who is courted by S.H.I.E.L.D., a team of humans, who just happen to be very good at what they do. There are – as of yet – no superheroes, like the ones featured in Executive Producer Joss Whedon’s films, including “The Avengers,” on the show, but fans shouldn’t expect a radio silence on mentions of Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the gang.

“I think they will,” she said, when Access asked her if references to the superheroes will be peppered into the new program. “It’s not a show about, ‘Oh, Iron Man was just here, let’s talk about it.’ It’s not like that, but it’s definitely a show where we know the fans have all seen all the movies and it will be mentioned because we live in the same world as them, but it’s not something that’s the center of attention.”

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Skye is featured heavily in the premiere episode, and it was a role the actress, who last season played Gunnar’s (Sam Palladio) brief love interest on “Nashville” — Hailey — had to fight for.

“I went in like two times for casting. I actually read for [the role of] Simmons first,” she said. “Obviously they’re like, ‘Well, she cannot do bio-chem. That sounds really stupid.’ And then I went in for Skye and then I went in for the producers and then the producers again and then a test.”

For one of her final auditions, Chloe was late. She’d been pulled over on her way to meet with producers, but managed to talk her way out of a ticket, something her character would probably have been able to do as well, and she thinks that kind of attitude helped her land the gig. It certainly wasn’t her computer skills — the actress said her brothers have joked she has to call them when she turns her computer on.

The new show puts Chloe in a lead role, but she’s not feeling the pressure of helping to carry such a big TV installment in the Marvel franchise.

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“It feels like we’re just going to work. It feels so normal,” she said. “It really feels like — this is really cheesy — but like for the first time, I belong in a situation, and for an actor, that’s a really great feeling. … The synergy on set is unlike anything else. We all hang out when we’re done with our 15 hour days of shooting after all week together.”

Asked if she could cameo on her former ABC show, Chloe said, “I’m hoping I don’t for the sake of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’”

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” premieres tonight at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

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