Far away from SHIELD HQ, Ming-Na Wen stopped by the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in June. As the show’s resident badass Wen shared a few words about her character Agent May, the show, and how it feels to be in the Marvel Universe.
How would you describe your character, some say she is a bit bossy?
I don’t think she is bossy but she definitely has her opinion about what’s right or wrong. I think what’s so great about her character is that she can make her very confident choice based on her belief without being bossy. She is also expecting a lot from people and from herself but what’s fun is that you can feel where her heart is.
What do you think of the new relationship between Skye and May in the season 2?
I think it’s interesting because in season 1, Agent May didn’t trust in Skye, didn’t believe in her ability and couldn’t understand why Coulson wanted her to be a part of the team and how she could contribute because she didn’t have any assets or skills. In season 2, she starts to understand that there’s something very special about Skye and even takes her under her wings and teaches her how to be a good agent. There’s this new dynamic of teacher-student, mother-daughter that was really fun for us. It’s all underlined there’s nothing emotional like hugging, screaming or yelling… but it’s definitely an incredible relationship. It’s fun to play and it’s such a surprise also because we don’t know episode to episode what’s going on. So we discover the changes of dynamic exactly like the audience. We try to know more, to sneak into the writer’s room to know what’s going to happen but our writers…they’re really good. They’re the Shield.
Do you think it’s possible for Ward to have a redemption?
He killed a lot of people. But we will never say never.
Did you prepare a bit for this role because it’s really physical?
Oh no…I just sit there. It is the hardest job and one of the hardest roles I’ve ever worked on. It’s not just about the lines and the long hours of shooting it’s also the physical of learning how to do the stunt fighting, of learning all the choreography in such a short time and it had to look good. We have an incredible stunt team and I have an incredible double…I get a lot of bruises and lot of painkillers.
Are there any memories of the shooting that is your favorite?
It’s probably the pilot episode. My family was backstage and my son, who was about six or seven, he came running because he was really excited to see ‘mommy flying a plane’. He couldn’t believe it. He thought I was doing it for real and I didn’t want to break his little heart so I told him that it was real.
What do you prefer- TV shows or a movie?
What’s interesting, a movie is wonderful, it’s big and big budgeted and there’s so much you can do and it’s only two hours. With the series, you have 22 episodes to tell a story and it’s like a comic book. Every week you get something, and there’s a longer time to develop the characters.
Would you like to play in one of the Marvel films?
It would be fantastic although I feel like our show is like making movies every several weeks. I think we forget how little time we have. A movie has a year or two to accomplish it while in a series it’s about a couple of days and I think it’s more challenging and more interesting to do. But I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Thor.
Do you feel any pressure being in such a big franchise?
Actually I was really nervous to audition for the job because it was directed by Joss Whedon because, I’m a big fan of his. To know he was going to direct the first episode, that he was going to be in the room…well I was really nervous even before it started. One sec in the job, it just became the pressure of living up to the expectation of the fans because there’s definitely big expectations of what they want.
If one day, you had to stop being an actress, what would be your dream job?
I love interior decorating. As long as I work with good people, I’m more than fine, because it’s the only way you can get better: by learning. Also, I’m writing a lifestyle book because a lot of people want to know how I’m still young-looking.
You’re a good poker player.
And Agent May would be an amazing poker player because she has such a poker face, that would be a funny scene to do. We should come back to Monte-Carlo and do a scene like that. I should totally to pitch it.