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Chloe Bennet On How She Trained To Become Quake For Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D - Exclusive

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's Daisy "Quake" Johnson has been on quite a journey. Over the past six seasons, the stubborn hacker has learned that her original name, "Skye," isn't her real name at all; that her father is a super-villain and that her mother leads a colony of supe-rhumans; and, oh yeah, that she's an Inhuman with earth-shaking superpowers.

It's been a learning experience for Chloe Bennet, the actress who plays Daisy, too. As Daisy tells Looper in an exclusive interview, "I started shooting the show when I was 20, and then I finished when I was 27." When she learned she was going to be a superhero, she couldn't believe it: "I was like, 'No way. I'm not athletic. I can't do that.'"

There was only one thing to do: hit the gym. Bennet learned about her super-heroic destiny near the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first season, and realized she had a lot to learn — and that the series wasn't necessarily going to give her everything she needed. On an average episode of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bennet claims, the schedule is so tight that the actors only have about 45 minutes to practice the kinds of stunt scenes that film actors normally spend weeks rehearsing.

To help ease Daisy's transformation into Quake, the name she starts going by on the third season if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bennet was going to get a little more time to prep, but not much. "They were going to put me through maybe a week or so [of training]," Bennet says, "but I just knew, knowing my capabilities, that was just not going to be long enough."

So, Bennet went into business for herself. "I heard that I was going to have to be doing a lot more stunts, so voluntarily, pretty much through that entire hiatus, I trained as much as I could," she says. She spent her entire break working with S.H.I.E.L.D. fight choreographer Matt Mullins, and emerged ready to take the fight to the bad guys.

"It's funny, because I got into acting because I really hated doing sports," Bennet tells Looper. "I grew up with so many brothers — six brothers — and then it turned out that I had to really be the one that treated my body like I was an athlete. [...] I really was starting from nothing."

Bennet trained every day, and while she didn't get much of a vacation, it all paid off. "That training ultimately ended up being such a huge benefit to me as the series continued to get just more and more and more physical," Bennet says. "Season four, when I was riding on top of Ghost Rider's car through the tunnels of LA, that was really me on there, on an umbilical rig. There was also the zero-gravity scene. It was season five, where we're fighting with no gravity. [...] I love that kind of wire work." 

From the sound of her voice, Bennet clearly means it — and it never would've happened if she hadn't taken matters into her own hands.

How Chloe Bennet learned that she was going to become a superhero on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course, for Bennet, the biggest surprise was that she was going to be playing an established character — and a superhero, at that — from the comics. "I was cast as a computer hacker who lives in a van like a complete dork," the actress says. Skye wasn't a particularly physical character, and there were very few hints as to her real identity.

"Honestly, I'm pretty sure the fans guessed it before I knew," admits Bennet. "I had inklings. I had a feeling that I was going to turn into something by the end of season one, or maybe even at the beginning of season two." 

It wasn't until Bennet ventured online that she began to hone in on Skye's true identity. "I looked at a bunch of fan theory websites. I remember thinking maybe I'd be Mantis, or She-Hulk, or some random thing," she says. "And then I remember this one time, it was 2 AM and I was reading some fan blog about it and someone was like, 'I think that she's Daisy. I think she's Quake. I think she's Daisy Johnson.' And then I Googled the character and I saw a little bit."

Still, Bennet says, "They definitely took their time when it came to telling me." She adds with a laugh, "I probably was the last to know, I think."

The seventh and final season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Wednesdays at 10 PM on ABC. The first episode of season 7 premieres on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.