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Actor Chloe Bennet opens up about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Exclusive interview

Daisy "Quake" Johnson, one of the stars of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has had quite a journey. When we first met her, she was going by Skye, and was an anti-social hacker who lived out of her van. Now, she's S.H.I.E.L.D.'s resident powerhouse, a beloved member of an ever-growing team, and, oh yeah, a bona fide superhero, too. In many ways, it's like she's grown up right before our eyes.

You could say the same for Chloe Bennet, the actress who plays Daisy, too. When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted, she was only 20 years old, and had only a few credits to her name. Now, she's one of the most popular actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with seven seasons' worth of experience that should serve her well once S.H.I.E.L.D.'s finale airs.

Shortly before the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s final season, Bennet took some time to talk with Looper about how she trained for Daisy's big action scenes, how she first learned that she was getting superpowers, whether or not she'd like to make the jump to Marvel movies, and the challenges that come with being an Asian-American actor in Hollywood.

Chloe Bennet's favorite stunts on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Daisy's real identity, and the fact that she's a character that we knew from the comics, is one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's biggest twists. How early on did you know that you were going to be a superhero?

Honestly, I'm pretty sure the fans guessed it before I knew. I didn't know about it at all. I had inklings. I had a feeling that I was going to turn into something by the end of the season one, or maybe even at the beginning of season two. I'm not quite sure. It's all kind of a blur.

But I remember someone being like, "You're going to be a superhero." I was like, "What?" I was cast as a computer hacker who lives in a van like a complete dork, not physical stuff. I thought it was pretty funny. I was like, "No way. I'm not athletic. I can't do that." And then I looked at a bunch of fan theory websites. I remember thinking maybe I'd be Mantis, or She-Hulk, or some random thing.

And then, I remember this one time, it was 2:00 AM and I was reading some fan blog 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. They definitely took their time when it came to telling me. I was probably the last to know, I think.

Like you said, it's a pretty physical role. What kind of training have you done?

Oh, so, I must have found out at the end of season one, because in between seasons one and two I heard that I was going to have to be doing more stunts, so voluntarily, pretty much through that entire hiatus, I trained as much as I could with this guy Matt, who was incredible. And he worked on our show at the same time, ultimately as a choreographer, throughout the series.

It was a lot of training. I really was starting from nothing. That month that I put myself through, it was kind of... It was not for the show, but I just knew I didn't want to show up and... They were going to put me through maybe a week or so, but I just knew, knowing my capabilities, that was not going to be long enough.

It was every day. It felt like, between season one and two, there wasn't much of a break. It was a lot of training on my end. And from then on, we are a smaller production compared to the movies. In the movies, the actors are getting months of training and rehearsals for one scene, for these stunt scenes, where we would get probably 45 minutes to rehearse.

And then, you just have to move so quickly. That training ultimately ended up being such a huge benefit to me to go back to as the series continued to get just more and more and more physical.

Is there a stunt or action sequence that you found particularly challenging or interesting?

It's funny, because I got into acting because I really hated doing sports. 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 because I was doing so much physical stuff that I had to constantly make sure I was healthy and I was in the right shape.

I loved any car work that we did. Season four, when I was riding on top of Ghost Rider's car through the tunnels of L.A., that was so much fun — that was really me on there, on an umbilical rig. I just cruised. Or the scene where I'm falling out of the car, or falling out of the plane with Coulson.

I love that kind of wire work. Wire work is really difficult. There was also the zero-gravity scene. It was season five, where we're fighting with no gravity. I'm on a wire. That's a lot of it. It's very, very challenging, but also really fun. That's really well choreographed. And then, just to get to learn about all the incredible stuntwomen and stuntmen that are in the industry. The show, I think, is underrated, especially with so many action movies. They're the backbone of the industry, and it was such a privilege to get to work with so many of them over the past seven years.

Will Quake ever show up in an MCU movie? Bennet isn't sure

People kind of forget that you're Marvel Studios' first Asian superhero, and you've been vocal about the discrimination you faced in Hollywood. With Marvel announcing Shang-Chi, Parasite winning best picture, and Crazy Rich Asians being such a big hit, have you noticed any changes with regards to Asian representation in your everyday professional life?

I mean, as long as we're talking about it, the change isn't necessarily complete, if you know what I mean. I think that right now, especially to people who aren't Asian, there's a trend of Asians in Hollywood. They're like, "Oh, Asian movies work," and that kind of thing. But being Asian isn't a trend to me. And what I loved about S.H.I.E.L.D is that they cast me because I was right for the role, and ultimately ended up writing to fit my ethnicity and my diversity, and made that a part of the character, and it only added richness to the character.

I think that's such an organic and cool way to do things, and that trickled down from Maurissa, who's one of our showrunners and who happens to be Asian and happens to be a woman, but she's also incredible at her job. And I think the more that it can be not a trend and just be like, "We're casting people who are awesome for the roles and they happen to be Asian," that's when I think things will really start to change.

But obviously, are we going in the right direction? Are we going in a better direction? Absolutely. It has to start somewhere, and I think if it starts by being a trend, then I guess that's the way to do it, but I think we still have a long way to go.

There are always rumors about Quake getting a spinoff or appearing in the movies. At the same time, you've also been playing this role for seven years. Now that the show's over, if you had the chance to bring Daisy back, would you do it?

I definitely would. I mean, I have such a soft spot for her. I started shooting the show when I was 20, and then I finished when I was 27. To get this time right now, in isolation, to kind of contemplate the past seven years and how much it's meant to me — it hasn't really hit me yet that the show is over, so it doesn't really feel like I'm done playing her yet.

I think once the last episode airs and the show is really out of my life, I think that will be an interesting feeling. But I can never say never. I mean, Coulson's died like 800 times. I don't think I realized when I first auditioned for the role how much this entire entity, how much this character, how much this universe and how much S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to be just a part of me for the rest of my life. I definitely would be open to playing her again.

But I have not been asked to, so... But, listen, "Coulson Lives" started on Twitter, so who knows?