When I was in Los Angeles last month for the Avengers: Age of Ultron press event, I had the chance to join in on a group interview with Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill).
SPOILER ALERT…a couple of the following answers could be viewed as spoilers if you have not seen the film.
To Jeremy, I saw you (in the movie) as a great role model for dads. How do you see your character?
Jeremy: Oh, well, I don’t– I mean if we start talking about this aren’t these spoilers? I don’t know…Um, I think you’d have to ask my daughter if I’m a good daddy role model.
Yeah, I think it’s a cool aspect to the character that, um, was brought up. It was brought up actually for the first Avengers, but not even nearly as cool because they were gone. But in this one, it’s a fantastic sort of reveal that, you know… he’s a daddy. And that’s what he fights for cause I think it’s a very emotional– uh, for me personally it’s a very emotional thing. I think just in general I think that, uh, audiences can kind of grab on to that. Cause it’s something very real.
This question is for Cobie: Hi. I love the, scene where you’re like coughing testosterone, how was it to film, to be like this awesome woman agent and all men?
Cobie: Um, it’s fun. It’s very fun. I mean it’s interesting because people talk about that a lot with these films that there’s few females. And it’s a male driven film. But,] maybe it’s because this is our second one. We all get along so well. I don’t feel that divide on set. Um, all the guys are really great and nice and, um, handsome, every single one of them, some more than others.
Jeremy: In the dark.
Cobie: Uh, but yeah, but it is fun. I mean we have some strong females, Scarlett and now Lizzie. And– and it’s just nice seeing more– more women coming into these films.
Jeremy: It’s good for us too.
Jeremy: Seriously. I mean I love Hemsworth. But, you know.
The last time we (Cobie) talked, about the first Avengers in New York you had said that you thought that you were just going to be serving coffee in the very beginning. So you’ve been in several movies since then. How did you feel about entering the role for this movie?
Cobie: Well, I feel like I might still be making coffees. But at Stark Tower there might just be a really nice espresso machine. So it’s like– it’s like really fancy coffees. Um, no, I don’t think I’m serving coffees anymore. Yeah, it’s really cool. I mean in the comic books Maria Hill has her own story line. And she’s a very– you know, she’s very smart. She’s very independent. She’s very controlling. And it’s cool to see how, now that this team is sort of under, Tony’s protection and sort of funded by him, working in terms of privatizing security and, her dealing with that. So it’s fun to sort of be a part of the team but also to be like managing everybody as well or trying to anyway.
How do you physically prepare for the movie? Also, what was the hardest scene for you both to film?
Jeremy: You know, we train. We’re in the gym lifting weights, hurting our bodies. Uh, hard– I don’t know, hardest scene to film, I don’t know. They’re all quite difficult I think. The first scene we shot was the end of the movie in Italy where the chaos is going. When there’s a lot of moving parts that’s where it gets a little tricky. And then the moving parts aren’t really there in– in real life. So that’s a little trickier. You’re stabbing things with arrows that don’t exist and then firing arrows that don’t exist to things that don’t exist. It’s a little tricky and also to be like, you know, precise with it and the camera angles. It’s just technical… But to me I think it’s fun because it’s– it’s like a dance. And there’s a technique to all that stuff. Um, but it is quite– quite, um, arduous.
Cobie: Training, uh, yeah, I mean every time these movies come up, you know, a couple months before you start working out. And, I did a few stunts in this one, not as much as the super heroes in the film. But, it’s good to get in shape. And, in terms of the most difficult scene, I feel like in this movie there’s a lot of scenes where we’re all in the scene together…
Jeremy: Those are all difficult scenes, right?
Cobie: Yes – we have a lot of fun together. So it’s, a hard group to wrangle as well. But, these scenes, we take multiple days to shoot them ’cause there’s so much coverage. So, on the third day you’re like, wait, what are we doing? And what is the scene? And what did I say? And you sort of feel like you’re in this Groundhogs Day where you’re doing the same thing over but you’re trying to remember exactly how you did it the day before. And so that’s challenging. I mean that’s not– that’s not a hard thing. But it’s, uh, it can get a little bit tiring at times.
Jeremy, you had a bigger role in this movie. And I have a feeling that as soon as it comes out and all the kids see it and all the parents see it that your character’s just gonna explode. How do you feel about that? Are you ready for that?
Jeremy: I don’t know what that ultimately means. I mean, I think the greatest thing that I get out of this whole experience of being in this giant movie and the one prior is, you know, there’s– artistically it doesn’t like really hit a lot of nerves in my body. But as soon as a five year old ran up to me that changed the game. I’m like, oh, wow, I have a five year old. And that’s amazing. And then here comes his dad in the same costume…A little creepy. That’s the creepy part. But like when the little kids come on up to you, God, it just crushes me. And, I’ll stop and do anything for a little creature, man. I’m crazy about them. So, I welcome it, I guess, is the short answer. I welcome that. If it’s the little kids. The grown ass people, stay out of the costume, man (laughing). Come on, I love you (laughing). I’ll see – I’ll see you at Comic-Con. That’s okay then.
Jeremy: Like we’re at Starbucks, dude. You know what I mean? I’m not kidding. We just happened to be in costume. Yeah, really? (laughing)… This is like a mommy and me class. This is amazing. Trust me, I’ve been to them. Like the mister mommy and me. It’s awesome.
Where do you want to see each of your character’s go in the subsequent movies?
Cobie: You know, there’s so many different directions. There’s a plethora of comic books and cartoons and all these things that they could pull from. So for me personally it’s hard to say. I mean it’d be cool to learn more about Marie Hill’s past and sort of how she came to be… But, yeah, it’s hard to say. It’s very much under Marvel’s control. And they’re very great at choosing great storylines. So we’ll see.
Jeremy: Yeah, I think for me, I mean I have, a lot of ideas. I think the relationships are kind of what are interesting in this world with, others. And, I’d just like to see the new ones start and others fade or whatever, just and deepen. I think that would be interesting. That’s– that’s what I’d be curious about the next upcoming ones.
We got to see Hawkeye at home. I think we’re all ready for Maria Hill at home…
Cobie: Oh, I feel like she sleeps in the Avenger’s Tower. Like her desk just kind of converts into a bed. And she gets her two hours. And then she springs back up and gets back to work.
I was wondering. Do you have an idea of what you think Maria Hill is doing when she’s off– if she ever really–?
Cobie: I don’t– yeah, I don’t think she gets a lot of time off. I don’t think she has much of a personal life. Um, it’d be an interesting thing to explore for sure. But yeah, I don’t– I don’t think that she’s getting out into the world very often.
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Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON assembled into theaters everywhere on May 1st!
Watch for more Avengers: Age of Ultron blog posts to be published here soon, including interviews with James Spader & Paul Bettany!
Be sure to check out our already shared interviews with Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) , Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), director Joss Whedon, and producer & the President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige.
You can also check out my previous meeting with Cobie, from 2013 during the Delivery Man Event.
FTC Disclaimer: I attended an expense paid trip by Disney/Marvel to press events for Avengers: Age of Ultron. All opinions shared are always honest and my own.