Amy Acker Previews Her Emotional S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Reunion,' Calls Whedonverse Roots a 'Blessing'

Agents of SHIELD SpoilersThis Tuesday on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 8/7c), Amy Acker enjoys a reunion (of sorts?) with her Much Ado About Nothing uncle, Clark Gregg, guest-starring as the beautiful cellist Coulson left behind when he “died.”

With S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, Coulson’s snuffed romance “is something he’ll perhaps want to go back to, because Audrey is someone he cared about a lot,” says exec producer Maurissa Tanchareon. But as EP Jed Whedon notes, “Audrey is someone who’s now on a journey of her own, and whether or not he respects that is a question.”

All told, “Emotions run high” when Coulson sets out to protect Audrey from danger. TVLine spoke with Acker about her latest foray into the Whedonverse (Angel boss Joss is also a S.H.I.E.L.D. EP), playing someone who’s normal (and not a stone-cold Person of Interest) and the ABC drama star who’s got her on his “list.”

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TVLINE | Had you and any of the Whedons previously talked about maybe swinging by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. someday? Even in casual conversation?
You know, I think that Clark [Gregg] and I had exchanged some Twitter banter about it. Someone said, “Oh, Amy should be on it,” and Clark said, “Right,” and then I said, “OK, please” or something like that. Basically me begging to work with Clark again.

TVLINE | Under what circumstances do we meet Audrey? Coulson’s kind of out on a limb, a man with a global peacekeeping organization. Is he checking in on her?
Well, she has someone after her from her past. And you find out that Coulson has been watching over her and is trying to protect her. I think that once he found out about Hydra and everything kind of dissolved as far as S.H.I.E.L.D., he knew the ramifications of what that meant as far as who is out there. He realized that she could be in trouble, and so that became a priority.

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TVLINE | Is there any indication of what she’s been up to since fate tore them apart?
Yeah, I have a really nice, pretty speech that they wrote about just how hard it was to get over him, trying to kind of put my life back together since I lost him.

TVLINE | Are we going to get an actual reunion between Audrey and Coulson? Or will he have to keep her at arm’s length?
Well, they are in a scene together. I’ll say that. [Cue this ABC promo pic. But is all as it seems?]
AMY ACKER, CLARK GREGGTVLINE | Is playing the cello something you had to fake, I assume?
Well, I took a nice three-hour lesson after I found out I was playing the part. [Laughs] Unfortunately, you can’t actually learn to play the cello in three hours, but…. It’s funny, because my daughter takes violin, so I’ve been trying to just steal her lessons from her since I have to go with her every time anyway. I’m like, “Oh, I can play the violin now!” I thought I was pretty good at it, but apparently not so much.

TVLINE | You know, the last time I interviewed Nathan Fillion, I asked him if there’s anybody he hasn’t worked with on Castle yet that he’d like to. And he takes out his iPhone, and he actually has a list he maintains, and you are near the top of it. So, when’s that going to happen?
Oh, that’s nice of him. I guess I’ll start stalking him next, I guess! I just think Nathan’s so funny on that show, I love the humor that they have.

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TVLINE | When’s the last time you played someone as normal as Audrey?
I get to be pretty bad and cool on Person of Interest, so it was a nice thing to do S.H.I.E.L.D. and be a normal, nice girl, something total different. [Laughs] I guess [Much Ado's] Beatrice would be the most normal person before that, yeah.

TVLINE | Well, going back to the Whedonverse thing: How does it feel to be a part of that sort of “repertoire company”? Is it comforting to know that you will probably always have work in one way, shape or form throughout your career?
Oh, jeez. I mean, it’s been a total blessing to know all those people — and on a personal level as well as a work level. I mean, most of my best friends I’ve met from my Angel days and from doing Shakespeare readings at Joss’ house. And he hires such amazing writers who have now gone on to make their own shows, so I was lucky enough to do something on Grimm and Once Upon a Time, all these different things with different people who have been on or affiliated with Angel. Fred is the gift that keeps on giving, I guess.

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Want more scoop on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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51 Comments
  1. John NYC says:

    “Roots”

    Oh yes.

  2. John NYC says:

    Speaking of which (or witch…) how about an evil Allyson somewhere? Surely there’s a place somewhere in the Whedonverse for a BadWillow reprise? A bit like how Root has echoes of Illyria….

  3. Ashley says:

    What did Charisma Carpenter do to piss off Joss? There is a group of actors that appear in Whedonverse a lot…and if they don’t…they might appear in a private picture or two…but nothing about Charisma.

    • Williwasnt says:

      I think Charisma Carpenter’s the one who was pissed at Joss. *ANGEL SPOILER* Apparently when she agreed to return to Angel for the 100th episode she had one condition, that Cordelia doesn’t die, and if you’ve watch the show, you know what happens. Apparently that really upset her.

    • Kim says:

      I kinda’ wonder about this a lot. Was it getting pregnant midseason and them going “well crap….” after they had an arc defined or something?I find it kinda’ funny because I had heard Mike Peterson was between Nicholas Brendan and J,August Richards. All throughout there’s Joss friends and never Charisma.

    • Drew says:

      There were a lot of rumors about Charisma having a hard time on the show. From having to dye her hair so that it wouldn’t be the same color as Fred’s hair to Joss being upset that she got pregnant. I think that she was kinda scr+wed over with the whole move from Buffy to Angel. Her character was destroyed and then spit on even more than John Rhys-Davies’ character was trashed on Sliders, by new producers who hated him.

      • Pat says:

        John Rhys-Davies got it worse I’d say, they treated the guy like $h**

      • ComeOn! says:

        I agreed that they just stop writing her character when she got pregnant and by the time she came back they shifted the main female character to Fred. But the way they push her character out is positively ridiculous. The Angel/Cordelia relationship story just stop, like they got bored. I’m sure they said at the time, it was a creative decision, their story had came to a natural end, blah blah blah. Eh, no. It was unfinished. Amy Acher on the other hand, already got babies before she started on the show but her husband was willing to look after the kids while she works.

    • Carla Krae says:

      She and Joss are good now. He apologized after the kicking her off Angel thing, since, and the bad blood is behind them. I don’t think she’s actively pursued a role on his projects since. Joss has his favorites, the ones that came/come to his house for the Shakespeare readings all the time, and Amy is one of them.

    • Tidwell says:

      You could say the same thing about Sarah Michelle Gellar. She hasn’t been on the Whedon list since Buffy, but that could very well be her choice.

      • LSJ says:

        I’m pretty sure that SMG’s choice. After Buffy ended, she did a lot of badmouthing about the Buffy/Spike relationship and some of the *ahem* more adult scenes involving the two.

      • Alia says:

        She’s actually an extra in Dr. Horrible. I’m sure she wouldn’t have done that if the Whedonfolks weren’t her friends.

        • Alan says:

          ive watched dr horrible more times than i can count and i dont remember seeing her as an extra anywhere in it, im thinking this is crap.

          • roadi says:

            You can see her with a black wig and sunglasses next to the 3 groupies in the group scenes during the big showdown. The producers and Sarah herself confirmed this. You can google screenshots pretty easily.

          • John NYC says:

            It’s also on the DVD commentary track.

    • Will says:

      Thanks for this.. I never was able to find a definitive answer online.. but there was definitely some “bad blood” between the two. If memory serves me correctly, for Season 5 of ANGEL Charisma only wanted to be recurring but still make the same amount of $$ as if she were in all the episodes and that didn’t fly.. idk how much truth to that there was or was not. Either way they destroyed her character after Season 3 that much is certain.

  4. Anon says:

    This is just nepotism at it’s WORST. She begs her pals for work and bingo baby she gets the gig…There are many up and coming actors who are just looking for a break and they don’t even get a casting because of unfair castings like this. This role on The Shield could have been their big break.

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      “Nepotism at it’s WORST” is when your government official gives your tax dollars in the form of contracts to their friends and family, who are wholly unqualified to do the work.

      Ms. Acker is a talented actress who has demonstrated skill and range – it would be idiotic to discount her from such roles because she’s worked well with Mr. Whedon previously. Her hiring is NOT “nepotism at it’s WORST”.

    • Alan says:

      she has a regular role on another show, she isnt begging for work, thats called making a joke. the whedons, just like everyone in the industry, have a group of people that they like to work with because they know they can get a good performance from them no matter what.
      anyway you complain about nepotism on a show where all 6 of the main cast are people who havent worked with them before, yeah your point is so valid here.

      • Alan says:

        oh i forgot to add that four of those six actors in the main cast who never worked with the whedons before the marvel stuff were total unknowns who got their big break from this show.

      • Greg says:

        This makes me think of just about every Woody Allen movie ever made. No, not the nepotism, the consistent use of the same actors…..or plots. I’m not comparing any of the Whedons to Mr. Allen. In my thinking that would be an insult to the Whedons. Now, while I’m at it, I love AoS but, the April 22 showing was a bit of a let down when compared to the previous few. Albeit, I do LOVE Ms. Amy. She is one heckuva ROOT!

    • Winter says:

      Actually it’s called networking not nepotism. You work with people and you do a good job and are easy to work with so they hire you again. Then those people talk to other people so those people hire you or don’t based on what they know of your work. That is how the world works in Hollywood and business.

    • Hypatiaaa says:

      Are you serious? Do you even know what nepotism is? Have you ever seen Amy Acker act? She’s arguably the Whedonverse actor with the most range and constantly the best part of the shows she stars/guest-stars on: Angel, Alias, Dollhouse, Much Ado About Anything, and currently on Person Of Interest, where she also happens to be the most nuanced character on the show. If you want to make it as an actor so badly, better change that attitude, dude.

    • Ari says:

      Yea, but Amy Acker is kind of an awesome actress so I’m sure she could win those parts on her talent alone.

  5. Den says:

    Fred was awesome!

  6. Olivia says:

    That’s incredible, when you think about it, how much talent in finding… talent the Whedonverse has had over the years.
    I know plenty of fans who, like me, will watch something just because someone from the ‘verse is in it. Now I am not the biggest fan of some of them (although I still like them) and I won’t watch automatically just because of them, but really, they are the exception!
    Aly, SMG, Nick, Amber, Charisma, Amy, James, Elisa, Enver, Nathan, Tamoh, just say a name from the Mutant Enemy family and there’s a good 90% chances I will be on board just based on their presence. And not even in a fangirl mindset, just in a truly appreciative way. That doesn’t mean that it will be good, but it will make me curious and excited enough to at least give it a shot.
    Joss, Jed and Maurissa’s names being affiliated with anything will have that effect on me as well. It’s kinda like a quality label to me lol. I’m also generally excited to discover actors I don’t know yet because I know that the cast will be well chosen for the parts. Not to mention that the roles will have depth, quirks, real layers, the men won’t only be brutal idiotic eye candy and the women won’t only be helpless waiting-for-a-hero airheads. Male characters will have their weaknesses and sensitivity and still be badasses while females will be kickasses taking no prisoner type of women but still be vulnerable. All that without feeling forced. The result? Almost two decades of loyalty from the first hour fans, new fans along the way, and other shows benefitting from having one of these actors in their cast. Other shows should take a page out of Whedon’s book.

    Mutant Enemy: Doing TV right since 1997. Grr. Argh.

    • Britt says:

      I love Amy. She has some great characters. Her transition from Fred to Illyria was amazing, and her role as Nova on OUAT was great too.

    • Zayne says:

      Enver Gjokaj needs more work. He was hands down the breakout star of Dollhouse and has shown up the least since then.

      • Ari says:

        Yes! Where is he?! He was on an episode of Community a few years ago but he was so good on Dollhouse he needs to do more.

  7. Joey says:

    She’s right though. Fred is the gift that keeps on giving.

  8. Brittany says:

    Really hoping she has a scene with J August Richard. I always loved Fred and Gunn together, so that would warm my shipper heart!

    • mangolovenet says:

      Agreed, Brittany! I know most people really liked Fred with Wesley, but I really liked Fred & Gunn together. I feel like the only time they’d be sharing a scene on AoS is if Deathlok was trying to kill Audrey, though :(

      • Autumn says:

        I loved Fred and Gunn together! Was really rooting for them over Fred and Wesley. It would be great if there was a reunion of sorts.

  9. Boone says:

    Love Amy since the Angel days. Fred was amazing. I can’t to see her on AoS.

  10. TV Gord says:

    I’ve been waiting for this! I love her on Person of Interest! Next? James Marsters.

  11. Sheldon W. says:

    I miss Fred/Illyria

    • LSJ says:

      It broke my heart when Fred died, I was SO upset. But then to see Amy in the role of Illyria was AMAZING. She really got a chance to show her acting skills in that role. The transition was shocking and amazing and made me torn. I wanted Fred back SO bad, but Illyria was just awesome.

  12. Apples says:

    AA on Castle? Yes please!

  13. Dan says:

    I just realized that the way Wes died on Angel is very similar to the way Coulson died.

  14. meredith says:

    Amy is amazing!!!

  15. ComeOn! says:

    I’m a fan of Amy Acker and glad for her that she is great friend with the Whedons family. But I’m disappointed with her casting as the cellist, it’s too safe and kinda of rehash the early days of Fred from Angel.

  16. Xander says:

    I thought she’s his niece? LOL

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