When last we tuned into Agent Carter, the titular hero had been freshly impaled on a piece of rebar, leading her bleeding all over Sousa’s sofa. As a result, Peggy needs to find a fellow femme trained in espionage who can accompany Jarvis to a lavish gala where Whitney Frost will be in attendance.
Cue the return of Dottie Underwood, who’s as pleased as punch to see her gal pal Peggy come to her for a favor — especially one that will get her sprung from her SSR confines, for this Tuesday’s double-episode outing (ABC, 9/8c).
Bridget Regan spoke with TVLine about Dottie’s unexpected and “unpredictable” mission for the good guys, the Legend-ary lesson she learned about fighting in a dress and the new tricks up her sleeve on TNT’s The Last Ship.
TVLINE | Were your ears burning other day when Hayley Atwell sang to me your praises as a laser-focused, disciplined actor?
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Stop. Stop. I’d say the exact same thing about her. Hayley is a force. So strong.
TVLINE | Watching this week’s double-header, it struck me that Dottie is very, very funny. I mean, her sass level is at, like, 11.
Don’t you love the comedy this season, that it’s been turned up in general? But thank you. The thing is, it’s just play for her. In Season 1, she’s working for Fenhoff, she’s been told, “Kill Peggy Carter,” so she was working, working, working. Now, Peggy busts her out of jail, so how fun is this going to be! This was a lot better than the Friday night she had planned. It’s all play. Play, play, play.
TVLINE | All told, how does Peggy’s plan work out, to spring Dottie and have her work an off-book mission?
She’s certainly taking a risk, but Peggy is left with no other choice. She’s really injured — which Dottie can see right away when she walks into the prison — and theres no other woman she can think of [to accompany Jarvis to a political gala]. But Dottie, she’s a loose cannon. We dont know what she’s going to do. Is she going to play along and follow her orders, or is she going to leave the first second she can? Peggy tries to protect herself — they’ve got the Stark gadgets attached to her, trying to keep her in lockdown — but Dottie is unpredictable, which is one of the best things about her.
TVLINE | Speaking of the ballroom gala setting, is there a trick to kicking butt in a full-length dress?
Well, you know I have experience kicking butt in a full-length dress when I was in New Zealand for two years [on Legend of the Seeker] wearing a long, white, crazy, flowing, wizard-sleeve dress. So yeah, you’ve got to work with it, you’ve got to flow with it. You can’t fight against it, you’ve got to use it. But I did have a crazy 48 hours where [TNT’s The] Last Ship needed me for these night shoots on a tarmac in San Pedro, and Agent Carter needed me during the day. So I did days on Agent Carter and then I went straight to a night shoot on Last Ship, and then I went back to Agent Carter and back to Last Ship!
TVLINE | Yes, last time we spoke, we talked about how busy you’ve been these past few years. Is what you just described the busiest singular moment?
Yeah, it was insane. Everybody was helping me. But I had to wear that [ballroom] dress and do a lot of physical violence in it and stuff, and I was so hopped up on caffeine and sugar trying to get through it…. It was basically like Toddlers & Tiaras — “Here you go, Bridget, drink this and go do it!” [Laughs] And I did. But after those 48 hours, everything is a cake walk. How did Michael J. Fox do this, when he was doing Back to the Future and Family Ties? I was Michael J. Fox-ing it for two days.
TVLINE | There’s a pretty great interrogation scene in this week’s second episode. Were you surprised, the tiniest bit, just how frickin’ hardcore Dottie is?
No! No. Shes a product of her training. Not everyone survives the Red Room [Soviet brainwashing and training program], so she’s obviously the star student there. But I love that in these episodes we get to see just how strong she is, with Vernon Masters (played by Kurtwood Smith). And then she’s pushed by Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) and we see where Dottie is human, which I love. That’s one of my favorite things about the whole Black Widow world, is that these characters aren’t superhuman. They’re human, just super-badass.
TVLINE | Outside of with Peggy, what dynamic did you especially enjoy playing in these episodes?
Well, obviously, working with James D’Arcy is so much fun. He is so funny, and I love how much comedy there is in the writing for him. And we had so much fun in that ballroom scene. We saw the blooper reel at the [Season 2] wrap party and there’s a lot from that day. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Turning to your new role on The Last Ship: What new badassery are you up to?
Oh my God, I am so badass. But now I’m the badass with huge guns. The Last Ship is so big, it’s such a big, big show…. Joining it, it’s kind of like you’re running alongside a moving train and you need to jump on, because they’re all doing it and they all know their characters so well. My character’s an expert on all Asian languages, so at work today I’m speaking in Mandarin, and I’ve been working so hard learning Chinese and Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese… It’s a challenge for my brain but I’m up for it. I love it. I’m really excited to see this season, because everyone’s saying it’s the biggest, baddest one yet.
TVLINE | And lastly, Jennie Urman over at Jane the Virgin told us there is a Rose/Luisa interaction coming up [on Feb. 22]. What can you say about it?
All I can say is that I just wish there was more! I love that show, I love working with Yara [Martinez] so much. I also love the Rose/Luisa fan base — they are very serious! I love that dynamic, and I love how much Luisa there has been in this season…. Yara is so comically gifted, but then she’s such an emotional actress, too. She’s so open, I love seeing her work.