Fall TV Preview
Agent Carter Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell Shares Her Agent Carter Dreams, Talks Going Bad for Conviction

When Hayley Atwell landed the lead in ABC’s Conviction pilot, fans of Marvel’s Agent Carter had questions. As did the SSR superstar’s portrayer herself.

Luckily, for at least a brief spell, she found some reassurance. “ABC said, ‘This is not us cancelling Agent Carter,'” Atwell recalls. “‘This is us having a great new project and we really want you in the center of it.'”

Besides, the talk at the time was that even if both Conviction and Agent Carter landed on ABC’s 2016-17 slate, the actress would find a way to do both. Asked what those logistics might have looked like, she told TVLine at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, “I think they would have figured something out, in terms of making a [Marvel’s Agent Carter] special, or waiting until we finished this season [of Conviction] and then doing something.”

As such, Atwell held out hope, seeing as the short-season, midseason Marvel series occupied “one of those much-loved but little places … in the world of ABC.”

Agent Carter would, alas, get the hook three months later — the same day that ABC ordered Conviction to series. Yet Atwell seems resolved to playing Peggy Carter again some day. “It’s still a much-loved show for the people involved in the making of it, and we know it has a special place in the fans’ hearts,” she knows. “And that’s something that I would be very happy to go back to, if the opportunity came” — in the form of a TV-movie or what have you. (Netflix has dismissed the idea of picking up the Marvel series.)

“The great thing about Peggy is we know she lives a long life,” Atwell reminds. “I’m banking on when I’m in my 50s, saying, ‘Let’s see what Peggy’s up in this decade!'”

In the meantime, Atwell is zagging where do-right Peggy zigged, playing Conviction‘s Hayes Morrison, a former First Daughter and current-day wild child who dodges a coke bust by agreeing to shepherd New York City’s Conviction Integrity Unit, which investigates potentially erroneous incarcerations.

Surveying the about-face, Atwell says that as an actress, “My job is to be a flexible as I can with discovering new characters and storylines. And it’s an easy transition when you have material that is strong enough. It’s just a matter of inhabiting the world built for you.”

In addition to any bad habits and extracurricular affairs, Hayes is described by EP Liz Friedlander as “a risk taker,” though with that comes “the good … and the bad. She operates without rules, for better or for worse.”

As Atwell herself puts it, “There are elements of Hayes where she’s ‘stayed at the party too long’, she doesn’t know when to leave!”

ABC’s Conviction premieres Monday, Oct. 3 at 10/9c.


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  1. Kevin K says:

    People were really sad about Agent Carter’s cancellation but ABC is giving Hayley Atwell a second chance with her new series Conviction. Too early to tell if the legal series stands a chance going up against the returning Scorpion (CBS) and newbie Timeless (NBC) in the 10 pm Monday night time slot.

    • Jess says:

      I completely agree. She was willing to do both & that to me says a lot. I hope her new series is worth it. I’m going to watch it because she is an amazing actress. Though I’m going to watch Timeless first.

  2. arial2 says:

    Agent Carter was beautifully done and Hayley Atwell was perfect in the role. I hope we do see at least a movie or two with her reprising the role.

  3. A says:

    I’ll always want to see more Agent Carter

  4. Carlos Lee says:

    I was a big fan of “Agent Carter”. I think it is over for the show. I would be nice to see her in a”Agent Carter” short series (6 episodes?) tying up loose ends.

  5. luke says:

    I would give up my celibacy for Hayley.

  6. Joey Padron says:

    Glad Hayley wants to play Peggy Carter again in the future. Can’t wait to see her new show!

  7. Sandy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Agent Carter. I looked forward to new episodes every week. The cast was fabulous and the chemistry was great. I’m not sure I can give Conviction a chance… it doesn’t sound entertaining, to me.

    I hope Agent Carter will be back on occasion…