Playboy – The woman behind Daisy “Skye/Quake” Johnson talks diversity, time travel and her emotional last day on set
All good things must come to an end—including, to the dismay of countless of Marvel fans, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., whose final season premieres this week on ABC.
Developed and co-created by Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron), the series is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios as a small-screen outpost of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It explores the inner workings of the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and has introduced us to new agents such as Melinda May, played by Ming-Na Wen, and the enigmatic Daisy “Skye/Quake” Johnson, played by rising star Chloe Bennet.
From her mysterious origins to her many tragic love story lines, Daisy has become a standout character and fan favorite. (Don’t worry, Fitz and Simmons; we love you too.) Her transformation from the awkward rookie agent Skye to the formidable Inhuman known as Quake has been a rewarding journey—for loyal viewers of the show and for Bennet herself.
Prior to S.H.I.E.L.D., Bennet had a brief stint as a pop star in China. (Look up the video for her “Uh Oh” single under her former name, Chloe Wang; it’s a hoot.) She would later shift her focus to acting and land a co-host gig on TeenNick’s The Nightlife, followed by a recurring role as Hailey on ABC’s Nashville. But her character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the dream role that catapulted her into the spotlight gazed upon by legions of Marvel fans. Since S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted in 2013, Bennet has also nabbed lead roles in MGM’s 1980s-set musical rom-com Valley Girl and voiced Yi in the animated DreamWorks feature Abominable—a role special to her because of its representation of Asian Americans. Next up she’ll star in the drama 5 Years Apart, which currently has a to-be-determined release date. Bennet is also the co-founder of RUN (Represent. Us. Now.), an organization devoted to being a political and cultural voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
With S.H.I.E.L.D.’s swan song arriving in a matter of weeks, a major chapter of Bennet’s life is coming to a close—something she’s still coming to terms with. Bennet, who like us is currently practicing social distancing, spoke with Playboy about her emotional final days on the show that made her a star. She also discussed how her own half-Asian heritage made its way into the story line, along with her thoughts on diversity in Hollywood, time travel and whether she believes in extraterrestrial life.
PLAYBOY: Let’s get the obvious question out of the way. How are you handling this whole quarantine situation?
BENNET: I’m just doing the best I can. I wake up, panic, eat breakfast, panic. Scroll through Instagram, panic. Try to journal and do something healthy, panic. I think that’s normal. I do puzzles now—like a thousand-piece puzzle. And it’s honestly harder than I thought. I’m just trying to not be panicked about the fact that I panicked, and I think that’s been the best way of doing it. But honestly, seven seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D. prepared me for something like this. It feels like we’re living out a real-life S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, so luckily I’m relatively used to it.
PLAYBOY: Let’s talk some S.H.I.E.L.D. I don’t know what the script-reveal process is like, but what was your first reaction to reading the script for the very last episode?
BENNET: I’m almost always the last person to see or read anything. We get them very last-minute. I actually have video footage of me before reading it. I don’t know why I’m super dramatic, but I vividly remember the last script. I remember seeing it pop up in my e-mail—to have that finally pop up after seven years, knowing it was the last one, was pretty surreal. I kind of made a moment out of it: I lit a candle, I got a glass of wine, I read it, I cried. It was odd knowing we still had to shoot it, and it’s a big, big episode. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. moved very quickly. Quarantine has been interesting, because it’s giving me a lot of time to reflect on how crazy, chaotic and special that experience was.
PLAYBOY: Overall, are you satisfied with Daisy Johnson’s ending?
BENNET: I would say I’m pretty happy with it. Obviously it’s an ensemble show, so I’m invested in the other characters as much as I am with Daisy. It’s really hard to wrap up everyone’s characters, but they did a really sweet and wonderful job at giving the actors and the fans some closure for each character. And they do it in a cool way. I think for anyone who has been watching the show since season one, it’s a very rewarding ending.