Belfast Telegraph

Atwell’s ‘small triumph for women’

Hayley Atwell has discussed why she is so excited about playing female spy Peggy Carter in forthcoming TV series, Agent Carter.

The 32-year-old British actress portrays Peggy Carter in the programme, a Marvel spy character who makes appearances in movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Persona Peggy kicks a lot of butt, with many critics believing she represents an evolved sort of female superhero, and Hayley agrees with this assessment.

“It’s amazing that I have had this opportunity and am working with incredibly bright and fun men and women at Marvel, and of course we have two female showrunners; it’s fantastic with Tara [Butters] and Michele [Fazekas] leading the way, and then also some fantastic female crew, so it does feel like a small triumph for women on television,” Hayley told Variety.

Agent Carter centres on Peggy when she becomes a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent during World War II.

She becomes involved in dangerous espionage after shunning her gender assigned desk job for secret, high-stakes assignments.

“We see her using her sexuality but it’s not her main [device] when it comes to her work, so it’s sending a message of, ‘why don’t we use our wits, our brains, as well as our femininity, to fulfill our destinies and to create our futures?’ But at the same time, it’s not taking itself too seriously because again, it’s a superhero world and there’s a lot of humour to it,” Hayley noted. “It’s not earnest. I don’t think it’s trying to make a feminist statement, I think it’s just saying to TV audiences, ‘women are bankable, female-led projects are fantastic to watch, they are exciting and there is such a rich amount of tension and drama that can be had from having a female central character.’ Not only is she dealing with her own personal struggles, we’re dealing with gender issues.”

Agent Carter premieres Tuesday January 6 on ABC.

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