J August Richards Talks Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

We caught up with once and future Whedonverse star J August Richards at the Saturn Awards in Burbank to find out what Angel’s Gunn has to say about being one of Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD

By: Joseph McCabe

What can you tell us about your character in Agents of SHIELD?

“This is a role I’ve been preparing for since I was nine years old. It’s literally a dream come true. Because as a boy my favorite show was Superman and my favorite movie was Star Wars – along with other science fiction shows and movies. And I always wanted to fly. I’m surprised I’m not one of those kids that jumped off the roof and hurt himself. But you know, I got to fly. As an actor and as a person this is monumental for me.”

How much of the show falls within the superhero genre, as opposed to the spy genre? Is it a fifty-fifty mix?

“I’d be uncomfortable adding a percentage, but I will tell you that it’s all of those things. To me the show is quintessentially Joss in that it really gets you emotionally, it’s very funny, and it’s very action-packed and engaging. But I’d be uncomfortable assigning numbers, because… I’m not sure.” [Laughs.]

How satisfying is it to see Joss’s success having worked with him as far back as Angel?

“It’s very rewarding to watch his rise, his success. It’s so deserving. But you know what I was most impressed with, quite honestly? He has an amazing body of work, and here we go to work on this new pilot for ABC, and yet somehow it still feels like we are reading Shakespeare in his living room.

It’s a testament to your skills that you were one of the Whedonverse alumni that he wanted to work with again. Did he say why he wanted you for your character?

“This is the thing that I really respect about Joss… This was not a gift. I auditioned for the role. Luckily he thought of me somewhere in the casting process. He and I are friends and obviously very close, but I love the fact that he made me work for it. It’s just that much more satisfying.”

Is your character one of the more seasoned agents, like Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen’s characters?

“I can’t answer that. It’s a good question, but… I’m being very cautious because Marvel makes you feel like Iron Man will show up at your front door to kill you if you say the wrong thing.” [Laughs.]

Is it too soon to say if we’ll see the show connect to the Avengers sequel? Or if we could see you or your cast mates make cameo appearances in the film?

“That’s one of those things that you only know the day before you work. I can’t answer that so much, but obviously I’d love to. We’d all love to. It’s just a great series and I’m really proud to be a part of it. I know that sounds very cliché, but that’s where I’m at with the whole thing. I’m proud of my work and the show itself.”

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