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Published On: Sun, Jan 1st, 2017

‘Agents of SHIELD’ season 4: Henry Simmons talks Ghost Rider, changes to Mack and the team

The recent episode of the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., entitled “Deals with our Devils,” the temporary disappearance of Coulson (Clark Gregg), Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) and Robbie (Gabriel Luna) had some interesting consequences, resulting in the Ghost Rider spirit taking up temporary residence inside of Mack (Henry Simmons) and the team learning some crucial information about Aida (Mallory Jansen).

During a recent press junket held on the top-secret set, Collider spoke to actor Henry Simmons about the events of the episode and the lasting effects of being taken over by the spirit of vengeance, how the experience will give Mack a new found respect for Robbie, what Mack thinks of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. director (Jason O’Mara), and repairing his relationship with Daisy (Chloe Bennet).

“I was shocked! I was completely shocked and flattered. That’s a pretty big property. Ghost Rider is a lot of responsibility,” Simmons confessed.

“So, I started my work beforehand. The one thing they told me was that they said, ‘Okay, we want you to have something a little bit different from Robbie Reyes and what Gabe [Luna] is doing. We want to put your spin on it.’ And when I went home and started thinking about it, I was like, ‘It’s already different because it’s me. What I need to work on is not the difference, but the similarity. It’s the spirit that’s similar.’ So, I looked at what Gabe was doing and I tried to incorporate some of the things that he did physically, but in my own way. Let me tell you, it was great for one episode, but I wouldn’t want to do it, all the time. Oh, my gosh! Geez! Where’s the humor?! It’s a little different. It’s hard to crack jokes when you’re a skull.”

He talked about Mack getting control over the Spirit and explained how this will affect Mack.

“The Ghost Rider has a way of tapping into pain and rage and your vulnerability. He has a way of tapping into that and using it for strength, and when he does that, it opens wounds and opens doors that people have tried to close for a long time, or may have buried. So, when Mack is no longer the Ghost Rider, he has issues he has to deal with, and because of those issues, it affects other relationships that he has. I’m grateful that the writers gave that to me. It was absolutely wonderful.”

Of course, the respect for Robbie has to change: “…You’ve seen in the episodes that have already aired that he doesn’t care for Robbie. He’s another super powered person that’s unpredictable, and he just doesn’t like that stuff. But after experiencing the spirit of the Rider and knowing what that’s about, there’s absolutely a great deal of respect that he has for him, and an empathy, as well. He understands that that is a burden. It’s not a gift, by any means.”

Then there is the issue of Mace (O’Mara) as the new director.

“Mack is wary of authority, and particularly Mace. He comes in and there’s something about him that’s unsettling. He has all of this power, but he’s passive aggressive and he’s just too nice. Do you trust people like that? I don’t. I think everyone feels like Coulson, even though he doesn’t have the title, is still the leader. With the mishaps and the lack of authority that Mace should step into but isn’t, there’s going to be problems. But Mack butted heads with Coulson when he was there. I like that.”

Simmons does think things will change with Daisy.

 

“Oh, absolutely! And I feel like it will take something dramatic. She will have to recognize how much she means to Mack, whether it be him protecting her and getting hurt in the process, or him saving her, or doing something that makes her understand that he really cares and it’s time for her to open up.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights on ABC.

 

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