Hayley Atwell teases “deeper, darker” Agent Carter storylines

The 32-year-old star of Captain American spin-off series Agent Carter talks shocking plot twists and "vital" female-centered roles

Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter is back, and she’s on a mission of her own. 

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The Marvel Captain America spin-off series, following Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) agent and Steve Rogers’ former girlfriend Peggy Carter, is poised to air in the US this Tuesday 6th January. And it’s star – 32-year-old British actress Atwell – is keen for viewers to know the eight-part series will be “deeper” and “darker” than a ‘case of the week’ show.

“It’s not like, ‘Let’s find this ‘bad baby,’ now let’s find that ‘bad baby,'” Atwell says. “It goes to a much deeper, darker place.

“I was absolutely shocked and delighted when I started to read the later episodes and see the direction we’re going in,” she told TV Line. “That’s one of the advantages of having only eight episodes, is that it’s not diluted over 22. This has a very strong story and is essentially four films.”

The series – which also stars Dominic Cooper, Chad Michael Murray and James D’Arcy – picks up with Carter in 1946, a year after the end of the war the and the loss of the love of her life. Still working for the secretive SSR but with the men now home from the battlefield, Carter finds herself sidelined from all the exciting, fun stuff – or at least, she is at first.

“She is a fighter and a survivor, but she doesn’t have any superpowers. She has to rely on her wits and intelligence and determination to navigate what comes her way,” explains Atwell. 

What comes her way are secret missions, bad guys and super-villains, as well as a lot of sexism, and that’s part of a message which is important to Atwell, in addition to exciting scripts and plot lines.

“It’s absolutely vital that we’re saying to Hollywood – and to the world – female-centered roles are important,” Atwell told Entertainment Weekly. “They are watched. They are bankable. The audiences want them.”

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Agent Carter airs on ABC in America but as of yet has no UK broadcaster