If I hadn’t already been a fan of Cobie Smulders from How I Met Your Mother after having the amazing opportunity to sit down with her last week I would have become a fan. Cobie Smulders walked into the interview in the most stunning orange vintage inspired dress a few hours prior to the Tribeca Film Festival closing night screening of Marvel’s The Avengers, and immediately apologized for her attire. Thankfully we were all dressed for the event, so hopefully she didn’t feel too out of place.
What I loved about listening to Cobie Smulders as she answered everyone’s questions was how extremely down to earth she was. At one point she even apologized to us for talking so much, making mention to how she has spent the last several days at home being a mom.
COBIE SMULDERS: That was the longest answer, I’m sorry. [LAUGHTER] We’re out of time, I just kept talking. I, I haven’t talked for like three days, I’ve only been like a mom at home. And so it’s like blah-blah-blah so excuse me. I’m sorry, ask me a question.
We all laughed, any mom knows how that can be! Eventually we got down to the nitty gritty and discussed how she transitioned from her most well known role as the comedic Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother to a kick butt action star S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Maria Hill!
Tell us about your character Maria Hill.
COBIE SMULDERS: Maria Hill, works at S.H.I.E.L.D. She’s a very high ranking officer and she sort of works directly, under Nick Fury. There’s lots of debates about how powerful she is, because me and Nick Fury get into it a little bit.
She sort of commands the Hellcarrier and she’s a bit of a task master. When I was, when I got this role, I started reading all the comic books and also all the blogs, and all the- what anyone had to say about the character. I was trying to, trying to learn as much as I, uh, as much as I could. And she’s like described as like the biggest b**** in the universe. But I hate that so much, because like women if you’re in a powerful position, you get labeled a b****. But if a man is in that position, he’s just got to do his job.
Yeah so it was kind of cool to approach a role with that kind of stigma behind it, and just kind of own it in a sense. Just be like this especially with Maria Hill in the way that she works with Nick Fury. Nick Fury follows his gut instincts a lot … He’s sort of like the Avengers initiative is sort of what this whole movie is about. And it’s about bringing all of these super heroes together, and it’s an emergency basis only. Maria Hill sees that as a huge threat. I mean, even to have Hulk on the Hellcarrier alone is, is a bad idea, puts humans lives at risk.
So she sort of butts head with him, but in kind of a great way. Like she brings him back down to Earth, but they have this awesome arc of their relationship, and by the end she sort of sees why he’s breaking the S.H.I.E.L.D.
Since it’s an action movie, did you have a lot of stunts you had to do, what was the craziest?
COBIE SMULDERS: At the beginning this film opens with this huge car chase sequence and, I want to say like the hardest thing to do was probably that, actually. Not beecause I’d never done driving, but like driving under extraordinary circumstances. Where it felt like, and the- this is so girlie. But it felt like sort of dance choreography where you’re like driving and they’re like and then a car hits you from the sides. Then you move your body this way and then you jam into it, into second gear.
And then you take your gun and hit the windshield and you shoot out the windshield and then you run out of bullets so you throw the gun down. And then you peel the- and you’re like, what? And they’re like go.
I know I turn, so it’s somewhere, so it was sort of hard to physicalize that and turn my brain off. And you just had to do it and get it in your body a few times and then it was okay. So that was really the most challenging because it was also like me being driven, you know, being pulled by another car.
And I’m going five miles an hour, and I’m supposed to be just like cruising, I mean I did get to do some of my own like fast paced driving, but that was probably the hardest.
When I came into this part I wanted to do so much, so I did all this training. I was boxing three times a week, and I was training in Martial Arts, doing some Tai Kwon Do and Jujitsu and hired a guy out of L.A. who actually trains SWAT teams, um, to get more familiar with weapons and to feel comfortable holding them and shooting them, which I’d never done before. So I wanted to be ready for anything and I was happy that they gave me some stuff to do. Especially not being a super hero, you know?
You’ve worked with Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother, who have both worked with Joss Whedon. Did they have any words of wisdom for this film?
COBIE SMULDERS: Yeah, it wasn’t a question of words of wisdom it was a blanket statement of “You’re so lucky!” I’m so excited to get to work with him, because he truly is like an actors’ director. He took so much care, especially with me playing Maria Hill, who’s a new character. He knows so much, I mean he’s a fan boy, he knows everything there is to know about comic books. And was the guy, a kid, at Comic-Con from its inception, you know. So he knew so much about her and about S.H.I.E.L.D. and he was there from the getgo, really.
What would you say in the film appeals to families?
COBIE SMULDERS: What I like about this film is it’s kind of a dysfunctional family, like it’s the way that these sort of separate superheroes have to come together to succeed. I feel like there’s sort of like a team, a family dynamic within that and it’s cool to see them rise above their personal issues. And sort of accomplish the goal.
It was truly a privilege to sit down and talk with Cobie Smulders.
You can see if The Avengers do rise above their personal issues and watch Cobie Smulders kick some serious butt as Agent Maria Hill by heading to a theater near you and watching Marvel’s The Avengers. (Opened everywhere May 4th.)
Disclosure: Disney/Marvel provided me with an all expenses paid trip to New York City to attend an early screening of Marvel’s The Avengers. Any thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Photos courtesy of Louise from Mom Start and Disney Media.
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