“How I Met Your Mother” star Cobie Smulders was far from an avid Avengers fan before coming on board as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t excited to join the team. The Canadian actress was quick to learn the job would have some challenges — like getting security clearance.
How familiar were you with Maria Hill before taking on the role?
Not at all, sir. Not at all. When I auditioned, too, I auditioned for “Female Agent” because they were very hush-hush about it. And then I went in to do a screen-test with Samuel L. Jackson and they were like, “for Maria Hill.” So that’s when I went onto the Web and started looking her up and finding any comic book I could find on her.
Comic fans are notoriously picky about depictions of characters. Was there any talk of cutting your hair to match Maria’s look in the comics?
I went in there and said I want to cut my hair off, and they said no. And I’m actually quite grateful for that now, because they did give me a severe bang, which took a long time to grow out and look normal. But I went in guns a-blazing like that. “Let’s do it!”
What were some of the cooler aspects of making a movie of this scope?
We went to a NASA location in Cleveland and we shot there for a day, maybe two. And we got to go in where they test the effects of zero gravity on different things. And it was so funny because I’m Canadian, and because I was Canadian I had to bring my passport and I had a guy follow me around the whole day. Because I was going to steal all the secrets and bring them back to Canada or something. We are, you know, very sneaky. Our space program is really hush-hush. We’ve got some major developments. (laughs)