Interview with Cobie Smulders: How I Met Cobie at Marvel’s the Avengers Red Carpet Screening
I was honored to interview Cobie Smulders who plays Sgt. Maria Hill from S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel’s the Avengers. I interviewed her with a small group of 11 other Mommy Bloggers. She is very down to earth, funny, witty, and nice. As she walked in to the Penthouse Suite at the Trump Towers she gasped at the AMAZING view of the city. When discussing the Red Carpet screening, Cobie said, “I’m so excited for you to see it- it’s really good, it’s really good, and I’m not saying it because- because I’m supposed to. ” She expressed comfort of being interviewed by all ladies and mothers. Her sweet mannerisms calmed our nerves and excitement as we began to ask her several interview questions. (Movie comes out this Friday, May 4th! It is a MUST SEE FILM!)
What’s it like being one of the very few women in this movie?
COBIE SMULDERS :It’s been really cool, you know. It’s really cool that Marvel is bringing in these strong females. And especially with Maria Hill, it’s really cool to see a strong female that’s in a commanding position.
And she totally has the hardest job in S.H.I.E.L.D. And how did she get there? That is to me is extremely interesting. So, it’s, it’s been really cool to sort of add to the already I mean, as with Scarlett as with Gwyneth that she’d be like in an authoritative role.
Did you do special training for this?
COBIE SMULDERS :I did I actually found this guy, really oddly, through my naturopathic doctor. It was- he’s literally like he would like call me and talking to me about the movie and, you know, I was saying, you know, I want to do all this training. And I’m looking for a place to shoot…learn some martial arts and he’s like, oh my gosh, I’ve got this great guy, Tom Mazzola and he will totally help you out. And he did and he came to my house, a couple times a week, helped me train but then also I think the most important thing for me was getting comfortable around guns…I’ve kind of feared them my entire life and I’ve never shot a real gun. I’ve used prop guns on some sets and stuff.
And, and I’ve also only even seen them, prop guns, up until I did all this training. But he showed up at my house and he brought over a bunch … he was kind of mysterious. Like looking back, he was kind of like, I don’t know how he got it, but he like had a semiautomatic and he had like a revolver and like he had all these weird different types of guns. And, um, but it was great, because we took them apart.
And I got to see them as kind of like I was like how does this work, what is this machine, how does it- well- how do you load it. What’s the safety like, how do you hold it, what’s the weight feel like. Um, and it helped me get a lot more comfortable and then we went to the shooting range and we shot them all. I wasn’t more frightened, but I was, I have so much more respect for them, you know? And it was also like a terrifying kind of experience, where I left the shooting range which was a small, like half the size of this room, and there was eight other people there, with like guns. And I was like, what’s happening. I don’t know any of you. I don’t know what you- you know, I don’t know what’s going on with your life, I don’t know why you’re here.
You know, I don’t know why you feel the need to like come here, but um, it was really quite terrifying. But I left just respecting it and being aware of them. I had been trying when I was training for this, I felt awesome. Like I really wished I had the time now to, to do boxing three times a week. Because I was just like- I had felt so strong and so capable and it really felt just like in my own way, somebody would rush in, I would be able to have the tools to do something. I mean I haven’t been training in a while, but, but it was a really cool feeling to, to, to feel that capable. You know?
What was your most memorable moment?
COBIE SMULDERS :Oh gosh. Um, oh one of the big moments I mean there’s so many. Every single shot was really so big. You know? And so new too. Not just for me but for everyone. But, um, the first time that I showed up, um, on the Hellcarrier set.
Which looks like, you’ll know what I’m talking about… It, it was a giant set that took up an entire sound stage. And you- there were about two or three stairways and once you were on it, it was like you were on this high tech new age ship. And there was hundreds of extras in S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms and there was everywhere you looked it would pitch.
Because not- once you were on it, it felt like you were really on a ship…it felt so real. And they put so much work and so much heart into it, and then Joss came and he said, okay, I want this and I want this and this, and maybe- and they made it even better. Um, and that was I was like, oh my gosh, I’m in a huge action movie. You know?
And then the first time that, you know, Robert Downey and…Scarlett..and Mark and stuff….When they were all around the table for the first time that was a pretty incredible moment for me. I was very quiet. So I was kind of timid. I had one line in this scene, so I don’t have to worry, I’m not even here. So that was a cool moment, but it was, it was filled with those kind of moments, because we shot in amazing locations. Especially we shot on location which was like a place where they have this zero gravity. And we went to, we were in these, they were mushrooms, we went to like a mushroom farm. It was a limestone quarry, and then it was a mushroom farm and now it’s just not used and there’s three hundred miles of underground tunnels outside of Pittsburgh, that’s where we did all the whole car chase sequences.
Did you read comics when you were younger?
COBIE SMULDERS : Like the only comics I really had were like Archie comics, you know. And I was really obsessed with Archie comics, but I didn’t really, they weren’t really- they were around, but they weren’t really around in my life. I don’t know- I don’t know if that’s, it’s who my parents were, they’re both European…I hate to say The Avengers were kind of an American thing or, you know, super heroes but it just wasn’t their thing so I wasn’t really around it very much. My fiancé who’s waiting patiently outside for me…he’s huge into comic books and like grew up reading all this stuff and watching the cartoons…He sort of helped transition me and, and learning a lot…I knew all the major players, but I didn’t know S.H.I.E.L.D. and I didn’t know S.H.I.E.L.D.’s environments and I certainly didn’t know Maria Hill. So I had to kind of educate myself when I got the job.
Did you have any inspiration in creating your character?
COBIE SMULDERS : There was, you know, when I got the job, I scoured the internet for like hard copies of the comics that she was involved in, which was a series that she had. And there was this one comic that I really, that I actually cut out and had with me, which was- it, it was, it was sort of a fade away and it was Maria at different ages and it’s like Maria as a teenager and she’s got like a split lip and it’s from somebody yelling at her, yeah and I’m like, when you hear something like that, and then like her as like a young officer.
And then her in the army and then her in S.H.I.E.L.D. And I sort of really had that and that just helped me keep in mind where this woman had been. And how much it’s taken for her to get to where she is and how hard that has been. And also, you know, she can maintain that sort of strength that she had. That helped me a lot. And then also the training helped immensely, you know, feeling physically feeling stronger and, and, and harder, yeah.
Did you do the happy dance? (Regarding getting the script/part.)
COBIE SMULDERS : I did twice, [LAUGHTER] no I called and I called the man in the hallway (referring to fiance). Um, I had called him and we both were really we had like a moment together. But yeah. I’m Canadian, we don’t do, do happy dancing.
Were you nervous for this part?
COBIE SMULDERS : Oh…like the entire time. [LAUGHTER] I’m still nervous, and we’re done. Yeah I mean it, it was, I was really nervous, I wasn’t nervous in like the performance aspect. But I was just like I, and there’s some big actors in this movie, you know, and it was really like intimidating, more than anything.
It was also just so much fun, and it was really helpful to have Joss around, to- I could just be like, was that okay, did that work…So, um, but yes, I was definitely nervous.