“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Star Brett Dalton for DA MAN Magazine

Posted on April 25, 2014

We’re still working our way through “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you guys. We say “working our way” because our original choice of “suffering through” doesn’t quite apply. It’s true that the show has improved by leaps and bounds in the past several weeks as we head toward the season finale, but we remain pretty much totally un-invested in any of the characters’ fates. It seems likely that someone’s going to die, but we honestly don’t care who, unless it’s Clark Gregg, which it won’t be.

And Brett’s much more interesting [SPOILER ALERT] when he’s playing a slightly conflicted (or possibly not conflicted at all) bad guy than when he’s playing a stoic soldier type. We suspect that was the point. It’s very Whedon to pull the “this character is not as dull as you thought” shocking maneuver and we suspect Brett was told to play the character in a somewhat bland manner so that his reveal would be that much more shocking. That would have been great, if we only had to wait a half-dozen episodes or so to find out the truth. Putting it this far back in the season, after it was more than made clear that someone on the team was bad, lessened the impact considerably. And then there’s the fact that, while Brett’s more interesting playing it this way, there’s not enough a change in his affect or personality to sell it. He’s still pretty bland and monotone. It’s just that now he’s bland and monotone while killing Patton Oswalt.

Anyway, he sure does take a good picture.


Brett-Dalton-DA-MAN-Magazine-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actor Brett Dalton is featured in DA MAN magazine photographed by Mitchell Nguyen McCormack and styled by Alexa Rangroummith Green.

On how similar he is to his character: “Well, I look like him, which is a great start. But other than that, Grant Ward is far from who I am in real life. I’m actually a pretty goofy guy who doesn’t take himself half as seriously as Ward does. But that’s a good thing, because if I were too similar to the guy, I’d be wearing way too much tactical gear for a normal person, getting into far too many fights with baddies, and jumping out of few too many planes trying to save people. So it’s probably best.”

On his favorite comic character: “I’ve said The Punisher is one of my favorites in the past. And he still is. But equally as cool are Deadpool, Gambit, Cable and Death’s Head II. How can you possibly decide between these guys? Superhero or supervillain, they’re all my favorites.”

On the sudden interest in superhero or comic book-based films and TV shows: “I think on a very basic level, it’s nice to see people who actually get something accomplished. The world today seems so divided, and there’s so much debate, bickering and politics over everything, that nothing actually happens. It’s all talk and no walk. So when someone actually gets something done, I think it is heroic. That’s what you will always get in superhero films, people actually making things happen in very big ways. They don’t talk about it; they do it. And perhaps the more important part to this is that in the comic world, the bad guys actually pay for their crimes, which is not always what happens in the world today.”

Brett-Dalton-DA-MAN-Magazine-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Brett-Dalton-DA-MAN-Magazine-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

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[Photo Credit: Mitchell Nguyen McCormack for DA MAN Magazine]

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  • Leslie S

    that must be his good side.

    • Lori

      It is weird that they’re all shot from the same side. Did no one notice that when they were putting together the layout? He does take a nice picture though.

    • elirt

      Or he doesn’t handle looking straight on to the camera very well…

    • FancyPhilly

      Must not be an ambi-turner.

      • R.A.

        Ok I snorted at that one.

  • Danielle

    I’m still suffering through solely for Clark Gregg. Let’s get him for Sausage Friday next time.

  • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

    OK – I am impressed that his “favourite comic character” answer indicates that he may actually read them! I’m enjoying his character arc, but he looks much better like this!

    • lundibleu

      I only watched a couple of episodes, then decided I didn’t care that much. He is very pretty though…

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

        It’s been a very slow build. I still can’t say I care about any of the characters much, but it is entertaining! And Amy Acker got a cameo this week, so that’s always nice.

        • lundibleu

          The biggest thing I remember about it was that the cast were all shiny and pretty. Plot? Story? Nah… Amy Acker cameos are always good though.

        • JauntyJohn

          I agree with TLo and all comments re the slow build was too slow – but at the same time I thought they did some great surprise twists. Putting Grant and Ming together? Unexpected. Having bland hero guy be the secret psycho? Surprising twist – especially since there was a bit of “Wait… is he faking out the bad guys by going double agent or… Wow! No! He’s bad!” (He’s killed too many Agents for this to be about plausible cover lol.

          I have come to look forward to it every week now.

          • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

            They cruised on Whedon’s goodwill for too long, I agree. I was delighted about Grant & Melinda because I found the early Grant/Skye doe-eyes too tedious for words.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

      Yeah, but Cable? Captain Pocket Master with the guns that are very clearly compensating for something? Tsk.

      • Dandesun

        Once he got out from under Liefeld and was written by infinitely more capable writers, Nate became a character worth investing in. At least I thought so. They also teamed him up with Deadpool for a significant series which is total Odd Couple material.

        I also have some bias because back in the day he had some great fanfic written about him. And by back in the day, I do mean the late 90s. That was a hell of a fic crew, let me tell you.

        I’m impressed that he mentioned Gambit. Liking Gambit these days is sooooo not cool if you’re to judge by actual people at Marvel. (I have a big bias there, too. Remy’s one of my absolute favorites.)

        • Supernumerary

          Late ’90s Marvel ‘fic was my absolute jam. I don’t suppose you remember the crew which wrote for the Subreality Cafe? It’s a shame the ‘fic world doesn’t seem to be quite so organized now that comics are finally receiving their heyday.

          • Dandesun

            Dude… I was PART of that crew. That was a hell of a community. So creative, so willing to think outside the box, so willing to explore the worlds they were writing in. Still in touch with some of that group… have lost members of that group, sadly. Good times, good times.

          • Supernumerary

            Fantastic! They were amazing, Kielle in particular. I was only ever on the fringes, but the SC and all its writers are forever in my fangirl’s heart.

    • kimmeister

      I was pleased to see my fave, Gambit, in his list.

    • The Counselor

      Also impressively insightful comments into the appeal of movies & TV based on comic books.

    • fursa_saida

      It’s amazing how much more I like him having read this. Deadpool’s my favorite too!

    • http://Reneesance.etsy.com Reneesance

      He actually comes off as fairly intelligent and with an attractive hint of geek about him! Always a plus for me :)

    • Aerialgreen

      what? he does *backs up to read article* ~ whoa, thought it was the average interview that is condescending about comics :O

  • misstressofsylar

    I can’t believe how interesting this show has gotten since they decided to break up SHIELD. I pity the poor writers of this show though. It’s bad enough that they have the burden of making Sky seem so interesting and worth investing, now they have to rely on what’s happening on the big screen as it’s sure to affect the story of their little show. And damn it, why did Patton Oswalt have to die? Arrow still wins!

  • Shawn EH

    Mad Men vibe in a suave bachelor pad — giving Roger and Don a little competition! He should open his mouth sometimes, though!

  • gabbilevy

    The AV Club commentariat regularly does a fantastic job summarizing his character by throwing out a series of alternate names (i.e.: Agent Buff McHardbody! Agent Cleft Headbutt! Agent Rex Kendoll! Agent Grit Rockhard! Agent Trunk Manhandle!, etc.) It adds so much to my viewing experience. He is pretty attractive and the secret baddie angle does add some interest to his character, but the show has… got a ways to go.

  • Julie Chase

    He’s not an ambi-turner.

    • Jacob Bowen


    • Imasewsure

      Is that Zoolander? Gawd I love that movie…. it’s a walk off! It’s a walk off!

  • http://www.tweevalleyhigh.com/ Kristina, TweeValleyHigh

    Ahh you guys, I thought I was caught up enough for the spoilers, but I didn’t see the thing about Patton Oswalt. Oh well, anyhoo yes, Brett is 10x more interesting..but still not that interesting. I’m very surprised you guys have stuck around! If i wasn’t a Whedon nerd, I would’ve abandoned ship long ago. I feel loyal somehow. Also he looks way more attractive here than on the show.

    • misstressofsylar

      There were times I felt like giving up too. Particularly with The Well episode which has been the weakest so far. But I kept thinking that this was a Whedon show and that it was bound to get interesting soon enough. I still can’t stand Sky though. Simmons on the other hand is fast becoming the show’s secret weapon.

  • FibonacciSequins

    Has it gotten better? I drifted away from it after the first couple of months. Should I give it another shot?

    I appreciate Brett even more after that Franco post.

    • ChelseaNH

      It’s definitely better, but I can’t say it’s actually good. The characters are still mostly types, and the actors are doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of making me care. SHIELD is like a kiddie show version of a spy organization. They’re still way too invested in Skye the Slack-Jawed Yokel (Chloe, dear, close your mouth once in a while) and Captain Beefcake. At least it looks like Coulson is getting over his snit fit about everybody in his super-secret-keeping agency lying to him.

      Dalton has some comic chops; he belongs on a show that will let him use them.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        I’m in the same boat. I just couldn’t after about 4-5 episodes, and they started piling up on the DVR. I’m glad to hear it’s improving, but I don’t think I’m ready to wade back in until it’s actually good. With so many series like GOT, Orphan Black and True Detective around, life’s too short for “much better.”

      • Dandesun

        Yeah, if they got over their love affair with Skye I’d be so much happier. I like May, I like Simmons and Fitz. Ward being Hydra generates some interest… but, really, Coulson and his constant ‘They LIED to me!’ about SHIELD of all things got really old, really fast. Throughout the movies he came off as totally a ‘Need to Know’ type of guy. I understand being thrown about Hydra (everyone was) but not about Fury possibly keeping things quiet from him.

        As Tony Stark said “His secrets have secrets!” So, quit yer bitchin’ Son of Coul!

      • FibonacciSequins

        That’s a great description of what’s wrong with the show – a kiddie show version of a spy organization.

      • AnaRoW

        Really? The actors were doing the heavy lifting? I gave up on the show in part because I couldn’t tell anyone apart that wasn’t Coulson or Ming-Na. I’d get somewhat invested in the guest actors and then they’d be gone after one episode.

    • marlie

      As much as I love Clark Gregg and Ming Na, I couldn’t get past the third or fourth episode. He and the Sky character are a bottomless pit of boring.

      • FibonacciSequins

        I was watching for Clark Gregg and Ming Na. I feel a little guilty for abandoning them!

      • lunchcoma

        I will consider returning to the show if they kill off Skye. Until then, no amount of telling me it’s a bit better know will do.

  • Leah Elzinga

    I actually really love his last comment about the appeal of comic book movies/characters. It’s true that it’s just such a relief to see things HAPPEN (which, action movie, so obviously, but still) I think it’s a big part of what burned me out on House of Cards was that the big back story all seemed to point at… nothing. That NOTHING ever really changes. The same could be said for Mad Men I guess… *I apologize for the overuse of commas. It’s a good thing it’s Friday.

  • Jacob Bowen

    LOVE the white Calvin Klein t-shirt shot, because a guy that looks great in a white-shirt makes me swoon.

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

      Yes. And if they put Agent Triplett in a white tshirt I would be even happier.

  • KT

    Haha same pose in every shot, looking off in the same direction each time. Is there something wrong with the left side of his face that he had to hide it?

  • ampg

    OK, that first answer is awesome – a perfectly good-natured skewering of a ridiculous question that gets asked all the time by unimaginative journalists.

  • Super_Red

    I watched about six episodes and gave up. I didn’t care about the MOTW plotlines, the only characters I actively liked were Coulson and May, and Coulsn’s sass wasn’t enough to overcome how very much I disliked Skye. And then a couple weeks ago a fellow that I like very much casually mentioned that I should catch up on it, so, naturally, I decided to watch a few more, and I got hooked. Once they revealed more and more about TAHITI I became invested because I love Coulson. Then they set up the mystery of Skye’s past, injected her with alien goo and made her a full-fledged member of the team, and I found that I actually liked her more. FitzSimmons become even more fun to watch as they settled into their roles, AND THEN HOLY SHIT SHIELD FELL APART AND IT”S SO FREAKING GOOD. *cough*

    I wish that Whedon and co had moved these developments along sooner, but it was clearly timed with the release of the Captain America movie and they were hindered by that. Ultimately, I think moving into the second season the show will be *much* stronger and it’s now on my list of must-watch. Also, my geek heart feels guilty for having ever doubted the power of the Whedon. They’ve created a really special show, and there’s just enough mystery of the is he/isn’t he about Ward that I find him far more interesting than I ever did before. Hopefully once he’s fully integrated into whatever it is he actually is, he becomes less monotone. ALSO, Dalton wins all the cookies for his quotes. This was the first I’ve read of him, and if it’s indicative of his usual soundbites, I”m a fan. He takes a nice picture, too. :)

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

      I’m assuming Cobie Smulders is turning up next week too, which should get more people back in.

    • IMNAngryLiberal

      As a long-time Whedon fangurl, I’ve gotten used to him taking time to build characters, so I was willing, albeit impatient, to wait out the season. I really didn’t care for Dollhouse most of the first season and I was a rapid fan by the end. And whatever you feel about Dalton’s character, he sure is pretty!

      • JauntyJohn

        I thought “Dollhouse” had a really interesting premise, but the real problem was Eliza D., who couldn’t be anything but Eliza in every incarnation of the character — the other “Doll’s” were acting rings around her. It was an “Orphan Black” type acting opportunity and although I like E.D. she ultimately didn’t have the chops.

  • Jean Beaton Leavitt

    Episodes still sit in DVR, I suppose I’m waiting for a cold day in hell.

  • lunchcoma

    I’ll take one of those, and I’ll talk about comics with him too. He actually seems kind of smart and funny? Or at least he’s good at faking it. Just as long as I don’t have to watch his boring TV show.

  • MilaXX

    He’s just bland like a Ken doll whether in real life or on the show. I have decided I do not like Whedon doing tv. because he takes to long to get to the interesting bits and then think you should be over the moon with joy with whatever he deemed worth the wait. Shield is just Marvel Agents of mostly not the movie. I watch more out of habit than anything else.

    • semirose

      To be fair to Joss, it’s Jed who’s really running the show on AoS because Joss is working on the movies.

  • BobStPaul

    I should just look it up to see if it’s true but my guess is that he started out as a model.

  • CPK1

    I titter every time you feature an editorial from Da Man. The name of this magazine will never not make me laugh

  • quiltrx

    He gets automatic props for choosing Gambit as a favorite. He seems a bit on the generically handsome side, but I’ve never seen him act so maybe he’s better in motion.

  • sk8tfan

    Utterly forgettable. I’ve already forgotten him. Who the hell is he, again?

  • http://reneshiro.tumblr.com/ kingderella

    Well, talking about the show, it’s pretty much perfect when I just want to switch off my brain for a while and watch some fluff.
    And I like Simmons and May, so there’s that.

  • amanda lynn

    There are very interesting things happening to his left.

  • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

    I really like the way he comes across in this interview–so refreshingly unpretentious, and that’s a pretty good insight into why comic book interest is currently experiencing a renaissance.

  • PeggyOC

    Punisher? Cable? Deadpool? Sorry dude, I don’t care how cute you are. Those are some terrible, terrible choices.

  • jay

    Every time I see that there is a serious publication called Da Man, I cry a little. Just a single tear.