Agents of SHIELD’s current arc has a been a huge gift to fans. With Daisy and Jemma trapped inside the Framework (a Matrix-like creation) nothing is what it seems, HYDRA rules the world, and characters we love have become unrecognizable. One such character is Grant Ward, returning from beyond the grave. Ward was the arch-villain of the Marvel series until meeting his demise in the third season. Ever the double agent, the framework-twist is that Ward is a good guy, working with SHIELD to take down HYDRA from within. Literally the exact opposite of his character arc in the real world.
Ward’s exciting new arc provided Brett Dalton with a chance to reprise his most famous role. Dalton spoke to ComicBook.com about what it’s like playing yet another variation of sometimes good guy, often bad guy, occasionally alien demigod in disguise Grant Ward.
“There’s kind of bits of all the different seasons’ versions of Ward. Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of material to choose from, but if I had to pinpoint it I would say it’s kind of similar in the season two Ward. I would say maybe season two Ward or end of season one. He’s dangerous, he’s capable, he is not someone to cross. He’s an incredible field agent, but he’s also fiercely loyal to the people that he loves and he loves Skye. He knows something about Skye and her potential Inhuman status. It just so happens to be that the bad guys rule the world.”
Ward isn’t the only one who’s different this season. The framework has radically altered many of the major players, particularly May and Fitz, who now work for HYDRA. Dalton gave his thoughts on the altered characters.
“I think Fitz is my favorite currently. It’s just pretty incredible to see what he’s doing with this character. That’s the thing, I’ve been given some good pat on the backs about my turns in the first three seasons, but any one of those actors who are just as capable, if not, more so than me could have done the same thing. As we’re seeing with Fitz, he’s just killing it. Fitz’s very big turn from who he was and he’s just inhabiting it in such a terrifying, interesting, watchable way. It’s just, it’s awesome. He’s my favorite currently.”
As for Dalton’s favorite version of Ward, he has a soft spot for the character’s final arc, which saw him murdered by Coulson’s hand (literally). This was, not incidentally, the most sadistic version of Ward.
“I always wanted to see that storyline continue and people have asked me what my favorite version was as Ward, or which character I enjoyed playing the most. I enjoyed season three Ward so much. I felt like things were really clicking for me. It was a little sad to see him go so when I got the call, I was really happy that I had another chance to explore his character ’cause I think he deserves it. That’s why I mentioned earlier about fans will be happy about the Framework, I think, because we know what they want, and this might be a chance for some of those dreams and fantasy things to actually play out.”
Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 10/9 pm CST on ABC.