Interview: Cobie Smulders
Cobie enters the 18th Floor Salon at The Park Hyatt Hotel on Avenue road in Toronto wearing a women's business style suit with a nice fitting black spandex top. She introduces herself while smiling, with an eager greeting and firm handshake.
Before commencing the interview with Cobie, a.k.a. Maria Hill in The Avengers, the conversation started with acknowledging the fact that she's a Canadian girl from Vancouver. So, in order to break the ice (no pun intended) of course we had to start with Hockey. Not wanting to talk about the Stanley Cup, she recalls that while recently in Florence between the wee hours of 2am to 3am, she heard about the bad loss and wanted to go back to sleep. I can only assume she was referring to the Vancouver Canucks.
Strangely enough, Cobie wasn't up to date on her Superhero repertoire prior to receiving The Avengers offer; she knew who the characters were and had seen both Iron Man 1 and 2. But, when she received the phone call for the screen test with Sam Jackson in The Avengers, "I was immediately on the computer researching S.H.I.E.L.D, Maria Hill and looking up blogs"
After you've seen the movie, you may be wondering, did Cobie have fun in a skin tight suit wielding a Gun? A huge grin breaks out on her face as she answers... "A little bit too much; the most important thing to me going into this film was the training and I wasn't given any. I hired someone myself and started doing boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu. I hired this great guy out of Los Angeles who trains S.W.A.T. teams to sort of help me become more familiar with Police protocol, tactics, how you would enter a room with a gun so that I could get the habits into my body allowing me to focus just on the intention."
When asked if she had shot a gun prior to The Avengers she answers... "No, I've shot prop guns on the set. And the thing I learned most about spending an afternoon on the shooting range, which I think I'm never going to do again, was that I have a great respect for the weapons. I thought that after going to the shooting range I'd have all this adrenalin and maybe I'll go get one and I'll become a gun enthusiast! And, I just let go and knew that no this is just not for me."
Cobie, in order to be physically prepared for The Avengers, had to take on a workout routine. "I had a daily 30 minute pushup routine. Then I boxed 3 times a week for about an hour. And then, I had the Trainer come to my house an average of 1 to 2 times a week."
All the training was important for Cobie playing the Role of Maria Hill as she wanted to make the Fans happy. "I really wanted this woman to look like she was in charge, that she was comfortable stepping up to Nick Fury and disagreeing with him and to look like she could take someone down."
When asked why would you insist on doing your own stunts in the movie? Are you crazy? Cobie sighs and says... "Yeah, but I wanted to. There's something that feels more organic about watching stunts done by you, a feeling of accomplishment doing it yourself."
She smiles while recalling a specific gun shooting scene with Sam. "Joss (the director) said, so Sam you're going to come downstairs and you're going to shoot twice and then Cobie you're going to shoot once and then Sam you're going to shoot two more times. And it was like... hold on, hold on! Why does he get to shoot four times and I get one? And Joss says well like you know he's Nick Fury and you gotta get on your ear piece and let everyone know on the ship and you gotta coordinate things. And I'm like... (Cobie sighs heavily) and then Sam states 'Okay, she can have one of mine." We laugh at the situation and Cobie continues... "It's cool, it's just badass!"
Although, the majority of stunts were performed by Cobie, she explains one of the stunts that she didn't perform. "While on the bridge and there's an explosion, my stunt double had a wire that was attached to a belt so it could go around her body and so she got pulled turning in circles like a sausage roll and then hit the wall and fell on the ground without a mat! And I was like.... 'holy Sh*%!' She was like black and blue and all bloody and I was like... no, I can't do that. So, she stepped in for me a couple times."
When asked about the movie where the majority of the cast were men and there was only just you and Scarlet, did the two of you interact a lot or gang up on them at all? Cobie responds... "Uhm, not really I mean, the funny thing about the way this was shot is that a lot of my stuff was at the beginning it was either at the research center with Tom, Jeremy and Sam or on the Bridge with Sam and that was the Headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. so I didn't really leave that much. We have all hung out since and with this Press Tour. I understand why people would ask 'Guys vs. Girls' but, I think that everyone treated each other as equals. Joss, in the sense of his writing, is kind of gender blind. He's known for writing strong female characters."
"Doing both T.V. and film, do you get something out of each medium and do you prefer one over the other?" I asked. Cobie pauses... "You know it's hard to say as I've been with How I met your Mother for so long now that that is what I perceive as television. I have a very flexible and easy schedule that affords me a wonderful lifestyle in Los Angeles. I'm able to be a very present mother, able to pursue other projects. The quality of television is becoming so good from an actor standpoint where you get to do these amazing scenes with amazing directors and cinematography. So it's hard to say, I think that when How I met your Mother is done I'll focus more on films in order to switch it up. But, if the right part came along I wouldn't turn it down."
Cobie finishes the interview with stating... "I'd love to shoot something in Toronto; I'd love to bring something to Canada. I'm dying to shoot something in Vancouver where I'm from."
Who knows, maybe Avengers II may have Cobie back in her hometown. Let's hope so! The Avengers is now playing at a Theater near you.
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