Agent Carter is probably one of the most fun dieselpunk series of the last years. We were lucky to speak with Enver Gjokaj, the actor who portrays Daniel Sousa, at MCM Comic Con Belgium, where he was the guest of honor.
Did you do any research into the era that Agent Carter is set in before you took up your character?
I did. When I was cast as Daniel Sousa, I was given a description of the character and that he was a veteran of the Second World War. He was part of the Italian theater of war. So I read historical works not only detailing that specific part of the war, but also about life at the front, specifically in the area that my character would have fought at. I also read up about the injuries specific to the war, but also how it was for veterans to return home from the war in those days.
I didn’t read the Agent Carter comics and that was on purpose. I know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t follow the comics to the letter, so there would be a difference in source material and the scripts. I just didn’t want to mess it up by getting a different impression than what the show’s creators had in mind. I really wanted to play what was on the page. So I just used the scripts and historical non-fiction.
Was being part of a show or movie set in a historical setting something you had want to do prior to being cast?
Absolutely! It was always a dream of mine to play in a period piece. I had been hearing I was perfect for 1940s-era pieces for years, but before Agent Carter I was never actually cast in one. So I never had the opportunity before, which made me extra glad to be a part of Agent Carter. (Chuckles) It’s the way it is really, you can hear for years that you are perfect for a period piece, but there’s only so many shows and movies around, so you don’t necessarily work as a period actor.
Has being part of Agent Carter made you watch other period shows?
To be honest, I don’t watch a lot of TV. I have actually pretty much stopped watching TV altogether. I did start to watch Boardwalk Empire at some point, but I couldn’t get into it. I did really love Peaky Blinders, but mostly because you got a lot of historical facts as you went ahead. You kept on learning more and more about the era and that really kept my attention to the show. I had the same with Downtown Abbey.
I never watch shows as research for a part, though, for that I only use historical non-fiction. So I didn’t use movies from the era of Agent Carter as research either. Mostly because the acting of that time is absolutely no reference to real life of that time. The acting style of that era was completely different than the acting of today and a lot of that had to do with the microphones they used. Actually, the microphones were so bad, that everyone had to keep yelling, which why they sound the way they do in those old movies.
The stages in the studios were also really high, because the lights they used were so harsh that the area would heat up so badly that they needed that height so the location wouldn’t get too hot. There’s definitely been a lot of changes when it comes to the technical aspects of making a show. (Laughs)
Agent Carter is also known for the amazing gadgets. Which one was your favorite from the show?
I really wish there had been more gadgets in the show, they were so amazing and cool! I would say that my favorite two were the safe picking watch and the tranquiliser lipstick that Peggy used.
If Agent Carter had continued, how would you hope to see your character had evolved?
In season 1, he was a little timid and insecure, in part of his disability. But slowly he was finding himself more and more. As an SSR agent, a department leader, even with Peggy. He was becoming more confident in all aspects of his life. It would have been great to see where that was going, especially as a tough hard-ass head of an SSR department. (Smiles)
Marvel is quite known for bringing characters, even through time, into other parts of their cinematic universe. Would you be interested in reprising the character?
Oh absolutely! I love the entire MCU. I feel that regardless what they do now, it all feels as being part of one big cohesive piece, no matter which superhero stars and no matter the setting. I’d love to go back to being part of it, Marvel just has to call me and I’m there. (Laughs)