Hayley Atwell: five reasons why the Agent Carter star is an absolute Marvel

The best thing about all these Marvel films and TV show? Hayley Atwell.

Hayley Atwell throws popcorn
Salted or sweet? Hayley Atwell throws popcorn. Image Picture Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Agent Carter fans are officially in panic mode after news broke that the show may be coming to an end after its second season wraps.

Hayley Atwell, the British star holding the series together, has signed up to lead new ABC show Conviction, throwing the future of the same network’s Marvel series into serious doubt. Losing Peggy Carter on TV would be a blow, but at least there’s a glimmer of hope that she’ll be bringing the character back in future Marvel films.

If you’re not up-to-speed on all things Atwell, allow us to present you with five reasons why she’s an absolute Marvel.

1

She’s the real lynchpin of the Marvel Film and TV Universe

Hayley Atwell in Agent Carter
Agent in disguise Going blonde for an undercover mission in Agent Carter. Image Picture ABC/Eric McCandless

Forget Iron Man and Thor, the real key to Marvel’s expansive Cinematic Universe (dubbed the MCU) is Atwell. She’s the most prolific actor in the MCU masterplan, appearing as Carter in movies, TV series, short films and video games. Atwell has played Peggy Carter from her twenties right through to old age thanks to the sweeping decades-long timespan of the Captain America films. They even found a spot for her in last summer’s Ant-Man. Whisper it quietly, but she’ll also be cropping up in this April’s Captain America: Civil War.

2

She wants to be the first female Doctor

Atwell was asked by one fan if she’d like to be in Doctor Who at any point. “I’d like to BE Doctor Who,” she replied. With an already impressive Marvel pedigree, taking on the role of the Doctor would pretty much turn her into a sci-fi heroine to rival Sigourney Weaver or Linda Hamilton. With new showrunner Chris Chibnall taking over in 2018, a Capaldi to Atwell regeneration might not be outside the realms of possibility.

3

Woody Allen was behind her big break in film

Hayley Atwell in Agent Carter
Marvel's lynchpin Hayley Atwell has been playing Peggy Carter for half a decade. Image Picture ABC/Marvel Studios

Remember when Woody Allen became a bit obsessed with London and couldn’t stop making films there? Those weren’t exactly classics to rival Annie Hall or Manhattan, but one good thing to emerge from it was Atwell’s movie career. Prior to Cassandra’s Dream, Allen’s 2007 crappy cockney crime caper, she’d been a staple of teatime costume dramas. Allen brought her to the multiplexes.

4

She quit social media 

We’ve all wanted to do it. Turn off our phones and go off the social media grid for some proper human interaction. Atwell did just that, turning her back on hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Instagram follows by deleting her accounts. Prior to her social exile, she responded bluntly to followers her admiringly called her “mom”, saying it was a little too creepy for her liking. There’s also the case of the huge responsibility wielding by celebs on social media. In a 2015 interview Atwell admitted that one of her followers was a self-harmer who wore a bracelet saying ’What would Peggy do?’ “After that I think I’m going to be very careful with the messages I’m putting out in the world because it’s a responsibility.”

5

She’s does Dubsmash better than anyone

Dubsmash, in case you weren’t aware, is a social media app letting users film themselves lip-synching over songs of their choice. This led to hilarity from Atwell and her Agent Carter cast, who engaged in a cross-internet war with Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD stars. It all culminated in a charity battle to raise money for Stomp Out Bullying and St Jude Children’s Research Hosptial. All in all, a cool 150 grand was raised.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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