The actor plays a mysterious new character named Deke in the Marvel series’ fifth season, which premieres Friday on ABC.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are going intergalactic in their latest adventure!
After taking on Ghost Rider, Life Model Decoys and the HYDRA-ruled Framework in their action-packed fourth season, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team finds themselves suddenly -- and unexpectedly -- in outer space in Friday’s season five premiere.
The specifics of the agents’ new adventure amid the stars have been kept tightly under wraps -- we can tell from the pulse-pounding trailer that it involves the Kree, a group of “true believers” and some creepy, demodog-looking aliens -- however, ET recently spoke with series newcomer Jeff Ward about what to expect from the upcoming season.
“It’s interesting, because the show is in a bit of reset this season, and it’s fun because all of the characters that everybody is so familiar with and likes so much, it’s kind of the first time that they’re in a situation where they are very much the fish out of water,” Ward teased. “They don’t know where they are or what they’re doing.”
While not much is known about the actor’s mysterious character, named Deke -- and he couldn’t reveal any spoilers from the epic two-part season premiere -- Ward was able to offer a few hints about how the newcomer fits into the S.H.I.E.L.D. dynamic.
“I can tell you that Deke is a guy that knows how to get things. He’s a guy that has kind of mastered the hostile environment that he was born into and continues to have to live in,” he explained. “I think it’s given him a very particular set of morals and a way of thinking about the world.”
“They meet me, and I’m able to shed some light on where they are and what’s going on,” added Ward, noting that while he may be the newcomer on the show, it’s his character the agents are looking to for direction. “It’s really fun to kind of being playing catch-up with them instead of them being the anchor. They don’t really know what’s going on, and it was an interesting experience coming in and being the new guy in a world where I’m the one who knows what’s going on and they don’t."
And it certainly won’t be all smooth sailing between Deke -- whom Ward describes as “a big truth teller” -- and the tight-knit team.
“He’s not afraid to antagonize them, and say things that are the truth, because he’s not part of the team,” the actor noted. “So it makes for a lot of really fun interactions, because, you know, Deke’s got no standing with these people, but he is very much stuck with them. It’s a really fun back-and-forth journey."
How that dynamic will affect his interactions with the various members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team remains to be seen, though Ward hinted that there may be some specific personalities that mesh more easily than others.
“Deke and Mac (Henry Simmons) have got a couple fun interactions, right off the bat, because they’re both pretty strong characters,” he teased.
As for which agents his character may end up clashing with, Ward noted that Deke and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) “see a lot of themselves in the other person.”
“It comes with the territory, anytime you can immediately identify with someone, you’re going to have high highs and low lows with them,” he explained. “Daisy and Deke definitely butt heads a little bit, from time to time, because they have similar personalities. But yeah, you’ll see that [play out], they’ll get angry at each other once or twice.”
Ward was effusive, however, about his experience on the show so far, and the welcome he’s received from the cast and crew. “Coming into the fifth season of a show can be really challenging, but they’re the nicest people that I’ve ever worked with, and they immediately took me in in such a warm and incredible way that it’s just been a blast and a pleasure to get to work with them,” he marveled.
And while he had to keep things spoiler-free for now, Ward said he’s “really excited” for S.H.I.E.L.D. fans to meet his character and see what the creative team behind the show has in store this season.
“I really think they do some amazing stuff in terms of using the sci-fi and comic tropes as metaphors for very real stuff that’s going on, and creating thoughtful and emotionally moving stories,” he noted, adding that this season of S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue exploring the Inhuman issue, as well as including some “really necessary and important” commentary on gun control.
“It’s really exciting, because this season is, yet again, completely different than anything they’ve ever done,” he added. “Obviously I’m biased, but I’m really excited for everyone to see it... I think they’re building from where they left off, and they’ve done some really smart and great stuff.”
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with a two-part season premiere Friday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
WATCH: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Trailer: Marvel Releases First Look at Biggest Superhero Movie Ever