Chloe Bennet's character on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the most socially adept computer nerd I've ever seen.
Okay, I know I'm going to get angry emails about that observation. Not all computer nerds are socially awkward, I get it. But work with me here. If you've seen Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - which airs Tuesdays on ABC and CTV - you must have a general sense of what I'm talking about.
"Oh yes, thank you," agrees Bennet, who plays Skye. "I'm no Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, with my wonky haircut or anything."
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a comic-book-inspired TV series starring Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, who has assembled a small group of highly qualified individuals to investigate the new, the strange and the unknown. Coulson's team consists of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Bennet's Skye is an expert computer hacker, and also the audience's entry point into this strange world.
"I definitely think we are seeing a lot through Skye's eyes," Bennet says. "Lots of explanation happens through Skye. She definitely comes in and just mixes it up a bit."
The Skye character also gets to deliver a lot of the humour in the show.
"Everyone says it's a one-hour drama, but I think it's so funny," Bennet says. "And that's so Joss (Whedon) and Jed (Whedon) and Maurissa (Tancharoen, co-creators). That speaks about how our set is, too, it's such a fun environment.
"Joss is known for, make it dark, make it have meaning, make it maybe scary and serious, but then make it funny, you know? Make us laugh, put a joke in there. Because people like to laugh, and some of the situations that we get into are so ridiculous, there have to be jokes made about it."
Skye is both a neophyte insider and a cynical outsider when it comes to Agent Coulson and his crew, so she gets to walk both sides of that street tonally. There clearly is some sexual tension between Skye and Grant. And in a bratty kid kind of way, Skye gets to rattle Coulson's chain, too.
In last week's episode, when Skye referred to Agent Coulson as "A.C.," he looked at her warily, but with no real anger, and said, "What's wrong with Agent Coulson, or just Coulson?" Skye answered, "Nothing, I guess. A.C. is just way cooler."
In a nutshell, that's Skye's influence on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"It has been a dream come true, this character," Bennet says. "Skye really is the most fun to play, because she is a bad-ass with her computer, but then she also has serious people skills and can get into situations and parties and certain things and just kind of go and pretend. She's an actress."
Not all actresses are computer nerds, though, and vice versa. That's what makes Chloe Bennet's Skye a very special agent.